Bible Contradictions #50: Can Jews intermarry?

Bible contradictions 50

In the modern age there is still a dumbfounding debate about inter-religious marriage. Although the debate has largely been settled (there’s nothing wrong with it), there are still pockets of society that condemn Catholics who marry Protestants, or the other way around. Some Orthodox Jewish sects prohibit men from marrying shiksas. According to Rabbinical law, only Jewish women can pass on the Jewish seed. This law is the product of attempts by non-Jewish men to shag the Jewish gene out of existence. There were many times when the Jewish women didn’t know who the father was (a Jew or a Roman), so the law was written. But thousands of years ago, the inter-marriage debate was something else entirely. And we can’t really take direction from the bible. It has double standards.

Abrahamic god’s jealousy is stoked whenever a Jew marries someone from another tribe. Exodus 34:16  warns us that intermarriage will cause everyone to become prostitutes. Deuteronomy 7:3-4 and 1 Kings 11:1-2 say god will smite us for intermarriage because our non-Jewish spouse will lead us to other gods. Clearly in these verses inter-religious marriage is forbidden.

But then we have many prominent people in the bible who married non-Jewish women and got away with it. In Genesis 46:20 Joseph married the daughter of a non-Jewish priest. God was totally cool with that. Then in Numbers 12:1, 9-10 Moses married a Cushite (an Etheopian woman). The Cushites were particularly known for their godlessness and evil deeds. So one would’ve expected god to smite Moses for this. Instead he smote Miriam for gossiping about Moses marrying a black shiksa. He gave her leprosy for merely talking about Moses behind his back.

As far as I’m aware there are no apologetic responses to this contradiction. But I can easily see one. Jewish and Christian apologists might tell us that inter-religious marriage is forbidden, according to the bible. But Joseph’s and Moses’ marriages to non-Jewish women were blessed by god because god liked those men more than other Jews. So here we have the double standard. God: Intermarriage is forbidden, unless I randomly tag you as a really cool guy.

Of course, anyone who is still against inter-religious marriage is an asshole.

About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political and social activist.
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4 Responses to Bible Contradictions #50: Can Jews intermarry?

  1. Dena says:

    Eh, I don’t know. Maybe it is a contradiction. But one could also argue that if a person leaves their religion behind, its fine. Even Orthodox Jews today will marry a convert, if they feel their conversion was “good enough” and overseen by the correct Rabbi. In that case, it isn’t considered an inter-marriage.

    • Rayan Zehn says:

      The bible gives us no clarification about whether or not Joseph’s or Moses’ non-Jewish wives converted. It should also be added that Solomon was obsessed with non-Jewish women, and he married dozens of them. It wouldn’t be in Solomon’s character if he asked them to convert. The only thing we know is the bible says these men married non-Jewish women with god’s blessing, contradicting Deuteronomy.

      • Dena says:

        I was under the impression that Solomon was both wise and an idiot, so I don’t know how the reader is supposed to determine which acts were smart and which were stupid.

  2. Barry says:

    Anyone who is still against inter-religious marriage is an asshole”. Careful, you’re talking about my parents in law. They were against me marrying their daughter as I was from a different race and had a different religion and language. When the threat of disowning her didn’t work they reluctantly gave their permission. While they now accept me as their son in law, I think if they were able to turn the clock back 43 years, they would fight just as hard or maybe harder to stop their daughter marrying someone outside their race and religion. Race was probably a bigger issue than religion, but religion was undoubtedly a significant factor.

    I don’t find the fact that the bible has contradictory statements regarding interreligious marriage to be an issue at all. They are from different books and different authors/sources. When you take into account the fact that the books making up the bible come from multiple sources over a long period of time, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could find a contradiction to almost any passage.

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