Re: prophets gave little support as a rule to levitical law?

Date: Fri Feb 21 2003 - 21:59:42 EST

  • Next message: Peter Ruest: "RE: personal revelations"

    In a message dated 2/21/03 7:53:28 PM Eastern Standard Time,

    > We seem to some extent to be speaking at cross purposes. The only points I
    > have wanted to make here are:
    > 1) The Hebrew scriptures do not support the view that strict
    > prohibition of
    > intermarriage was an important feature of Israelite faith prior to the
    > exile. (A fuller
    > discussion would have to take into account the likelihood that some of the
    > pentateuchal
    > texts supporting such prohibition are from considerably later than the
    > Mosaic period,
    > but my case can be made without considering this.)

    I gave you the story of Jacob and his flocks and Rebecca's unhappiness that
    Esau had married a Canaanite woman. Regardless of when portions of the Torah
    were written I pointed to the centrality of the Torah to the Jewish
    religionists themselves and the relative unimportance of the book of Ruth
    (proto-canonical). The abominable practices prohibited in Leviticus 18 are
    specifically said to be the practices of the Canaanites and the Egyptians.

    '"When Esau was forty years old he married Judith daughter of Beeri the
    Hittite; this was a BITTER GRIEF to Isaac and Rebecca. (gen.26:34)
    'Rebecca said to Isaac, I am WEARY TO DEATH of Hittite women! If Jacob
    marries a Hittite woman like those who live here, MY LIFE WILL NOT BE WORTH
    LIVING. Isaac called Jacob, blessed him and gave him instructions. He said
    YOU MUST NOT MARRY ONE OF THESE WOMEN OF CANAAN. Go at once to the house of
    Bethuel, your mother's father, in Paddan-Aram, and there find a wife, one of
    the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother."

    This is an example of the strictest endogamy!
    No interpretation here. I am reading the Bible's simplest straightforward
    prose quite literally. I cannot so easily dismiss what is so clearly written
    in Scripture. The endogamy continues into Exodus.

    "Now the Israelites were fruitful and prolific, they increased in numbers and
    became very powerful, so that the country was overrun by them."

    If the Israelites were no longer committed to strict endogamy, why would the
    Egyptians be concerned at people who are being assimilated? The Egyptians
    were concerned because they were not being assimilated. They were still
    practicing strict endogamy.

    In a discussion of the feast of Chanukkoh in Haayim Schauss's Jewish
    Festivals we find Israel sandwiched between the Egyptian and Syrian kingdoms
    in the 3rd century BC.

    "The Egyptian kingdom was self contained and exclusively Egyptian, and had no
    fear of disintegration. There were two classes in the population, the native
    Egyptians who had no voice in the rule of the land, and the ruling class of
    Macedonians and Greeks. The ruling class KEPT ITSELF APART from the INFERIOR
    native inhabitants and there was no talk of a melting pot for the nations...
    The conservative Jewish circles of Judah were, THEREFORE, in favor of Egypt,
    because of their RELIGIOUS interests." Schauss's book is published by the
    Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

    > 2) Such strict prohibition played a practical role in the situation of
    > Ezra & Nehemiah, & continues to in situations like that of Jews in the
    > United States where, while perscution is not a major factor, there are
    > strong societal pressures toward assimilation.

    So there you are agreeing with me - if there are strong societal pressures
    toward assimilation, what is the problem? They don't want to assimilate
    obviously. Assimilation is the opposite of strict segregation which is what
    religious Jews maintain.

    > to be seen by many Jews as an essential part of their religion &/or culture.
    > 3) Galatians 3:28, among other texts, makes it clear that such
    > prohibitions should have no relevance for Christians.

    It did not appear over the course of 2500 years. It was there at the
    beginning, in genesis.

    We are not at cross purposes. My references are sound. I am reading Scripture
    quite literally and the history and Jewish authors themselves support me.
    Such prohibitions have every relevance for Christians. Menorahs are being
    erected on public grounds in Washington DC and creches are being removed from
    public property all over the land. But that is only a sidebar. Read Leviticus
    18. Those prohibitions have everything to do with Christians. As we abandon
    the churches, and break the Law, our population drops and we are "spewed out
    of the land" while immigrants are imported to replace us. It's predicted in
    the Bible.

    You are also taking Paul's meaning out of context. Jesus said he came for the
    Jews, but when righteous gentiles demonstrated faith in Him he did not deny
    them but said rightly their faith would save them. This was antithetical to
    the Jewish religious understanding of His time. This is Paul's message. Come
    to Christ and it matters not who you are.

    Before your quote comes this in Galatians 3:16: "Even in ordinary life when a
    man's will and testament has been duly executed, no one else can set it aside
    or add a codicil. Now the promises were pronounced to Abraham and to his
    'issue.' It does not say 'issues' in the plural, but in the singular, ' and
    to your issue;' and the 'issue' intended is Christ."

    Paul (and Jesus before him) is directly referring to and invalidating the
    necessity of the endogamic insularity of Judaism to be saved. We are not
    saved by being of Jewish blood. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ.


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