Bible Articles on the Topic of Intermarriage

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Marriage “Only in the Lord"

The Scriptures abound in warnings against alien marriage: The sons of God marrying the daughters of men resulted at last in the Flood (Genesis 6-9). Abraham and Isaac, faithful sojourners looking for the Kingdom, opposed such marriages for their sons (Genesis 24:3; 28:1). The Law of Moses forbade the yoking together of the clean ox and the unclean ass (Deuteronomy 22:10). Moses said to take no alien spouses (Deuteronomy 7:3,8). Solomon’s alien wives turned his heart from God (1 Kings 11:1-11). Ezra (Ezra 9;10) and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 13:23-29) tell us of the evils of such alliances, and Paul has stressed the deviation of such a union (1 Corinthians 7:39; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

A Rabbi's Thoughts on Intermarriage

All of the soul of the house of Jacob that came into Egypt numbered 70. These lists in Scripture are very similar to modern lists of ratepayers or the like. Every person is considered reckoned in when the representative of each household or each apartment is mentioned, so that wives and young children are included under the name of the person who is legally responsible on their account. Thus the “70 souls” that came with Jacob to Egypt must actually have included at least double the number, since the wives and daughters are not mentioned specifically in the list, which is after all a formal and legal rather than an historical document.

Intermarriage: A Catholic and a Jew

Question: My stepdaughter, a Jewish girl, is marrying a very fine Catholic man. My wife and I are looking for a Rabbi in the (withheld) area who will perform the ceremony for them. The groom wishes the actual ceremony to be held jointly with a Catholic priest. The wedding ceremony and the reception are to be held in a hotel so there is no “religious property” involved (i.e. not in a church).

What Is So Bad About Intermarriage?

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. (Deuteronomy 7:3)

Is It Lawful To Marry Unbelievers?

There is another question proposed, namely, “Does a believer commit sin in marrying an unbeliever?” What is sin? Paul says, “It is the transgression of law;” but it is also written, that “where there is no law there is no transgression.” Paul delivers a judgment which he thinks would be approved by the Deity; and no doubt it would. But he does not lay it down as a law. He says, a widow is at liberty to marry “only in the Lord,“ but he does not threaten her with any penalty if she did not take his advice. And, as Paul prescribed no punishment, I see no reason why you should be more stringent than the apostle. Offer your advice as he did; show the possible evils that might come upon her in so marrying, if she take your advice, it is well; if not, so much the worse for her, perhaps; yet, you have done what you considered right; more than this should be left for the Lord’s adjudication when he comes.

Tyre and Sidon, and Intermarriage with the Danites

Connected with the circumstances of this same colony of Laish is another coincidence which I have to offer, and I introduce it in this place, because it is so connected, for otherwise it anticipates a point of Jewish history, which, in the order of the books of Scripture, lies a long way before me. The construction of Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem is the event at which it dates.

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Marriage between persons of different races or tribes. A prohibition to intermarry with the Canaanites is found in Deuteronomy 7:3, where it is said: “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them [any of the seven nations of the land of Canaan]; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.” The reason stated for this prohibition is: “For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods” (ib. 7:4); and, inasmuch as this reason holds good as regards intermarriage with any idolatrous nation, all Gentiles are included in the prohibition (R. Simeon, in ‘Ab. Zarah 36b; comp. Ḳid. 68b; the other rabbisregard the prohibition as rabbinic only). At any rate, from Ezra onward this prohibition was extended to all Gentiles (Ezra 9:1-2, 10:10-11; Nehemiah 10:31), and accordingly the Law was thus interpreted and codified by Maimonides (“Yad,” Issure Biah, 12:1; comp. Shulḥan ‘Aruk, Eben ha-'Ezer, 16, 1; Aaron ha Levi, “Sefer ha-Ḥinnuk,” 127). Older, however, than the Deuteronomic law is the patriarchal law forbidding the descendants of Abraham to intermarry with the Canaanites (Genesis 24:3, 26:34, 27:46, 28:8, 34:14). Nevertheless the Israelites during the pre-exilic period did intermarry with the Gentiles, and the consequence was that they were led to adopt idolatrous practises (Judges 3:6; comp. 1 Kings 11:1 et seq.). It is singular that Moses was the first to be censured, and that by his own sister and brother, for having married an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1), though this expression is referred to Zipporah by the commentaries ad loc. Intermarriage with Ammonites and Moabites was especially forbidden, whereas the offspring of intermarriages with the Idumeans and Egyptians were to be admitted to the congregation of the Lord in their third generation (Deuteronomy 23:4-7, 8-9). An exception to the prohibition against intermarriage was the case of a captive woman during time of war (Deuteronomy 21:10-13); but this seems to have referred to warfare with nations other than the Canaanites (see the commentaries of Dillmann and Driver ad loc.).