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04/05/2011

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Donald Hochner

Brad,

How do you deal with Deut. 23:7-8 in regard with Edomite and Egyptian? Where they non-Israelites? Thanks.
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Hello Donald:

This is a really good question, and Deut. 23:7-8 are truly difficult passages.

Yes, I believe the Edomites and Egyptians in context were Israelites, or were suitable prospects for marriage within Israel.

We know that there cannot be an Canaanite in the congregation (Zec 14:21) and we know that the were of the cursed lineage (ie: Exodus 34:11, Exd 33:2, etc). We also know that two of Edom's wives were Canaanites. However, his third wife was an Ishmaelite. I believe that the reference here were to those Edomites who were not tied to the Canaanites; after all, those Edomites were not likely to be in the land, among Israel.

Of course, Egypt stands as an example of a nation full of Adamic people who were not forbidden to Israelites - they were the ruling class (as they were going back to Sumeria, Akkad, Assyria, Babylon and the near East).

The bulk of Deut. 23:7-8 above and below this passage clearly decries Israel's interaction with forbidden peoples, so these two verses should be interpreted in that context.

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