On Marrying Canaanites (2 Cor 6:14–7:1)

The Aquila Report | 8/12/2017 | Staff
Firefang (Posted by) Level 4
“The basic principle here is truly clear: Christians may not enter into spiritual relations with pagans. As Calvin notes in his commentary on this passage, Paul is not here addressing marriage. He is addressing the problem of syncretism, of attempting to synthesize Christianity with idolatry.”

One of the great temptations faced by the Israelites as the entered the land of Canaan would be to absorb the Canaanite religion and thereby either to apostatize by becoming pagans or to attempt to synthesize Canaanite paganism with the biblical religion. Yahweh explicitly commanded that, after the entered Canaan, they shall not inter-marry with them:

Daughters - Sons - Daughters - Sons - Sons

Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods; then the anger of Yahweh will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you (Deut 7:3–4).

The command is not an expression of bigotry. The commandment is an application of the moral law: you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:37–40). The pagan gods, idols, are not (1 Cor 8:4–6). The fictitious gods of the Canaanites did not deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh and Egypt. Yahweh did. The Canaanite gods did not speak into nothing (because they are nothing) and make all that is (Gen 1), Yahweh did. The Canaanite gods are lies. Yahweh is the truth. To inter-marry with the Canaanites and then to adopt their gods would be apostasy and idolatry, both strictly forbidden by the first two commandments. It would also be cruelty to the Canaanites, to pretend that their gods are real. It would be a violation of the 9th commandment, i.e., a lie...
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