Date: Fri Feb 21 2003 - 21:59:42 EST
In a message dated 2/21/03 7:53:28 PM Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org
> 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
> 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
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.
ALL CAPS MINE
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