Re: prophets gave little support as a rule to the Levitical Law?

From: George Murphy (
Date: Fri Feb 21 2003 - 10:35:47 EST

  • Next message: Robert Schneider: "Re: personal revelations" wrote:

    > "The policy described in the Book of Numbers, Dueteronomy and Joshua is to
    > commit genocide rather than permitting intermarriage with the conquered
    > peoples in the zone of settlement. (Deut.7:3, Josh 23,12-13, Numbers 25:6)."
    > APTSDA, K. MacDonald, p.41
    > Also, "The apotheosis of the abhorrence of exogamy appears in the Books of
    > Ezra and Nehemiah which recount events and attitudes in the early post-exilic
    > period. The officials are said to complain that," The people of Israel and
    > the and the priests and the levites, have not separated themselves from the
    > peoples of the lands, doing according to their abominations... for they have
    > taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy
    > seed have mingled themselves with the peoples of the lands" (Ezra 9:2).APTSDA
    > also Nehemiah as in Neh:13:28, Neh. 13, 23-25).APTSDA
    > I don't know that anything more instructive of a return to Levitical law (not
    > in opposition to Mosaic Law but an elaboration of it) can be found than in
    > the return from exile in Babylon and the reestablishment of the Temple.................................

            The policies established against intermarriage in the times of Ezra & Nehemiah
    are understandable for a small group of returned exiles who are surrounded by enemies
    and threatened with the possibility that their faith community will disappear through
    processes of assimilation & syncretism.
            But that is emergency legislation which absolutely must not be turned into a
    general rule, especially for Christians. It's clear that before the exile there was
    relatively little concern for biological "purity," as the Book of Ruth - among
    other texts - shows. In the NT it is significant that of the 4 women mentioned (
    before Mary) in Mt's genealogy of Jesus, 3 were certainly foreigners & the other (the
    wife of Uriah "the Hittite") quite likely was.
            & note Jesus' words in Lk.4:25-27 - words that almost got him killed
    prematurely! For Christians, any attempt to claim religious sanction for policies of
    racial or ethnic "purity" is - to use a Levitical term - abomination.

    George L. Murphy

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Fri Feb 21 2003 - 10:38:23 EST