Segregation, Intermarriage, And Racism In The Bible

Segregation in the old testament, or better should I say under the old covenant, had 2 purposes that no longer apply under the new covenant. First, segregation was necessary so that the promised Messiah could come as prophesied through the pure bloodline of the line of David. Without segregation, intermarriage would prevent God's word from coming to pass. Now that the promised Messiah has come, segregation is no longer needed for this purpose. Second, segregation was needed in order to preserve the Hebrew religion as gentile nations had not received the gospel and they all worshiped false gods. Because of this Israelites fell into pagan idolatry by intermarrying and integrating cultures with other races and that is why God forbade it. Under the new covenant, the gospel has now gone out to the gentile nations. Yes pagan idolatry is still a threat, but the real issue is to not integrate yourself with nonbelievers. Segregation is no longer needed as a blanket rule because some gentile peoples do accept the gospel of Jesus and are grafted into the Israel of God. But with that said many gentiles still do not accept the gospel of Jesus so the threat of falling into idolatry by integration still exists, just not as a blanket rule on all gentiles.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

The Israelites did have other races living among them, but not in mass. God did separate the races at the tower of Babel by confusing the languages and set the boundaries of their habitation. In other words, God established set areas for the different races to migrate to and live in that land. This is the one reason for segregation that still does apply from the time of the tower of Babel. God does not want mankind joining forces until the kingdom of God reigns on earth with a righteous king in Jesus. So I do not believe it is biblical to form a conscience effort to integrate races. God set the boundaries of our habitations as a whole. We should not as a human race attempt to conscientiously rebel against God's purpose. At the same time I do not believe it is biblical to form a conscience effort to segregate races. The people of God have the law of God and a culture that is based on the principles of scripture. So just as when strangers integrated with Israel, the stranger had to integrate themselves by upholding Israel's law and culture. They could not bring their own twist and flavor to add to it. The same today. So it is not wise to let people into your land without mandating that they 1st adopt your culture, language, and beliefs. God was very conscience of other peoples influencing his people. His design was for his people to influence the nations to the ways of God, not the other way around. Although the Israelites were described as God's chosen people, God did not choose them as the only people with whom He wanted to have a relationship. They were simply the chosen people to bring God's ways to the rest of the world. 

Even as God's chosen people, the Jews were warned not to oppress people of other races, but there was to be one standard and one law for all people in Israel.
And you shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. Exodus 22:21
And you shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt. Exodus 23:9
Thus says the LORD, "Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. Jeremiah 22:3
and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. Zechariah 7:10
When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. Leviticus 19:33
But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. Exodus 12:48
The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you. Exodus 12:49
Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:10
There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 24:22

In fact, the Old Testament commands Israelites to love foreigners and strangers.
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34

The choice of the Israelites on God's part was not one that was made with regard to race or any superiority. In fact, God did not choose the Israelites because of their righteousness, but because of God's love. 
Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people. Deuteronomy 9:6

God's choice was not simply to play favoritism, but He chose one people through whom the Messiah would come to offer salvation to all peoples of the world.
And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; Genesis 26:4

The New Testament is the story of the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises in the person of Jesus Christ
Then it will come about in that day That the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious. Isaiah 11:10
Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. Isaiah 42:1

He healed both Jew and Gentile, including Canaanites, Syrophoenicians, and Samaritans. In addition to healing those of other races, Jesus proclaimed the gospel to those of other races when He met them. The woman at the well is a prime example. When Jesus asked her for a drink, her first reaction was disbelief that he would even talk to her, since she was a Samaritan. When Jesus' disciples came back, they were surprised that He was talking to her. Jesus' behavior would have been thought to be unusual, since the Jews at that time considered it unlawful to associate with non-Jews.
And behold, a Canaanite woman came out from that region, and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed." ...she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" ...Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once. Matthew 15:22-28
But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, immediately came and fell at His feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter... And He said to her, "Because of this answer go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter." And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having departed. Mark 7:25-30
As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine-- where are they? "Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well." Luke 17:12-19
The Samaritan woman said to Him [Jesus], "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) John 4:9
Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?" John 4:27
And he [Peter] said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. Acts 10:28 

Jesus gave several examples of heaven, some of which included references to race. In one example, He compared heaven to a net cast into the sea, which catches many "kinds" of fish. The Greek word for "kinds" is genos (Strong's number G1085), from which we get our words "gene" or "genetics." Those that are righteous are saved, while the others are discarded. Jesus included people of other races in His parables. The most famous example is the one of the good Samaritan, who helped a man who had been robbed and beaten to near death. This non-Jew did the will of God through his good works, while religious Jews avoided the man and left Him to die on the road. In another example, Jesus described the actions of those who would be justified by Him. In the description, He said that those who know Him would be kind to strangers and invite them in. Therefore, Jesus affirmed the old Testament commands to help people of other races. A third example is from a parable Jesus told about the kingdom of heaven and who would be allowed in. In the story, a man (representing God, the Father) was giving a big dinner (representing heaven) and invited his friends (representing the Jews of Israel). All of his friends made excuses and didn't want to go to the dinner. So the man invited the poor and crippled and blind and lame, who came. Even so, there was still room, so people were invited from everywhere (non-Jewish races) to join in the dinner.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away." Matthew 13:47-48
"So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous," Matthew 13:49
For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; Matthew 25:35
But He said to him, "A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.' "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.' "And another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.' "And another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.' "And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.' "And the slave said, 'Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' "And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 'For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'" Luke 14:16-24

These parables and examples were carried out in the real world at the end of Jesus' ministry on the Earth. Before leaving, Jesus told the apostles to make disciples from every nation, reaffirming the value of all people. 
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," Matthew 28:19

Both the Old and New Testaments say that God shows no partiality, but judges with complete justice. Likewise, Jesus showed no partiality. By example, we are also told to show no partiality, but treat all people fairly.
"For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. Deuteronomy 10:17
And opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, Acts 10:34
For there is no partiality with God. Romans 2:11
But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. James 2:9

The essence of biblical equality can be summed up in the Bible's book of Galatians:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Even though the world does not always treat humans as equals, as members of the body of Christ, all are equal spiritually in the eyes of Jesus. 
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; Romans 10:12

The bible says that there will be "a great multitude, which no one could count" in heaven, and that these people will be "from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues."
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." Revelation 7:9-10

Racism - We are all one in Christ Jesus. God did make the races different in certain ways. God did bless and curse various races, bloodlines, and families in the Bible. God did prophecy various outcomes for different people. But on an individual level, there is no favoritism or partiality with God and different races of people. 

Segregation - God segregated the people for the purposes of preserving the Hebrew religion and for preserving the pure bloodline of the line of David for the promised Messiah to come through. God also segregated the races to prevent a unified rebellion against God on earth. The Messiah has come and the word of God has been preserved. Complete unity within humanity is not God's purpose yet because the Kingdom of God does not yet have its returned king to rule, who is Jesus Christ. What's important is for God's people to influence the nations to God's ways, not the other way around.

Intermarriage - The purpose of prohibiting intermarriage with other races under the old covenant was for the same purposes as segregation. Intermarriage with heathen races who have not received the gospel causes idolatry. The new covenant has changed this. The Gentile nations have received the gospel now. So it's not about intermarriage of other races that is the problem, it's about God's ways being preserved in the world and opposed to the heathen ways influencing God's people away from him. So it's more about not intermingling ourselves with unbelievers now than it is about races because now the gospel has gone out to the gentile nations.
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