Do Not Marry Outside Your Tribe? Its Not About What You Think
An often used verse here in the South is "Do not marry outside of your Tribe."
Usually it is used to justify racism or prejudice against someone who marries a person of another race. Using the cherry picking (also called Proof Texting) method, a case could be made for this (proof texting is making a whole doctrine out of ONE verse, setting aside 2-3 witnesses being required and using context-the WHOLE counsel of G-d). But using the Biblical requirement of 2-3 witnesses and using the WHOLE COUNSEL of G-d, the doctrine of a Scriptural ban on inter-racial marriage doesn't hold water. However, a ban on inter-faith dating is completely intact.
The verse is here, with some associated verses:
But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the people of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. So it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance.
And when [Lev 25:10] the jubilee of the people of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry, and their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers."
This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, 'Let them marry whom they think best, [Numbers 36:12] only they shall marry within the clan of the tribe of their father.
mmmm.......it sounds like the issue here is not skin color, but inheritance.
When one understand the Hebrew Roots of the Bible, then they can read the Bible in context to find the more accurate fulfillment (along with prayer ofcourse).
The Law of G-d says that each tribe has ancestral lands that must stay in the Tribe, like the 13 original colonies of the U.S. was owned by the citizens of each of the 13 states when they formed. An individual could only sell or basically, allow for lease, a portion of these lands until the year of Jubilee (a practice retained by the Native Americans) when lost lands were returned to the family and to the tribe. This prevented homelessness and poverty as everyone had his own land to farm to support himself.
When a woman married someone outside of her tribe (of Israel), then she gave up her share of the inheritance of that land, thus putting her in a vulnerable position.
Marrying someone outside of her tribe would also require that she moved far away from her family to the land (state) of her husband's birth. This would bring a split in the families and would separate her from her family. It would also make it more difficult on her after having children because only half of the child's family (the father's side) would be there to support the child and help in raising it, for reasons of military defense this also put the family in danger because only one of the families could make a timely rescue if there was danger.
Now there are vast cultural differences to consider that would make marriages more difficult. Interestingly enough, many of these cultural differences were not based on race but on the tribe that one belonged too.When the Israelites left Egypt they were joined by a "Mixed Multitude" of Gentiles from every nation and skin color on the earth, and once they were baptized in the Red Sea being blown apart by the wind (Spirit-Ruach) and given G-d's Law (the Torah) and agreed to keep the engagement contract (Katubah) given under the cloud (Chuppah) at Sinai, they were also considered to be Israelites, and were expected to keep the same Law as the Native Born (Numbers 15, Isaiah 56, Psalm 119, Matthew 5:17-19, Revelations 1). The men were also circumcised, which helped prevent them from giving STDs to the Israelite women they married (it reduces the chances of getting HIV by over 50% and of penile cancer by 80% http://www.biblelaw101.com free bookdownload at this site as well)
We also find Moses the Levite marrying an Ethiopian woman and those who spoke against them had their hand turn leprous. Boaz of Judah married a Moabitess, and Rahab the Canaanite was married to one of the Israelite spies. This was possible because they were physically grafted into the tribe of Judah (regardless of race) just as all believers are spiritually grafted in. Inheritance was not an issue, and they adopted the culture of the Tribe of their husband and abandoned their lives and customs they kept as unbelievers.
If we look at Genesis 48 and 49, Deuteronomy 33, and Ezekiel 37, we see that each tribe would have vastly different national characteristics and become great nations with different national cultures in the last days. In Ezekiel 37, and the story of the prodigal son, we see that some would even be hostile towards each other until the last days, such as the Northern Tribes that become convinced that they are Gentiles forgetting their heritage (Ephraim) and the Jews who remember their heritage (Judah). The Northern Tribes (calling themselves Gentiles) are hostile to G-d's Law (Torah) while the Southern Tribes (Judah) are hostile to Messiah, until the last days when Jews come to Messiah and Christians come to Torah-taking away the hostility.
Before this union, combining Jew and supposed Gentile (actually Israelites) in marriage, would be culturally difficult. Unless ofcourse both were believers in Messiah and agreed with keeping the Commandments.
If both have been circumcised of heart and grafted into Spiritual Israel (via Yeshua the Lion of Judah) into Judah, then they are both Spiritually Judah and are not marrying outside of their tribe. Romans 10 and 11. This is how Yeshua, the King of the Jews, could be married to His Bride the Church, which is composed of blood Jews and blood Israelites (Gentiles). This and His death on the cross allowed Him to be free of the engagement (just as binding as marriage) to those only circumcised of the flesh. While G-d still loves and protects Israel, and blesses those who bless them and curses those who curse them, this is not the same as being engaged to Him as the Bride. They are His relatives-kinfolk and this still enjoy His Protection and Provision and Love, and He came to be their kinsman redeemer and ours, but those only circumcised of flesh are not the bride. In the last days, Ezekiel's prophecy of the dry bones even tells us that in the last days those only circumcised of the flesh will come to be Messiah and be circumcised of the heart, becoming His Bride as well.
American and European Historical Views
The land issue was important in the history of the America's as a child of pure European ancestry, especially one born in Europe, had more rights and privileges in the New World in regards to inheritance, than a child of mixed birth or of a child of European descent that happened to be born in the Americas. Some men even sent their pregnant wives back to Europe to give birth for this purpose.
Today if you travel to Brazil or France or many other European nations, one's race is unimportant in marriage but the blending of CULTURES is very troublesome. Many people with African ancestry are French or Brazilian citizens, and their families have been citizens for centuries,and have adopted French or Brazilian Culture. They can marry a Frenchman or Brazillian of Caucasian descent and have no culture clashes. While if a black person was born in Africa and then moved to France of Brazil and married someone in that country of Caucasian descent then they would not have a racial conflict, but a cultural conflict. The clash between African and European Cultures. A white South African would also have problems marrying a white Frenchman. In Africa, where the nation of Nigeria alone has over 50 tribes each with its separate language, marrying someone from another Nigerian tribe 10 miles down the road causes ALOT of controversy, due to a culture similar to that of the Bible, and they are all Black Africans.
Much of the trouble has come about because preachers are ignorant of the fact that not every Israelite was a Jew. Judah (Jews) were from the Southern Tribes (Judah, Levi, Benjamin), and Israel was the Northern Tribes (Israelites). Those of the Northern Tribes were not Jews. The racial theory that Cain was made a black man also came into play (despite Moses' wife being black, and nothing being said about Moses the Levite a picture of Messiah, being married to descendent of Cain, which would have been a big deal to forget). The story in Genesis that Canaan (a descendent of Ham and father of Nimrod King of Babylon-later known as Baal) was cursed. Not EVERY descendent of Ham, but only this one of the many sons of Ham.
In the ReNewed Covenant (also called the New Testament), Paul instruct believers not to be yoked with unbelievers (but says nothing about Greeks being unequally yoked to Parthians, or Scythians to Romans). He does however warn against trying to blend
A. The table of Christ (Passover) with the table of demons (such as Easter ham, baking x-mas cookies, hiding the baby Nimrod in the King Cake, and carving Jack-o_Lanterns)
B. Blending Righteousness (obedience of out love and faith, with grace when you fall) and Lawlessness (replacing the Law of G-d with our own evil desires, or the traditions of man).
C. Light and Darkness
He concludes by warning believers to "Come out of her (Babylon) my people! touch no unclean thing and I will receive you!"
Hatred for ones believing brother based not on his actions, but instead of his skin color, is an unclean thing among many others. It is a leaven that we must be rid of in the Church (1st Corinthians 5:7)