I was listening to radio the other time when the guest on the radio programme made a comment about Queen Esther marrying a non-Jew, i.e. King Ahasuerus. The guest said, God prohibited inter-racial marriage during the time of Moses but allowed Esther to marry a non-Jew. To him, this meant that God endorsed Esther’s marriage to a non-Jew due to the changing times.
Excuse me! That last statement would mean that God prohibited inter-racial marriage and then changed the law along the way. This would contradict the very nature of God, i.e. His immutability, (Malachi 3:6).
First of all, let’s be clear on one thing. God has never at any point in time stated that He was against inter-racial marriage. God’s laws were given to ensure the pure don’t get contaminated with the impure. So it wasn’t about a Jew marrying a Jew or non-Jew, but rather preventing a pure group of people from getting into communion with an impure group of people.
Now, let’s get into the law that most people mistook to mean that God was against inter-racial marriage. The Bible said, “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 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“, (Deuteronomy 7:1-3, Emphasis mine). The mistake many people make is to take scripture verses in isolation instead of looking at them in context.
Now, read what God said in verse four: “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“, (Deuteronomy 7:4). God has clearly explained to them why He forbid them to marry from those 7 nations. And notice that God didn’t say they shouldn’t marry non-Jews, but He was specific. God gave the same reason in Exodus 34:11-16. In simple terms, the reason was because those people worshipped idols, not because of race. And note that the Jews were racially similar to the Amorites, Canaanites, etc.
The above law never changed and it was not about race. Moses married a non-Jew and his siblings (Aaron and Miriam) criticised him because of it. But, God was angry with both Aaron and Miriam for criticizing Moses’ marriage to an Ethiopian woman, (Numbers 12:1-6). If God was against inter-racial marriage, why wasn’t He angry with Moses instead of his siblings?
The Holy Spirit by the mouth of Paul gave the same law to us. He said, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?“, (2 Corinthians 6:14, Emphasis mine). What does the above mean? It means that a Christian is prohibited from marrying a non-Christian. If you become a Christian and your best friend is a non-Christian, then there is the need to check your Christian life again – something must be wrong somewhere. Don’t try to be wiser than the Spirit of God. God said, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners“, (1 Corinthians 15:33).
The bottom line is this: God is not against inter-racial marriage; He is against a Christian marrying a non-Christian. A believer marrying an unbeliever is not right, for light has no fellowship with darkness. And don’t forget, if you disobey God and the unbeliever succeed in turning you against God, “the anger of the LORD [will] be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly”, (Deuteronomy 7:4, Emphasis mine). So, excuse me, God doesn’t change with times – He remains the same!
By: Seth Gogo Egoeh