Does The Bible Allow Interracial Marriage
This short article will examine a few of the assumptions and conclusions made by those who firmly believe God does not approve of interracial marriage.
Perhaps the greatest assumption made by those who thunder that interracial marriage is wrong is that the Israelites had a “pure” heredity which God wanted them to maintain. The Bible shows, however, that the group who left Egyptian bondage was anything but pure genetically.
Joseph is one of the many sons of Jacob . Brothers who are envious of him sell him into slavery at an early age. After a period of several trials, God blesses him with the responsibility of overseeing all of Egypt in order to save his entire family. He marries an Egyptian woman and produces two sons named Manasseh and Ephraim . Was Joseph’s ‘interracial marriage’ against the will of God? Was he and his family considered not true Israelites?
Before his death, the patriarch Jacob specially “adopts” Joseph’s two boys and makes them the chief inheritors of the birthright blessings received by his grandfather Abraham! God not only allowed and accepted Joseph’s interracial marriage, he also had Jacob perform a unique ceremony that made them the chief representatives of the family named Israel !
God greatly blessed Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. By the time of the Exodus, the tribe of Ephraim could muster 40,500 fighting males and Manasseh had 32,200 men who could go to war .
Race Mixing And Animal Hybridscondemned By God
Terry S. submitted a comment on the article Breeding unicorns, claiming that God is opposed to race mixing and the hybridization of animals. We chose to publish here in order to give a thorough response.
CMIs Keaton Halley replies:
Dear Terry S.,
I hope that you are truly open to hearing what the Bible has to say on this subject, because I think a closer look will show that you have misunderstood and misapplied the biblical teaching. If Im off target, I mean no offense, but some of your statements make it sound like you could be part of the Christian Identity white supremacist movement. If thats the case, I encourage you to read our refutation of that heresy. But Ill also respond to your specific claims.
It is true that horses and donkeys can be reluctant to mate with each other, and that mules often have biological defects. But these problems can be understood as a result of degeneration in a fallen world. CMIs Speciation Q& A page contains many articles which explain how an original interbreeding population can split into smaller groups that have difficulty reproducing. So even though horses and donkeys had a common ancestor, now that theyve been differentiated into separate breeds with significant genetic disparities between them, hybridizing them may not be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, so to speak. All this makes perfect sense from a creationist perspective.
Husband And Wife Become One
He brought her to the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh .
Have you ever noticed how couples who have been happily married for many years often seem to blend together on so many levels? They know what the other person is thinking and how their spouse will react to a given situation. They can finish each others sentences. They have so much history together that they almost feel like the other is an extension of themselves. Thats what the Bible is talking about when it says a husband and wife become one flesh.
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All Races Come From A Common Source
All humans descended from the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, whom the Bible calls the mother of everyone living. For this reason, the Bible says of God: He made out of one man every nation of men. Regardless of their race, all humans are part of just one family. What, though, if racial prejudice or class distinctions are strong where you live?
The Spouse Is To Be The Opposite Gender Of Yourself
Using the same verse in Genisis 2:24, Christians are also to marry someone that is the opposite gender of themselves. Biblical marriage is to be a man and a woman, and not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman.
Just Disciple has covered this topic more in this video if you want more information about this topic.
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Close Bond In Marriage
The Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone I will make a helper comparable to him . After each of the six days of Creation week, God reviewed what He had made and saw that it was good. But there was one thing in Eden that very first week that was not good! All the animals God had created, came in pairsa male and a female. But there was no female for Adam! That is when God created Eve and performed the very first marriage .
God made men and women to complement each otherphysically, mentally, and socially. He built into our being a desire for the companionship of a husband or wife. Thats why the Bible says, He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord .
Biblical Traits Of A Good Husband Or Wife
Proverbs 31 has been called a description of The Ideal Wife. And its true that the chapter, as written, focuses on the wife. But in reality the ideal qualities given in this chapter apply equally to a husband as well as to a wife.
So how does the Bible define a good wife ? Here is a list of characteristics based on Proverbs 31. Look up the verses and see for yourself how they are described. Can you find other qualities in this chapter that are not listed here?
- A positive outlook that brings out the best in ones spouse
- Provides for the household
- Compassionate and aware of others peoples needs
- Is a credit to ones spouse in the community
- Loved and respected by the children and by ones spouse
- Has a good reputation outside the home
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What The Bible Says
People may be questioning what the Bible says about interracial marriage because of this passage in Deuteronomy.
You shall not intermarry with , giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.
At first glance, this may be confusing and make it seems like the Lord wants the Israelites to not intermarry ever. However, this passage has nothing to do with race and everything to do with religion.
God does not want for the Israelites to turn away from Him, but instead to continue to worship and follow him. If the Israelites were to marry the inhabitants of Canaan, they would be tempted to worship their false gods. By the Lord declaring to not marry these people, He is protecting Israel from idolatry.
Does The Bible Say Anything About Mixing Of The Races
When God called Israel out of Egypt, He warned them about having anything to do with the other nations. For example, if the nations began marrying people of other nations, they would begin to follow their practices. Their hearts would go after other gods and worship idols which were really not gods at all. The Lord warned Israel time and time again. The Moabites tried repeatedly to have Balaam curse Israel, but he could not. They even offered to pay him to curse them but he refused, instead, Balaam spoke his message: Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. Come, he said, curse Jacob for me come, denounce Israel. How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced ?
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Origin Of People Groups
In Genesis 11, we read of the rebellion at the tower of Babel which resultedin people being scattered over the earth. Because of this dispersion,and the resulting splitting of the gene pool, different cultures formed,with certain features becoming predominant within each group. Some ofthese became general characteristicsof each particular people group.15
Note that the context of Genesis 11 makes it clear that the reasonfor Gods scattering the people over the earth was that they had unitedin rebellion against God. Some Christians point to this event in an attemptto provide a basis for their arguments against so-called inter-racialmarriage. They believe that it is implied here that to keep the nationsapart, God is declaring that people from different people groups cantmarry. However, there is no such indication in this passage that whatis called inter-racial marriage is condemned. Besides, therehas been so much mixing of people groups over the years, that it wouldbe impossible for every human being today to trace their lineage backto know for certain which group they are descended from.
Examples Of Interracial Marriage In The Bible
In Numbers 12:1-15, Moses, who was a Jew, married a woman who was a Cushite Cush was a southern region of Ethiopia, where people were known for their black skin. The Lord approved of this marriage, but Aaron and Miriam criticized this marriage, to which God was angered by. He gave Miriam leprosy for seven days as a punishment to her criticism of Moses and his wife.
Ruth is another example of an interracial marriage. Ruth, from Moab, moved to Bethlehem when her land was struck with famine. When she met Boaz, he did not hesitate to take her as his wife because of her faith in God if Israel.
Ruth was not a Jew. She was a Moabite. Even though many discriminated against her, God loved her just the same. God does not discriminate, and He loves all people just the same.
Chris Russell from biblestudytools.com
In Colossians 3:11, Paul writes, Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free but Christ is all, and in all. We are all the same in Christ, and skin tone or different cultural backgrounds cannot hinder the mission of the followers of Jesus Christ.
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Are There Examples Of Interracial Marriage In The Bible
I would ask that anyone believing interracial marriage is wrong to look up Scriptures about Rahab and Salmon, Ruth and Boaz, and let us not forget that Gods book on marriage, Song of Solomon was potentially written about an interracial couple .
One of the most well-known examples of a diverse marriage in Scripture is Moses the Hebrew/Egyptian and Zipporah a Midianite.
Exodus 2:21-22 says, Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.
Someone might argue that these were people who made mistakes, but there is nowhere in the whole Bible where God condemns marrying from another people group unless it was about a greater issue of faith. Jesus Himself was a Jew who had Gentiles in His genealogy.
The Old Testament Reasoning
There are verses in the Old Testament instructing the Israelites not to intermarry with people from other nations. Here is the passage:
When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nationsthe Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lords anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. Deuteronomy 7:1-4
Unfortunately, some use this passage to justify their opposition to interracial marriage. In these cases, they are not considering the passage in its full context or its entire meaning.
This decree was not based on race or skin color. Instead, it is all about religion.
The entire reason God tells the Israelites not to intermarry with these nations is described in verse 4, they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods.
In other words, Deuteronomy 7 is an Old Testament law reiterated in the New Testament when the apostle Paul tells Jesus followers not to be unequally yoked.
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Love And Respect In Marriage
Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. . . . Let each one of you . . . so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband . Without mutual love and respect on the part of husbands and wives, a marriage cannot last. Keep up the early attentions. Look for the positive qualities in your spouse, and nurture that respect and love that first drew you together.
Do Not Be Unequally Yoked
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
In the New Testament, believers are told they should not be unequally yoked with non-believers. Lets start by explaining a yoke.
A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen.
If the oxen are unequally yoked, it means one may be strong and the other weak.
When this happens, the oxen work against one another and will find it difficult or impossible to complete the job.
In this verse, the apostle Paul is telling believers if they marry a nonbeliever, it will pull the believer away from God, and he or she will struggle with fulfilling their calling to follow Jesus.
Therefore, the Bible clearly says you should not marry someone with a different faith.
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All Of These Requirements Are Attainable In A Cross
Each one of these requirements for Christian marriage is absolutely attainable if you were to marry someone of a different race. Interracial marriage is beautiful in Gods eyes and there is no reason to resist marrying someone if they have a different skin tone. But make sure that for whoever you are hoping to marry that you are able to say yes to each of these requirements above.
Only One Man And One Woman
The Bible is very clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. It was Gods design that that marriage is this way. Genisis 2:24: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Just this verse alone shows how it is right for only one man and one woman to be united in marriage. Polygamy is a sin.
Interracial Marriage In The Bible
What about interracial marriage? Deuteronomy 7:1-6 tells the Israelites to destroy all the inhabitants of the Canaan land and not to intermarry with them because they would “turn your sons away from following Me, that they may serve other gods.” The same key concern of 2 Corinthians 6:14 is again expressed here.
Moses’ wife was of another race and in Numbers 12:1-15 Aaron and Miriam were punished for criticizing this interracial marriage. The book of Ruth tells a delightful story of a foreigner who became part of the lineage of Christ. The harlot, Rahab, also of another nation, is included in the lineage of Christ as recorded in Matthew 1. Colossians 3:11 makes it clear that from God’s perspective all are one in Christ.
What Constitutes A Race
In the 1800s, before Darwinian evolution was popularized, most people, when talking about races, would be referring to such groups as the English race, Irish race, and so on. However, this all changed in 1859, when Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
Darwinian evolution was inherently a racist philosophy,teaching that different groups or races of people evolved at differenttimes and rates, so some groups are more like their ape-like ancestors thanothers. The Australian Aborigines, for instance, were considered the missinglinks between the ape-like ancestor and the rest of mankind.1This resulted in terrible prejudices and injustices towards the Australian Aborigines.2The leading evolutionary spokesperson, Stephen Jay Gould, stated that Biologicalarguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased byorders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.3
Racist attitudes fueled by evolutionary thinking were largelyresponsible for an African pygmy being displayed, along with an orangutan,in a cage in the Bronx zoo.4
In an article in the summer issue of the Journal of Counseling and Development,9 researchers argue that the term race is basically so meaningless that it should be discarded.
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