Monday, October 12, 2009

The Roots of WARSKYL, 8

Continued from "The Roots of WARSKYL, 7"

At one point, Randall has appealed to the fact that God commanded the destruction of the Canaanites & forbade intermarriage with them as proof that God's purpose was to preserve Israel's racial purity. Here's the passage in question:

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. (Deu 7:3-4)

Randall reads this and sees a ban on genetic pollution. But the mixed offspring of the Israelite and his Canaanite wife are not mentioned.

The concern is that the wife will turn the husband away from serving the Lord of the covenant. This will, of course result in a family unfaithful to God, but I don't see anything genetic in the passage. Randall does.

Whose interpretation is correct? Well, it seems to me that if the passage is concerned with preserving genetic purity, then all intermarriage with other nations would always bring negative sanctions. God's Law would have to be consistent in this matter.

Thus, if we find instances of God's approval (implicit or explicit) upon other races integrating into Israel, then we must conclude that reading racial purity into Deuteronomy 7 is an error. Let's begin with Moses, the man through whom the Law came to Israel.

At one point, Moses' brother & sister challenged his authority because they did not like his interracial marriage.

And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. (Num 12:1)

This would have been the perfect time for God to make clear His proscription of racial mixing. Instead, He vindicated Moses and became angry with those who opposed him.

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.(Num 12:9-10)

Ethiopians, like Egyptians were Hamites (descendants of Noah's son, Ham) -- a bloodline distinct from that of the Hebrew Shem-ites. Nonetheless, we find a specific provision in the Law to accept Egyptians into Israel on an equal footing with native-born Israelites.

[T]hou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation.(Deu 23:7-8)

The Egyptians' genes obviously did not change in three generations. It seems that the three-generation rule guaranteed that the conversion of an Egyptian was genuine, in that it required that he train his children and grandchildren also to follow the covenant.

The point is that to receive those of Egyptian descent into the congregation of the LORD not only gave them equal access to the Tabernacle/Temple, but also equal access to the pool of marriageable Israelites.

Of course, Moses' day was not the first to see intermarriage between Israelites and other races. One of Israel's most prominent tribes came from mixed parentage.

I'm referring to Joseph, who married an Egyptian woman.

And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. (Gen 41:45)

And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. (Gen 41:50-52)

The half-tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were among the most numerous and mighty of Israel, although they were racially mixed (Ham-ite and Shem-ite) at the source. If this interracial union were a violation of God's will, then it would be logical that Jacob, Joseph's father, should disown the half-breed offspring. Instead, we find this:

And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession. And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. (Gen 48:3-5)

Not only does Jacob accept these mixed-race boys as his own, but, as God's patriarchal representative, he pronounces a mighty blessing upon Joseph's seed (See Genesis 49:24-26).

Now, lets look at Joseph's brother, Judah. It seems that he married a Canaanite woman who bore him three sons.

And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him. (Gen 38:1-5)

God killed two of the sons because of their wickedness (an ethical, not a genetic trait, because the third son -- Shelah -- was not so slain). Moreover, if Judah's line were tainted by Shelah's Canaanite genes, you would expect God to require that Judah disinherit him.

Instead, you see the descendants of Shelah receiving an inheritance along with the rest of Judah's tribe when they entered the Promised Land.

And the sons of Judah after their families were; of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites . . . . (Num 26:20)

And while I'm thinking about the Canaanites, I should mention Rahab of Jericho. Since she was evidently prominent enough to be known by the king (Joshua 2:3), I would guess that she was a temple prostitute, and served an ambassadorial function in that visitors to the city would pay their respects to the city's god by visiting her.

In spite of the depths of her participation in the depraved religion & culture of Canaan, God's grace touched her life, and she entered into covenant with the Hebrew spies. Joshua honored that covenant.

And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. (Jos 6:25)

You do not see God rebuking Joshua for this, as He rebuked him for making peace with the deceptive Gibeonites, who did not submit to the Lord of the covenant. In fact, later in Scripture God commends this Canaanite woman's faith:

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. (Heb 11:30-31)

In fact, this Canaanite woman married an Israelite and became part of the blood-line of the Messiah (Matthew 1:5). Yes, Jesus was born of mixed racial stock. Matthew Henry comments on the genealogy of Matthew 1:

There are four women, and but four, named in this genealogy; two of them were originally strangers to the commonwealth of Israel, Rachab a Canaanitess, and a harlot besides, and Ruth the Moabitess; for in Jesus Christ there is neither Greek, nor Jew; those that are strangers and foreigners are welcome, in Christ, to the citizenship of the saints.

That brings us to the New Testament. As I have mentioned previously, the churches that Paul founded represented a mix of Jew and Gentile Christians. Now, did God command that these racially disparate elements remain separate and unmixed?

First, let's notice that Paul's right-hand man, his son-in-the-faith was of mixed racial stock:

Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek. (Act 16:1)

Timothy was half Jewish (Shem-ite) and half Greek (Japheth-ite through Javan). It seems odd that, if Paul wanted to send a message of racial purity to the churches, he would choose someone of mixed race as his protege.

Timothy helped Paul found the church at Corinth, which was also racially mixed (Acts 18:8). Later, in his first epistle to that church, Paul addresses the subject of marriage.

This would present the prime opportunity to tell these folks not to intermingle, racially. He does not do that, however. In fact, he does the opposite.

In addressing the question of whom a widow might marry, Paul says,

. . . she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. (1Co 7:39)

The ONLY restriction that Paul places on choosing a marriage partner is that he be in the Lord, that is to say, another believer in Christ.

Well, this post has grown much larger than is probably good for weekday reading. I'll close here and pick it up another time.

14 comments:

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

'Kay. One of your best posts. Ever. Seriously. No joke.

This is goin' on the blog!

Spencer

P.S. You had better take this up another time!

Randall Gerard said...

R.J. Rushdoony comments on 2 Cor. 6:14:

“Unequal yoking plainly means mixed
marriages between believers and
unbelievers is clearly forbidden. But Deuteronomy 22:10 not only forbids unequal yoking by inference, and as a case
law, but also unequal yoking generally.

This means that an unequal marriage
between believers or between unbelievers is wrong. Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and woman is the reflected image of God in man, and from
man (1 Cor. 11:1-12; Gen. 2:18, 21-23).

‘Helpmeet’ means a reflection or a mirror, an image of man, indicating that a woman
must have something religiously and
culturally in common with her husband. The burden of the law is thus against interreligious,
inter-racial, and inter-cultural
marriages, in that they normally go
against the very community which
marriage is designed to establish. Unequal yoking means more than marriage. In society at large it means the enforced integration of various elements which are
not congenial. Unequal yoking is in no realm productive of harmony; rather, it aggravates the differences and delays the
growth of the different elements toward a Christian harmony and association.”

Regarding Moses: Zipporah his wife was a midianite, a descendant of Abraham and his second wife Keturrah. She may have been raised in Ethiopia, but this designation doesn't mean she was black.

Regarding Joseph: The Hyksos tribe, a shemitic people were the ruling class in Egypt in Joseph's day. His wife would have been from this tribe. Incidently, this is why Israel was enjoined not to despise an Egyptian or an Edomite. Some Egyptians are closely related to Israel, and some aren't.

Ruth could not have been an ethnic moabitess either. Deuteronomy makes it plain that a moabite cannot enter the congregation of Israel until the 10th generation. Yet, David the king was only the 4th generation from Boaz & Ruth. Clearly, David was a full-fledged Israelite. Therefore, ethnically, Ruth had to be related to Israel, though from the region of Moab.

Rahab was most likely a cult prostitute in Jericho. The people of Jericho did not make their own women serve in this capacity, but captives only. Rahab could have been a captive from Israel for all we know.

Judah's wife I'm not sure about.

But I am sure that God's law forbids the intermarriage of Israelites with the surrounding nations. (Deut. 7:3) In fact, Israel was required to marry only within their father's tribe! (Num. 36:5-7)

Your O.T. evidence is actually a relatively short list of exceptions to the general rule. I'm sure you would agree that a handful of exceptions within the long narrative history of Israel, do not negate the Law of the God of Israel.

However, your N.T. evidence is more compelling, and I'll have to give the matter more thought. On the other hand, I think Rushdoony was generally right in his commentary on 1 Cor. 6:14.

Oh, and for the record, I never, ever used the term 'genetic pollution'. Nor would I.

The Warrior said...

P.P.S. How DO you study the Bible so well/uncover such sound doctrinal arguments?

Spencer

Johann Van De Leeuw said...

Don't forget to call, email, or otherwise contact your senator and representative to urge them to vote AGAINST the healthcare bill. Thanks!
~Johann

I'll comment on topic later. :)

Gravelbelly said...

Randall,

I notice you did not address Deut. 23:7-8 that allows Egyptians to be received into the congregation of the Israel.

With respect to Joseph, the theory that the Hyksos reigned in Joseph's time depends upon accepting the "Current Consensus Chronology" of Egypt, which was adopted by secularists who did not want to take Biblical chronology seriously.

You may go here for an introduction to a more Biblical approach to the chronology of the ancient world:
http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/biblical-chronology/6_01/

(The above site also shows why you should put the Hyksos rule of Egypt in Solomon's time rather than Joseph's.)

As to the other arguments:

The idea the Ethiopian means something other than Ethiopian is pure speculation.

Numbers 36:5-7 is not a general law, but a ruling for a specific situation. Barnes explains, "The daughters of Zelophehad had obtained an ordinance Num_28:6-11 which permitted the daughters of an Israelite dying without male issue to inherit their father’s property. The chiefs of the Machirites, of whom Zelophehad had been one, now obtain a supplemental enactment, directing that heiresses should marry within their own tribe." This was to keep the inheritance from passing to other tribes.

With respect to Ruth's acceptance into Israel, it seems foreign women were received on a different basis than men (Deut. 21:10ff).

As to the assertion that Jericho did not allow their own people to serve in the cult prostitution, I'm not familiar with that position. Can you cite a source?

Finally, the quote from Rushdoony is interesting, and I greatly respect his work. Nonetheless, where the Bible contradicts Rushdoony, I will side with the Bible.

Randall Gerard said...

Gravelbelly,

Thanks for a kind and measured response. I will look carefully at your rebuttal and try to find a source for my assertion concerning Jericho as well.

I will be gone elk hunting for at least a week probably longer. I want to reitterate my commitment to the Bible as well. I cited Rushdoony because I had a hunch you would respect his thoughts on the matter. But, I too, will take the Bible over any commentator, regardless of reputation. Peace, my brother. I'll write again soon.

Gravelbelly said...

Good hunting, Randall. I love venison, but I've never tasted elk.

The Warrior said...

This is how a debate should be: civil!

I've had elk--similar to beef, but interesting. Kinda chewy, but then again I had it in sandwich cuts. Excellent.

http://drpaleophd.blogspot.com/2008/09/utah-trip-day-3.html

But, on the other hand I will eat just about anything that moves. Last summer, I ate scorpion and cricket nymphs as well.

http://drpaleophd.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-experimented-with-entomophagy.html

What can I say? I always remember the vision of the sheet. :-P

Spencer

Gravelbelly said...

Spencer,

Keep reading the Word. In 40 years, you should have a good grasp of it.

A couple of months ago, I decided to ramp up my study of the Bible. I began reading three chapters from Genesis, three from Isaiah & three from Matthew. Now I'm in Joshua, Hosea & I Thessalonians.

In addition, I started reading through Psalms & Proverbs every month. Read 5 Psalms a day & a chapter from Proverbs. I like to read every thirtieth Psalm -- on the first day, Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91 & 121; the 2nd day, Psalm 2, 32 62, 92, 122, etc. When I come to Psalm 119, I skip it & read it on the 31st of the month.

Also, I renewed a practice I've used before. I read through a short book of the New Testament every day for 30 days. I started with I John, then Galatians, and now I'm working on Philippians.

It takes me over 2 hours each day to complete my reading, and I realize not everyone can do this. Perhaps you could pick just one of the three methods I use & implement it as a start.

The Warrior said...

WOW

I have trouble reading just one chapter a day! I'm a painfully slow reader when it comes to such heavy material, too. Give me a short chapter about a battle, and I'm done in an excited jiffy, but most chapters are hard. I used to not even read it every day, and got so sick of not succeeding that for this year's resolution I demanded in myself one chapter a day. And with all that's happened this year, I am happy to say that I have not failed a single day, no matter how late I stayed up or tired I got.

Perhaps someday I can come up to your level, but for now, I will stay where I'm at. I also seem to have this weird thing where I find it disconcerting to read the Bible out of order...I can read NT and OT, but other than that.... Maybe after I finish this go-around I will start something like that, I have wanted to somewhat.

Thank you again sir!

Spencer

Gravelbelly said...

Just keep at it. As I said, in 40 yrs or so, when you're my age, you'll have read the Bible through many times.

It may help to have a family worship time. If you read a chapter a day with your family, you can read 365 chapters a year. (There's a book by Henry Reyenga: "The Spontaneous Spread of Home Discipleship Christianity". In an appendix it gives a list of 365 key chapters of the Bible that a family could read through in a year.

Also, have you tried listening to an audio Bible while commuting?

But, even if you stick with a chapter a day, that's more than 90% of professing Christians do, so you're doing great. Just keep at it.

The Warrior said...

If I am in the car long enough (rarely), I usually listen to things I can't read (Doug Phillips/Vision Forum audio CDs, lectures, etc.).

So one thing that always is troublesome for me, you can read a verse, understand it, and see how it applies and how important it is today. But, a year later, just how do you go and find it again when you need to cite it? Do you keep track of it somehow?

Spencer

Gravelbelly said...

Now you're forcing me to give away all my secrets. ;-)

A good Bible study program will have a search feature to help you locate just about any passage, as long as you can remember a key word or words.

I like e-sword (it's free, and so are a lot of its Bible helps)
http://www.e-sword.net/
If your connection is too slow to download it, email me & maybe we can figure something out.

The Warrior said...

Ok, will try this one. I used to have a great program on my computer but the disc disappeared one day and I haven't seen it since....

Biblegateway doesn't work well, either. Thanks, I will definitely try it and we'll see (will wait until I really need to use it to try it out as that will show me its usefulness better).

Spencer