RE: [asa] promise trumps biology

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Mon Dec 08 2008 - 16:42:50 EST

Hi George:
 
The point here would be that the Canaanites were from the cursed line
from Ham, whereas Mesopotamia was home to Semites and the land of Canaan
was not the land designated to Ham but to Shem. So it is both stay in
the land allotted to you and chose a wife from the proper branch of the
family tree. Racial purity is not the issue, I agree, but family
bloodlines due appear to have importance, at least at this juncture as
it pertains to the line of promise leading to Christ. I see nothing in
this message that tells us today who we should marry or not marry -
except to say we are encouraged to be equally yoked, i.e., Christians
should marry Christians.
 
Dick Fischer, GPA president
Genesis Proclaimed Association
"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"
www.genesisproclaimed.org
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 12:26 PM
To: ASA list
Subject: [asa] promise trumps biology
 
People have sometimes placed a lot of emphasis on the idea of biological
continuity and "purity" in the Bible, especially the OT. Israel as
God's "chosen people" has sometimes been understood in terms of
biological isolation & some have tried to draw into this ideas about
selective breeding for superior offspring &c. (Some here may remember
Rich Faussette's contributions to the list some time ago.)
 
With that in mind it's interesting to look at the instructions that
Abraham gives his servant about getting a wife for Isaac in Gen.24:1-9.
The servant is 1st told to swear that he won't get a wife for Isaac from
the Canaanites, but to go back Mesopotamia and get a bride for him from
among Abraham's relatives. OK, the servant says, but what if the woman
won't come here with me? Should I take your son to back Mesopotamia? &
Abraham says "See that you do not take my son back there." If the
woman won't come then the servant is free of his oath but Isaac is not
to go back to Mesopotamia.
 
Now we're not told what should be done about a wife for Isaac in that
case but a wife there had to be because of the promise about Abraham's
descendants. The important point though is that remaining in Canaan,
which is part of God's promise to Abraham & his descendants (Gen.12:7
&c), seems to be more important than whatever idea of "racial purity"
may be involved.
 
Of course there are a number of other texts that speak against those
notions of racial purity (e.g., Ruth), an idea that didn't really become
important until after the exile with Ezra & Nehemiah. But the fact that
this text occurs at such a important point in the patriarchal history
gives it added significance.
 
Shalom
George
http://home.neo.rr.com/scitheologyglm

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Received on Mon Dec 8 16:44:35 2008

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