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Question #20

20. Is there a place in the Bible that speaks against people of different races dating and/or marrying?

Many have tried to make such a case, but it is difficult to be biblically consistent and do so. Prohibitions against miscegenation (interracial relationships) can't be found. In fact, Zipporah, Moses' wife, was black*.  The Shunamite bride of Solomon (see the Song of Solomon) was also black.  Moses and Solomon, of course, were semitic and certainly not black.  The Bible, however, does prohibit intermarriage, but it is intermarriage between believers and unbelievers. Paul warns Christians to not be "unequally yoked together" (2 Corinthians 6:14, KJV). While he does not specifically discuss marriage, he sets a principle that does apply to marriage. Many marriages fail because one believes and one does not.

"Unequally yoked" marriages draw the believer away from God as much or more than they draw the unbeliever to God. For those who marry and then one becomes a Christian, Paul deals with that eventuality in 1 Corinthians 7 when he says the two should remain married but if the unbeliever wants to leave, then don't prohibit it. According to Paul, the unbeliever in such a case faces the future as if they were never married or were widowed. God warned his people, the Israelites, many times about the dangers of marrying those who did not know God. Thus, I take the position that God wants believers to marry believers. That would apply today to a Christian who considered marrying a Buddhist, Secularist, follower of Islam, Jew, or a cult member.

The prohibition of dating or intermarrying between the races is cultural and emotional, not biblical. It is my opinion that the separation of the races occurred when God confused the language at Babel. I admit, however, that the Bible is unclear about this so it is wise not to press it too far. Some would argue that God's curse on Ham, one of Noah's sons, is the basis for the separation of the races. Such arguments have now been repudiated and thankfully discounted. God does not look at the color of the skin, the shape of the eyes, or the elevation of the cheek bones; He looks upon the heart and we all stand on level ground, equal in God's sight, at the foot of the cross.

* - Mike, in reply to a follow-up question, added the following information - Editor

After checking my facts about your question regarding Moses' wife, I am now uncertain that the statement was factual.  Zipporah was a Midianite, so she was probably Semitic and not Negro. I do believe, however, that the Shunamite woman described by Solomon in the Song of Solomon was black. He describes her as such. Many take the Song of Solomon as entirely figurative because of its portrayal of explicit sexual love. I do not, however. It may have typical ramifications, but I think much of Solomon's poetry relates to real circumstances.

Question #20a: If I date someone that is black and it tears my family apart, is that against the Bible?

Question #39: What does God think about dating those of different religions?

Question #53: Should a Christian marry a Christian from another church denomination?

Question #19
Who were the sons of men in Genesis 6:1-4?

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Question #21
Are those who make the choice to commit suicide with our Lord?

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