In the previous article, Schwertley sought to argue that Israel’s national identity entailed the meaninglessness of heredity unto nationhood; to be an Israelite just is to profess Israel’s God, with no regard for ethnicity. But this thesis fails to account for many laws which established the importance of kinship. In particular, Schwertley neglects to comment on the law of kin-rule, which asserted that only ethnic Israelites would be allowed to govern Israel, or the law of Jubilee, which kept property within extended families over the course of generations. In continuing my critique of Brian Schwertley’s anti-Kinist series, I will address the claims that Schwertley has made about interracial marriage in the Old Testament. Schwertley continues to offer examples of non-Israelite assimilation into Israel, proving that citizenship was by faith and not blood, and many of these examples necessarily intersect with allegedly approved instances of miscegenation. Before reviewing these examples, however, it would be profitable to first grasp some wider considerations about the usage of these examples.
The Central Fallacy of Alienist Assimilation Arguments
This point was touched on in the previous article, but deserves further elaboration: of necessity, any attempts to disprove ethnonationalism by citing the assimilation of foreign nations into Israel will fail miserably. Schwertley’s goal with these cases of assimilation is to establish that citizenship should be attained by a profession of faith, not by heredity, that the “racist nonsense” of ethnonationalism is false. His goal is to establish that nationhood is constituted by religious profession, not by common ancestry, since ancestry was no barrier to non-Israelites becoming Israelites. This anti-ethnonationalist argument depends thus on two premises: (1) that non-Israelites do not share a common ancestry with Israelites, and (2) that they were able to assimilate into Israel – to become Israelites – despite this ancestral difference. But though (1) is central to his argument, it eviscerates his conclusion. The first premise teaches that Israel is distinct from foreign nations precisely because of heredity, that what constitutes a distinct nation is a different ancestry – in other words, that nationhood is not constituted by a common faith. Schwertley must presuppose ethnonationalism for his anti-ethnonationalist arguments to gain any traction in the first place.1 If it were not obvious enough that the very terms “Israelite” and “Moabite” and “Edomite” are meant to denote common ancestry, this glaring problem in his argumentation should be sufficient to convince him otherwise.
This fallacy can be easier to understand if we apply it to families, the hereditary sub-units of nations. Imagine if a more consistent Alienist were to seek to demonstrate that families are constituted not by blood but by faith. (After all, “faith and ethics” are what matter before God, not racist bloodlines!) This Alienist might appeal to a case where a Christian child is adopted, or where a rebellious, apostate child is disinherited, as evidence that faith is what really constitutes families, not blood. His error would be manifest: both cases would presuppose that the default definition of families is based on common descent from parents: adoption seeks to mirror ordinary generation, acting as if the adopted child were biological; and disinheritance presupposes rights of inheritance which are first attained by a connection of blood, not owed to all the world’s children who happen to be Christian. This absurd error, which must presuppose that families are defined by blood in order to disprove that definition, is exactly parallel to Schwertley’s anti-ethnonationalist ravings.
Note, however, that this immediate self-contradiction does not occur for allegedly approved instances of interracial marriage. Opposing ethnonationalism by citing ethnically foreign nations is thoroughly fallacious, but if one presupposes the true, ethnic, biblical definition of nationhood, then one could realistically cite biblical cases of international marriage in an attempt to morally permit miscegenation. With that said, I’d like to comment on the nature of that debate.
The Structure of the Debate over Interracial Marriage
Kinists believe in a general prohibition against interracial marriage (or miscegenation) that is rooted in the divine purpose for separate nationhood. Miscegenation is wrong, because God has ordained mankind to dwell in separate nations, and miscegenation is contrary to this purpose. Several passages have been mentioned to explain this purpose for national distinctions. At the Tower of Babel, God divides (actually re-divides) the nations in order to restrain the evil Babel’s cosmopolitan society had produced (Genesis 11:6-8). This description of Babel certainly resonates in major Western cities today, wherein multiple races coexist side by side and the cities’ anonymity permits the worst evils to go unrestrained. If there is any traditional morality or culture left to be found in the West, it is not in the cities, but rather in the country or in other small, tight-knit communities.
Deuteronomy 32:8-9 states that God gave the nations their respective inheritances, which sentiment is echoed by the Apostle Paul, who adds that God divided the nations so that they would grope for God and find Him (Acts 17:26-27). This also resonates with our experience today. The Gospel message does not thrive in racially and ethnically integrated societies, but tends to thrive in societies with a strong sense of ethnic identity. Even in non-Christian societies, ethnic homogeneity and solidarity tend to nurture traditional morality, enabling the people of those societies to understand sin and its consequences. The Gospel message of the forgiveness of sin can then be transmitted by natives zealous for the conversion of their ethnic kinsmen (cf. Rom. 9:3). These nations also tend to have a strong sense of patriarchy, and such fatherly authority goes a long way in reinforcing the Gospel throughout generations. All these principles teach that ethnonationalism isn’t merely a good idea or wise, but a biblical requirement. To subvert ethnic and racial boundaries is to violate God’s law. This is especially true of marriage, the foundation of the social order and the nation, and thus the most important institution for the nation to safeguard.
These are the general principles underlying the Kinist view: God has designed the nations to live in a particular arrangement, and the normativity of this arrangement necessarily extends to marriage as well. But like most Alienists, Schwertley attempts to establish the permissibility of miscegenation by providing examples of righteous people practicing miscegenation from the Bible; he focuses on these examples much more than on broader moral principles concerning God’s design of nationhood. This is the same way in which proponents of polygamy’s permissibility will place especial emphasis upon biblical examples of plural marriages, requiring the anti-polygamist to provide fully satisfactory commentary on every citation, so that the debate inevitably strays from the more important, and more conclusive, broader moral principles. The problem with this undue focus on examples is evident: the text usually does not provide all the details we would like about an example, often leaving what actually occurred to speculation, and even when the facts are clear, we often lack any inspired moral commentary on a certain event as good or bad. Usually, a proper moral interpretation of each instance requires a prior moral understanding of the principles involved, which again emphasizes the importance of holding the debate in that arena, not becoming mired with the details of scattered narratives. The clear principles of ethnonationalism are then set aside in favor of cases that might possibly qualify as interracial.
That is to say, Alienists often insist that Kinists give easy answers to difficult questions. We can wade through all the details of all the marriages recorded in Scripture, but we need to keep the principle of normativity in mind when discussing this topic. Based upon the principles listed above, we can safely conclude that miscegenation is generally opposed to God’s design for marriage, so that even outlier lawful cases would not demonstrate its universal or ordinary permissibility. Difficult questions about what can or should be done in certain situations may remain, but we shouldn’t allow the clear to be obscured by the unclear. With these considerations in mind, let’s look at the examples Schwertley uses.
Caleb the Son of Jephunneh
Caleb is offered as an example of a non-Israelite member of the mixed multitude becoming incorporated into Israel as a full citizen. Schwertley states, “Take Caleb, for example. He is clearly identified as a Kennizite. The Kennezites were a prominent Edomite clan that claimed Eliphaz, the oldest son of Esau (Gen. 36:11, 15, 42; 1 Ch. 1:36, 53), as ancestor. Jephunneh, the father of Caleb, was a Kennizite (Nu. 32:12; Josh. 14:6, 14).” Schwertley states that Caleb is “clearly” an Edomite based upon the verses that he provides. Yet despite this clear teaching, Schwertley himself confuses Caleb’s ancestry, as he earlier cites Genesis 15:19 to explain Caleb’s Kenizzite ancestry and inclusion in the mixed multitude.2 The Kenizzites of Genesis 15:19 were one of the nations occupying the Promised Land which God was granting to Abram’s descendants (v. 18), and as they already existed at the time of Abram, it is evident that they were not identified by their descent from Esau, Abraham’s grandson. Hence these two contentions of Schwertley cannot both be true. Of course, whether Caleb was an Edomite or a member of a forbidden nation, he would still be a non-Israelite and thus useful to Schwertley’s argument; but the point is that Schwertley does not comprehend the argument he is presenting. The descendants of Kenaz the Edomite and the Kenizzites of Genesis 15:19 cannot be the same people. Hence in their commentary on Genesis 15:19, Keil and Delitzsch state, “On the Kenizzites, all that can be affirmed with certainty is, that the name is neither to be traced to the Edomitish Kenaz (Gen 36:15, Gen 36:42), nor to be identified with the Kenezite Jephunneh, the father of Caleb of Judah (Numbers 32:12; Joshua 14:6).”3
Setting aside the possibility of his descent from the Genesis 15 Kenizzites, however, let us consider what would be the case if Caleb were an Edomite. Precisely because of Edom’s close kinship with Israel, as Esau was brothers with Jacob, the law makes specific provisions for the assimilation of Edomites after three generations (Deut. 23:7-8). Whether the three-generation period refers to genetic dilution or merely to residence in Israel, the point is that Edomites were naturalized in Israel because of their close relation. For Schwertley to offer an Edomite’s inclusion in Israel as harmful to ethnonationalism, then, is quite the strange argument. Caleb’s inclusion would presuppose the ethnic roots of the two nations.
Nevertheless, we have good grounds to deny linking Caleb to either of these non-Israelite possibilities. I defer to Keil and Delitzsch:
Caleb was not “the head of the Judahites,” as Knobel maintains, but simply the head of a father’s house of Judah, and, as we may infer from his surname, “the Kenizzite” or descendant of Kenaz (“the Kenizzite” here and Numbers 32:12 is equivalent to “son of Kenaz,” Joshua 15:17, and Judges 1:13), head of the father’s house which sprang from Kenaz, i.e., of a subdivision of the Judahite family of Hezron; for Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel and father of Achzah, according to 1 Chronicles 2:42 (cf. 1 Chronicles 2:49), was the same person as Caleb the descendant of Hezron mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:18. From the surname “the Kenizzite” we are of course not to understand that Caleb or his father Jephunneh is described as a descendant of the Canaanitish tribe of Kenizzites (Genesis 15:19); but Kenaz was a descendant of Hezron, the son of Perez and grandson of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:5, 1 Chronicles 2:18, 1 Chronicles 2:25), of whom nothing further is known. Consequently it was not the name of a tribe, but of a person, and, as we may see from 1 Chronicles 4:15, where one of the sons of Caleb is called Kenaz, the name was repeated in the family. The sons of Judah who came to Joshua along with Caleb were not the Judahites generally, therefore, or representatives of all the families of Judah, but simply members or representatives of the father’s house of Judah which took its name from Kenaz, and of which Caleb was the head at that time.4
Keil and Delitzsch offer a simple solution which makes Caleb the son of Jephunneh to be an ordinary Judahite. 1 Chronicles 2 recounts the lineage of Judah, including a man named Caleb as the son of Hezron (v. 18), the brother of Jerahmeel (v. 9), one of whose descendants (vv. 42ff.) is his daughter Achsah (v. 49). But Judges 1 also speaks of this Caleb as offering the hand of his daughter Achsah in marriage to whoever overtook Kirjath Sepher (v. 12), that is, Hebron (v. 10). Hence we have good reason to suppose that the Caleb of 1 Chronicles 2 is the same Caleb chronicled in Judges 1. This connection can be extended further: the very reason Caleb was seeking to conquer Hebron is because Hebron was allotted to him per Moses’s commandment (Judges 1:20), yet we see in Joshua 14 that Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite (v. 6) received Hebron as his inheritance from Joshua (v. 13f.). So the Calebs of these three scriptural texts are all one and the same; and 1 Chronicles 2 specifically outlines his Judahite ancestry.
A possible alternative is that the Calebs of 1 Chronicles 2 and 4 are not the same, for the sons of Caleb mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4:15 are not included in the family of Caleb in 1 Chronicles 2:18, 42ff., and the label “son of Hezron” in chapter 2 seems to replace “son of Jephunneh” as inserted in chapter 4. This would provide evidence that the Caleb of 1 Chronicles 2, where his Judahite ancestry is outlined, is not the son of Jephunneh, undercutting our positive evidence for his Judahite ancestry. A good explanation for this is that “son” often means “male descendant,” not necessarily a first-generation male descendant, and that the lineage of Caleb in 1 Chronicles 2 is not intended to be exhaustive. Further, if these two Calebs are not the same person, then the two references to Caleb’s daughter Achsah (1 Chron. 2:49; Judges 1:13) must be to two different girls, which seems less probable than the explanations needed to link the Calebs of 1 Chronicles 2 and 4 as the same person. Overall, then, we have good grounds to read all these references as unto the same Caleb.
This makes a great deal of sense: Caleb is specifically assigned to the tribe of Judah in Joshua 14:6, probably as some sort of representative, which would be odd if he were not a patrilineal descendant of Judah, i.e. if his father Jephunneh was a foreign “Kenizzite” who married into the house of Judah. The genealogies of the book of Chronicles are not exhaustive, so it appears that Caleb’s father Jephunneh is the son or descendant of an unnamed Kenaz of the tribe of Judah among the patriarchs listed in 1 Chronicles 4, from whom his family took his name. This is corroborated by Caleb’s having a brother named Kenaz (Josh. 15:16-17; Judges 1:12-13; 1 Chron. 4:13) and a grandson or descendant named Kenaz (1 Chron. 4:15). Jephunneh’s label as a Kenizzite, therefore, does not make him a descendant of a foreign nation. The suffix –ite is sometimes used to denote the branch of a tribal clan or extended family. Another example of this would be the judge named Jephthah, who is called a Gileadite (Judges 11:1) because of his descent from Gilead, son of Machir and grandson of Manasseh (Numbers 26:29).5 Caleb is clearly a member of the tribe of Judah, not the descendant of a foreign nation.6
Rahab the Harlot
Schwertley continues to the next example: “There is also is [sic] Rahab the harlot, who because of her faith in God betrayed her own people and joined herself to Israel. In Matthew 1:5, we are told that she married Salmon, a man of Judah, and begot Boaz.” Rahab decided to lodge the Israelite spies (Josh. 2:1), and after the king of Jericho was alerted that Israel had sent spies (v. 2), he sent word to Rahab to inquire of the spies’ whereabouts (v. 3). Rahab misled the king’s men and hid the spies in her home. In return for her faith and bravery, Rahab was allowed to bring her family and take up residence with the Israelites (6:25). Hence Schwertley’s case is that Canaanites were allowed to assimilate into Israel on the grounds of their faith, and that converted Canaanites could freely intermarry with Israelites, thus contradicting Kinism’s stances concerning ethnonationalism and miscegenation. But against this conclusion, there are several relevant observations and questions regarding the narrative and its implications on Israelite citizenship.
First, the Rachab of Matthew 1:5 is possibly not the same “Rahab the harlot” mentioned in the book of Joshua, Hebrews 11:31, and James 2:25. Certainly, it is possible for there to be more than one woman named Rahab, and biblically, we hear nothing of what occurs with Rahab following her inclusion into Israel in Joshua 6. She could have very well lived as a resident foreigner in Israel until her death. If this connection does not hold, then the entire case falls apart before anything else is to be considered; we would have no reason to suppose that she was made a member of the nation (rather than church) of Israel, and we would have no reason to suppose she intermarried. Yet for the sake of argument, and because of the strong attestation of tradition, let’s assume that these two Rahabs are one and the same.
Schwertley believes that Rahab’s religious language contrasting “us . . . the inhabitants of the land” (Joshua 2:9) with “you” Israelites and “the Lord your God” (v. 11) demonstrates conclusively that she was not an Israelite, for she evidently did not belong to God’s covenant people at that time. This is true in one sense: regardless of her ancestry, Rahab was clearly not a member of the visible church, and hence she could speak of herself and her fellow inhabitants of Jericho as religious outsiders to Israel. But the whole Alienist case depends on Rahab’s ancestry being sufficiently foreign from Israel, so that her assimilation constitutes miscegenation and discredits ethnonationalism. We can grant that the notion of an Israelite residing in Jericho is rather far-fetched, but the more relevant question is whether, as so many attest, Rahab was a Canaanite.
Ehud Would has written an excellent article providing argumentation against the thesis of Canaanite ancestry, arguing instead for her Hebrew (and most likely Midianite) roots. I will not repeat all of his discussion here, but I will highlight a pair of Ehud’s points against the widespread Canaanite thesis. First, the Israelites at this point were commanded to make absolutely no exceptions in sparing the peoples of the land, Canaanites included. See the clear language of Deuteronomy 7:1-3:
1 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2 And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
As the Israelites would learn when they were deceived into an unlawful covenant by the Gibeonites slightly later (Joshua 9), God fully meant what He said: under no circumstances whatsoever may covenants and intermarriages with these peoples occur. Some Alienists try to present this episode as an outpouring of divine grace – that God would show mercy to a Canaanite despite this inexorable death sentence from Deuteronomy – but even if law-upheaval could count as mercy, we see no hint of any legal rescission or modification in the text. As a matter of course, without any hesitation or uneasiness concerning the violation of an explicit commandment of the Lord, the Israelite spies covenanted with Rahab to save her and her household. This is very powerful evidence that she was not a Canaanite.
Beyond this first point, we have ever stronger reason to deny a Canaanite ancestry. Later in Israel’s history, in the time of Ezra, we see that Israel was commingled with foreign nations, including Canaanites (Ezra 9:1). Ezra’s solution to this widespread sin was, in applying the provisions of Deuteronomy 7:1-3, to annul the marriages, separating both the foreign wives and the mixed children from the Israelites (Ezra 10:3-5, 10-11). In other words, an application of the aforementioned Deuteronomic law forbidding marriages and covenants with the Canaanites made such intermarriages to be not merely sinful but invalid, so that proper restitution required the marriages’ annulment, including the expulsion of the offspring. Are we then to expect that Christ, the trueborn King of Israel hailing from the tribe of Judah, had Canaanite ancestry – that both He and His ancestors ought to have been separated from Israel for having a forbidden admixture? The notion is heretical and absurd.
So if we can conclusively rule out a Canaanite ancestry, what can we say Rahab actually was? Per Schwertley’s own admission, “It is likely that Jericho was a rag-tag combination of Canaanite with perhaps some nomadic Semitic blood,” but he nevertheless believes his argument holds weight, even if he must concede that Rahab was Semitic, for “the point is that Rahab was absorbed into the tribe of Judah, even though she was not a Jew.” This does not follow. We Kinists concede that a reasonable immigration policy for a nation can permit certain ethnic kin to be assimilated, just as Edomites were permitted in Israel (Deut. 23:7-8), and just as many nations in history have permitted individuals from near-kin nations to be naturalized. Sufficiently closely-related nations can immigrate, within certain numbers, to kin-nations. This means that Rahab need not have been an ethnic Israelite (“Jew”) herself; she could have been of “nomadic Semitic blood” and likely satisfied ethnonationalist concerns. But in any case, the onus is upon the Alienist to prove that Rahab was of an ancestry incompatible with Israelite integration, not upon the Kinist to prove the opposite.
This is especially so if, as Schwertley claims, the example of Rahab “completely destroys racist ideas against interracial marriages between people of the same faith.” Even if it could somehow be proven that Rahab was of an ethnicity too distant from Israel to be plausibly naturalized as an Israelite citizen, it would be an even bigger step to show that Rahab was of another race, and thus that her assimilation universally validates miscegenation. But for this, once we have concluded that Rahab lacked a Canaanite ancestry, we can stick with Schwertley’s own words: “We are not sure of the racial characteristics of the residents of Jericho at the time of its conquest.”
Uriah the Hittite
Schwertley next cites Uriah the Hittite and his marriage to Bathsheba. Bathsheba was an Israelite woman, the daughter of Eliam (2 Sam. 11:3), one of David’s mighty men (2 Sam. 23:34). Uriah was also among David’s mighty men (2 Sam. 23:39). Amidst the entire awful episode of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah (2 Sam. 11), Uriah is presented as a godly and devout man of integrity and valor. The relevant feature of this story, of course, is that a Hittite married an Israelite woman and rose to a level of political prominence. According to Genesis 10:15 and 23:10, the Hittites are the descendants of Heth, Canaan’s son (and thus also called Hethites). Given the Hittites’ Canaanite ancestry, Schwertley argues, Uriah’s integration would not have occurred if Israel were an ethnostate.
Just as with Rahab, there are a few relevant observations to make regarding Uriah the Hittite. First, the Hittites, along with other nations, were conquered during the reign of Solomon and made to pay tribute (2 Chron. 8:7-8). Their descendants are specifically demarcated as “not of Israel” (v. 7). They are said to have been used as servants and tributaries, while the children of Israel were made men of war and captains. As noted above, Uriah was one of David’s mighty men, a position that, at least by the time of Solomon, was then reserved to the children of Israel. Yet if the Israelites strictly segregated the Hittites from positions of any political authority whatsoever at this future point, we then have good prima facie grounds to suppose that no ethnic Hittite would have risen to political power in David’s day. But even further, the reason why the Hittites were subjugated is more revealing, particularly when compared with Israel’s former enslavement of the Gibeonites (Josh. 9). Just as Israel was forbidden to covenant, much less intermarry, with all the Canaanites, they were also explicitly and severely forbidden from integrating with the Hittites (Deut. 7:1-5; 20:7); and this prohibition extended to the annulment of all such mixed marriages as well (Ezra 9:1; 10:3-5, 11). So, even if we suppose Uriah to have been an ethnic Hittite, in which case David and the rest of Israel were shamelessly silent at open rebellion to divine law, we must deny that his intermarriage is a morally approved example of assimilation or intermarriage. The Alienist case thus falls apart at the seams.
If Uriah was not an ethnic Hittite, what was he? John Gill provides three total possibilities:
[He] either was of that nation originally, and became a proselyte; or had sojourned there for a while, and took the name or had it given him, for some exploit he had performed against that people, as Scipio Africanus, and others among the Romans.7
Matthew Poole provides these same three explanations, though he adds the Roman name Asiaticus as a further example of the third.8 Since we can reject the ethnic answer for the above reasons, we can conclude that he was likely called “the Hittite” for one of the latter two reasons: either he sojourned in their land for a time, or he earned a name respecting some military victory he achieved over them. Without more scriptural facts, it is difficult to tell, but we can nevertheless conclude that he was not an ethnic Hittite.
This is further supported by the fact that “Uriah” is a Hebrew name meaning “God is my light.” Anticipating the implications to be drawn from this fact, Schwertley argues, “Many scholars do not believe Uriah was his original name, but he changed his name to Uriah (which means Jehovah is light) when he became a full Israelite citizen. He adopted the name to indicate that he was a worshiper of Jehovah.” This is pure speculation, as Schwertley doesn’t mention which scholars assert that Uriah changed his name. The more realistic explanation is that he was a genuine Israelite given the label “Hittite” for some geographic, political, militaristic, or other non-ethnic reason.
Yet we can deconstruct this argument even more. Schwertley supposes that Uriah was an ethnic Hittite convert of Israel, and thus that he had full rights of citizenship despite having a foreign ancestry, thereby disproving ethnonationalism. Standing against this thesis, however, is a rather obvious fact: even assuming that Uriah’s label denotes him as an ethnic Hittite, that very label would be precisely the reason why he sticks out in the narrative at all. Even after conversion, he was nevertheless called “the Hittite,” and this label (again, assuming it is an ethnic designation) is given precisely to contrast him with ordinary Israelites who lacked any Hittite ancestry. Certainly, he achieved military ascendancy and may have exercised certain rights greater than those afforded to mere sojourners, yet if so, all this proves is that this foreigner was an exception to the rule, not that Israelite citizenship was attained by faith and not blood, nor that foreigners could characteristically attain high positions of power in Israel. If Uriah was an ethnic Hittite, then the text’s highlighting of this fact shows how he was the exception that proved the ethnonationalist rule, not some indicator that Israelite citizenship was actually a merely religious, non-hereditary boundary.
Lastly, any Alienist who wishes to argue for Uriah’s marriage with Bathsheba as interracial – presenting their marriage as between a Hamite and a Shemite – must deal with the fact that David attempted to cuckold Uriah. David had a ploy to convince Uriah that the child conceived in David and Bathsheba’s adultery was actually Uriah’s (2 Sam. 11:5-13). If Uriah was racially distinct from the Israelites to the point that there would be a recognizable physical difference between him and David, then it would be essentially impossible for David to pass off his child fathered out of wedlock as Uriah’s own. Hence, whatever can be said of Uriah should not be generalized to conclude that race or national identity is irrelevant in marriage.
The examples Schwertley has provided so far to establish that race was irrelevant to ancient Israel are weak. He ignores the fallacious nature of his arguments, not realizing that he must switch back and forth between an ethnic and a religious definition of nationhood, and he fails to grasp the primacy of broader moral principles in analyzing the issue of miscegenation. At best, Schwertley has only successfully identified outliers which prove the Kinist rule, rather than any firm examples by which we can establish a general Alienist principle. At worst, and in truth, his examples contradict explicit texts of Scripture, irrespective of their conflicting with Kinist principles. In the next article, I will continue with my analysis of the examples Schwertley provides to justify his position.
- The only way Schwertley could alleviate the havoc of this fallacy is with awkward and untenable qualifications. For example, he might hold that all the other nations on earth, in their prideful rebellion, defined themselves ethnically rather than religiously, and that Israel was the one godly example on earth of a religiously-defined nation. This would permit him to appeal to “non-Israelites” as denoting foreign ancestry while maintaining that Israel, as a model for other nations, was not ancestrally defined. But this leaves many problems unresolved, one of which is that it still contradicts premise (1); Schwertley needs to argue that the ancestry of non-Israelites differs from the ancestry of Israelites, in which case Israelites must also be defined with reference to heredity. I imagine other vagaries could be presented, but I’ll leave it to him to resolve the contradiction. ↩
- Although the spellings for “Kenizzite” differ between Genesis 15:19 and Joshua 14:6 (other verses too) and across Bible translations, the terms in the Hebrew are essentially the same, so it would be incorrect to focus on the differing spellings as if they were different references. That being said, I suspect that the translators spelled the terms differently precisely to communicate that they do not refer to the same people. ↩
- Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, Genesis 15 ↩
- Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, Joshua 14 ↩
- Another possible (though less likely) explanation of Jephunneh’s label as “the Kenizzite” is that, as kenaz in Hebrew can mean “hunter,” Jephunneh was well-known for his hunting prowess rather than for some particular ancestry. Various concordances support this meaning. ↩
- Surprisingly, Schwertley elsewhere asserts that he proved Caleb as an instance not merely of non-Israelite assimilation but also of miscegenation, for he says that Caleb married a non-Hebrew woman. But Schwertley never says a word about Caleb’s wife’s ancestry, and Scripture is likewise quiet on the issue – not to mention, if Caleb was non-Israelite, then his marriage to a non-Hebrew woman might not be a mixed marriage at all, thus negating Schwertley’s attempt to morally permit miscegenation. He is frankly confusing the arguments he is trying to make. ↩
- John Gill’s commentary on 2 Samuel 11 ↩
- Matthew Poole, Annotations Upon the Holy Bible, Vol. 1, pp. 606, 603 ↩