15. … otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and …
16. … and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods
Exodus 34:15-16  NASB

3. Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons.
4. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you.

Deuteronomy 7:3-4  NASB

1. Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,
2. from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love.

1 Kings 11:1-2  NASB


20. Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.
Genesis 46:20  NASB

1. Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); …
9. … So the anger of the Lord burned against them and He departed.
10. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous.

Numbers 12:1, 9-10  NASB


SAB Contradiction 237


A serious Bible contradiction?

In Deuteronomy 7:4 we seem to be confronted with a heavy threat against Israelites who dare to marry with people of other nations. It seems as if God will personally kill (destroy) them. That is not what we would expect from a good and merciful God, is it? The question must be of course: Is it what it seems? Is it true?


Blessed marriages

Everyone who is acquainted with the story of Old-Israel knows how often the Lord has warned his people against the other nations living in Canaan to not intermarry with them. On the other hand we read about Joseph who married Asenath, a daughter of an Egyptian priest. Their children, Ephraim and Manasseh,  became the founders of two tribes of Israel. So it is difficult to see here a transgression by Joseph as having married the wrong woman.

There is also the example of Ruth. She was a Moabite woman who first married Chilion of Judean origin and having become a widow, she married Boaz who was also from the tribe of Judah. The son of Ruth and Boaz was Obed, the grandfather of King David.

It is clear that these blessed marriages seem to contradict the Biblical commandment to the Israelites to not marry with members of other nations, especially Canaanite nations.


God’s morality at issue

And what to think of the other contradictory expression of the critic “He will destroy …”. As remarked earlier: that is not what we would expect from a good and merciful God,is it? It seems that the message of the critic is that many will be destroyed, some will be blessed for the same transgression. Yes, the critic has used his talent to sow distrust about God’s morality and his integrity. It is all totally put out of joint. We are here confronted with the wilful zeal of the critic to blame God and his Word.

Fair reading shows that destruction would come if intermarriage became a general accepted usage in Israel, then the entire nation would be destroyed by the lowering of the moral standards due to the other religions. And that indeed happened as Ezra complained:
“… shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape?” (Ezra 9:14)


Miriam’s leprosy

No, the real point is that Asenath and Ruth and many others had accepted the God of Israel and his way of life. In that case there was no true reason to reject a marriage with someone of different origin. Even Miriam was not only blamed by the Lord when she had made problems concerning her brother Moses who had married a Cushite woman, she was even punished by leprosy for some time.



Wikipedia, about “Interfaith marriage”: “Traditional Judaism does not consider marriage between a Jew by birth and a convert as an intermarriage. Hence, all the Biblical passages that appear to support intermarriages, such as that of Joseph to Asenath, and that of Ruth to Boaz, were regarded by the classical rabbis as having occurred only after the foreign spouse had converted to Judaism.”


Danger of sliding scale

Shortly after the beginning of his reign over Israel Solomon married a daughter of Pharaoh. There was nothing wrong with this, on the contrary Solomon is praised about his fair administration at that time: “the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.”(1 Kings 3:48) However, later on he had many wives from other nations and then Solomon became the wrong example of a sliding scale; his wives brought their gods with them into Jerusalem. So the question of intermarriage asked a continuous attention in biblical history and it is still the case for everyone who want to live according to biblical standards today. Whoever is in doubt about the Christian status of his/her future partner before marrying will be better off to rethink before making his mind.


No Bible Contradiction