The Bible on Interracial Marriages

Does God’s Word tell us what “race” we can and cannot marry from? This question in itself already presents a set of obstacles as it presupposes numerous human races. This reasoning is flawed in comparison with what the Bible teaches. There is JUST ONE HUMAN RACE. God created JUST ONE MAN:


Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)

7 And the Lord God formed MAN of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 


EVERY OTHER MAN you find today came from one source. Eve was formed from Adam in Gen 2:21-23. Then they both procreated to fill the Earth with THEIR children (Gen 5 & 10). Thus, the Apostle Paul says in Acts 17:26, “…He has made from ONE blood  every NATION OF MEN to dwell on all the face of the earth…


So we are ALL ONE. No one amongst us must EVER see himself as better than any other. There is just ONE HUMAN RACE. But WITHIN that race are different tribes, nations and ethnic groups. And God does not use these people-groups to judge anyone. Rather, God uses the heart:


Romans 2:28-29 (NKJV)

28 For he is not a Jew who is one OUTWARDLY, nor is circumcision that which is OUTWARD IN THE FLESH; 29 but he is a Jew who is one INWARDLY; and circumcision IS THAT OF THE HEART, in THE SPIRIT, not in the letter; whose praise is not FROM MEN but FROM GOD. 


Peter similarly opines at the house of Cornelius, “…in truth, I perceive that God SHOWS NO PARTIALITY. 35 But in EVERY NATION whoever fears Him and works righteousness is ACCEPTED BY HIM. (Acts 10:34-35).


The issue is not what nation you are from nor the colour of your skin (physical appearance). God looks at the heart: “…Do not look at HIS APPEARANCE or at his PHYSICAL STATURE, because I have refused him. For the Lord does NOT SEE AS MAN SEES; for man looks at the OUTWARD APPEARANCE, but the Lord looks at THE HEART.” (1 Sam 16:7)


This doesn’t mean that God does not see the outward appearance. He does! But He does not look at the outward appearance when making His decision. This is why Moses could marry an Ethiopian and God defended him:


Numbers 12:1 (NKJV)

1 Then Miriam and Aaron SPOKE AGAINST Moses because of the ETHIOPIAN woman whom he had married; for he had married an ETHIOPIAN woman. 


The Ethiopian is a Cushite (a descendant of Ham). So Miriam and Aaron were being racist in their disposition. But not God, instead He speaks well of His servant Moses, “…“Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. 7 Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My house. 8 I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the Lord. Why then WERE YOU NOT AFRAID to SPEAK AGAINST My servant Moses?” (Num 12:6-8).


God really doesn’t care what colour your spouse is. One might then ask: But didn’t God instruct Israel not to intermarry with foreign nations? Let’s look at that.


Deuteronomy 7:1-3 (NKJV)

1 When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, 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 you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. 3 Nor shall you MAKE MARRIAGES with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son.


The good Bible student must ask a salient question here: why was this instruction given? Vs. 4 provides the answer, “For they will turn your sons AWAY FROM FOLLOWING ME, to SERVE OTHER GODS; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.


The issue was not “race” but idolatry. Similarly, Exodus 34:15-16 says, “15 lest you make a covenant with the INHABITANTS of THE LAND (Canaan), and they PLAY THE HARLOT with THEIR GODS and MAKE SACRIFICE to THEIR GODS, and one of them invites you and you eat of HIS SACRIFICE, 16 and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with THEIR GODS and make your sons play the harlot with THEIR GODS.


Joshua 23:12-13 likewise says, “12 Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and MAKE MARRIAGES with them, and go in to them and they to you, 13 know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But THEY SHALL BE SNARES and TRAPS to you, (they will trap you with their abominations and idolatry) and SCOURGES on your sides and THORNS in your eyes, UNTIL YOU PERISH from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.


Notice that God did not tell Israel that they could not marry from ANY OTHER nation. The instruction was restricted to the Cannanites ALONE. The reason is simple—they were idol worshippers and would corrupt Israel with their idolatry (just like they did to King Solomon). So God’s reason was not racial AT ALL, but theological.


It is clear in the Law of Moses that interracial marriages were allowed. For instance, Deuteronomy 21:10-14 says, “10 “When you GO OUT to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your hand, and you take them captive, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and DESIRE HER and WOULD TAKE HER FOR YOUR WIFE, 12 then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. 13 She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her AND BE HER HUSBAND, and she shall be your wife. (this is a non-Jewish captive) 14 And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall set her free, but you certainly shall not sell her for money; YOU SHALL NOT TREAT HER BRUTALLY, because you have humbled her.


The Jews were permitted to marry foreigners. The only kinds of foreigners that were barred from marrying were the idolatrous.


And this is why Ezra and Nehemiah were enraged when some Jews were intermarrying:


Ezra 9:1-2 (NKJV)

1 When these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have NOT SEPARATED THEMSELVES from the peoples of the lands, WITH RESPECT TO the ABOMINATIONS of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken SOME of THEIR DAUGHTERS as WIVES for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass.”


What was the issue here? Verse 1 tells us: “The abominations of the Canaanites,” not race! They married idol worshippers who could make them backslide!


Same with Nehemiah:


Nehemiah 13:23-27 (NKJV)

23 In those days I also saw Jews who had married WOMEN of ASHDOD, AMMON, and MOAB. 24 And half of their children spoke the LANGUAGE OF ASHDOD, and COULD NOT SPEAK the language of Judah, but spoke according to the LANGUAGE of one or the OTHER PEOPLE. 25 So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves. 26 DID NOT SOLOMON king of Israel SIN by THESE THINGS? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless PAGAN WOMEN caused EVEN HIM TO SIN. 27 Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, transgressing against our God by MARRYING PAGAN WOMEN?”


The reason for their anger was that pagan spouses might make the people repeat Solomon’s sin (idolatry), not the colour of their skin or their race! Again, God doesn’t care the colour of your spouse. But He DOES care about their HEART.


The truth is, if the Bible is accurate (and it is), then there is really no such thing as “interracial marriages.” There is just ONE human race. We ALL go back to one ancestor—Adam.


Therefore, the unhealthy segregation of people because of their skin colour or ethnicities is unbiblical— anything that puts a people above another is not from God.


(For a thorough treatment of this subject, you may consult the sermon-series “God Wants The World! PART 2” by Pastor Josh Banks which provides a Biblical perspective on the concepts of RACE, SKIN COLOUR and RACISM)


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2021.


  1. Enrique Labay

    Thankyou Pastor sir! ❤❤❤

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