Consistantly Applied. . .

This post [HT: Justin Taylor] seems to connect with the following bit of historical fiction I wrote.

Priest Fred of the Levitical Clan of Herman, to his brothers and fellow Levites, greetings.

Recently there has been some disturbance amongst the Levites over the issue of brother Clem of our clan marrying a Canaanite woman and taking her into his home. I felt it necessary as the head of our clan to write to you all to explain and to attempt to settle these matters. The Clan of Herman would never want to disturb the peace and joy of the Levitical priesthood therefore we want to explain things.

Some of the clan of Jarrod have raised concerns that brother Clem’s marriage might violate Torah. While at face value, some verses would seem to prohibit what brother Clem has done. However, once you take into consideration the historical context of those verses, you will see that the situation is very different for us today.

Moses wrote those verses to our people before they had entered or conquered the Promised Land. This was a group of people who’d lived their entire lives in slavery in a pagan land. They then wandered in the desert and didn’t even circumcise their children. Moses wrote to them to warn them about the situation they would face when they took the Promised Land. The temptation to paganism might be too much for them. Also, that generation would be warriors. They would be conquering the land. Were they to take a bride from amongst the Canaanites at that time, the relationship would not be one based upon love and respect, but on fear and self-preservation. That is not the kind of marriage our God wants for his people.

The situation today is very different. We have lived in the land for four generations. The Canaanites who live beside us have incorporated worship of the Lord into their religions. There is no threat of conquest and conscription in the land, we live side by side in peace. For a man to take a Canaanite wife in this situation is very different than it was back then. Moses was not addressing our situation when he issued that prohibition. We have been settled in the land for a long time and have been grown and established in worship of the Lord. We have no paganism to revert to. Also, Clem’s marriage is based on love and trust and mutual respect. This is the kind of marriage the Lord desires for his people.

We are not saying that everyone should have a Canaanite wife. Some of us are more comfortable with a Hebrew wife and the Clan of Herman affirms that decision. At the same time, we want live as God has intended us to live. While we understand the concerns of our brothers, we feel it is important for them to understand that we are not violating Torah in what we are doing.

May God’s peace be upon his people.
Priest Fred

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