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What Does the Bible Say About … INTER-RACIAL MARRIAGES?

Do the scriptures condemn and/or mention the subject of two people marrying that are of different skin colors?

There is great news my friend, you can search your Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you will not find one single text condemning interracial marriage. On the contrary. 

There is mention of one interracial marriage that was heavily criticized by someone’s own brother and sister. Num 12:1 “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.” NIV 

Cushites came from the land of Cush, or better known nowadays as Ethiopia. We have here a prime example of Biblical interracial marriage. 

Was it well perceived by Moses’ brother and sister?  Not really.  They were criticizing him for it.

What was God’s reaction to their accusation? Num 12:9-10 “The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam — leprous, like snow.” NIV

God was angry with Miriam especially as she was the leader of the accusation and at Aaron as well.  He was so displeased that Miriam’s skin became white, the white of leprosy.  It’s interesting to note that her consequence was related to skin colour, which was her reason of complaining!

God is thus not against interracial marriages.

But didn’t God order the Israelites not to marry foreigners?  Yes he did, but it wasn’t because of skin colour differences.

Deut 7:3-4 “Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.” NIV

Josh 23:12-13 “But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the LORD your God has given you.” NIV

Neh 13:25-27 “I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves. Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women. Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?” NIV

The only time God is opposed to the marriage between two different cultures is when a believer marries an unbeliever. Being from the same culture or not makes no difference.  When you marry an unbeliever, for whatever reason, you are outside God’s will, and your spouse can become a snare to you, leading you away from the One who really truly loves you: Jesus Christ.

Even the New Testament warns us against that:

2 Cor 6:14-15 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” NIV

Even if you persist in marrying an unbeliever in the hope to bringing him/her to Christ, you are building your home on very shaky ground, for you will most likely be the one who will be led away from Christ.

Some considerations in marrying interracially:

As we live in a sinful world where criticism is the norm, consider some implications your marriage will face.  If you are strong in the Lord and you are willing to face these challenges, then don’t hesitate to marry the one you have chosen to be your Christian spouse.

1.    As with Moses, you and your spouse will face opposition and criticism of your union.

2.    Your children will be facing possibly mockery as they will be of a different colour all together.

3.    As you are both from different cultures, you will both have to adapt to one another’s culture and accept each other’s differences without any criticism.

4.    Be prepared of possible familial ostracization and condemnation.

Are you aware my friend that the One who really loves you is Jesus Christ Himself?  No sacrifice was too great for Him to make sure you could be with Him.  He died for your sins, so that believing in Him, you could have eternal life.  Why don’t you accept His love and friendship and welcome Him into your life by accepting the Saviour’s Call.

Rob Chaffart


No. Why, then, are there people who assert that there are Scriptures that forbid interracial marriage? I think this comes from a misunderstanding of an Old Testament passage.

Ezra 10:10 “Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. 11 Now make confession to the LORD , the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.” (NIV)

In times past, many have interpreted “foreign” wives to mean of a different skin color. However, there is no evidence to suggest that these women were of a different race, although they followed different religions. It was the religious, not ethnic, differences that were the problem. A study of the Old Testament shows that Jews who intermarried with pagans often followed pagan religious practices, and this is why such marriages were prohibited under Jewish law.

In the New Testament, there is nothing about interracial marriage, however, the issue of marrying outside the faith is addressed: 2 Corinthians 6: 12″To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (NIV) Regardless of the race of either spouse, if the unbeliever chooses not to remain in the marriage, he or she is free to leave.

In conclusion, I think this passage sums things up the best: Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) God is more concerned about our relationship to Him than whether the person someone is married to is of the same race, and I believe He blesses all marriages where the spouses are in accordance with his will.

Your sister in Christ,



Absolutely not. It wasn’t race or culture that was prohibited, rather it was believer marrying an unbeliever. Deuteronomy 7:3-4 says: 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. 4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. 2Corinthians 6:14says: 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Paul is simply prohibiting believers from intimate relationships with unbelievers. The context of it speaks absolutely nothing of skin color. The interracial prejudice is simply something that we humans made up on our own and kept on making it a bigger and bigger issue until it was something horrid to some.

We should know that the Lord didn’t forbid this because he made us all and we are all the same to Him. We are simply all human beings. So whether or not one is black or white or oriental or whatever the case may be, all the two involved need to do is make sure that they are on the right path to Jesus Christ, not worry about their color.



In numerous passages, the Israelites are forbidden to marry foreigners (e.g., Joshua 23:12; Ezra 9:14; Neh. 13:27), but the issue seems to be religious, not racial. God is concerned that marrying foreigners would draw the Israelites away from Himself.

Moses’ wife Zipporah was from Midian (east of the Red Sea, in modern Saudi Arabia) and was probably of a different race than Moses. Ruth was from Moab (although there may not have been much of a difference in skin color). Solomon married women from all over, but that doesn’t prove anything.

In Galatians 3:26-29, Paul minimizes race. He says that being Christians sets us all on equal ground. And while he is not specifically addressing marriage, I believe it is the best guidance on this issue. The important thing is for Christians to marry Christians.

Scott Severance


I believe the only time color counts is when a person has a dark heart and marries someone with a normal heart.

BJ Cassady


YES INDEED, the Bible mentions it, read for yourself the account of Moses (medium dark) and his wife (who was quite dark) in Numbers 12. Moses’ brother and sister were trashing Moses for marrying a Cushite. God cursed Moses’ sister by causing HER skin to be white with leprosy. This was God’s way of spitting in her face. This is how mad God gets at those who believe one skin color is better than another! God made them all, red, yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight!

Furthermore, Jesus used Samaritans as living lessons and in parables for they were hated by many Jews. Why were they hated? They were bi-racial! They were half Jew. In the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus showed how it is possible, even likely that the Samaritan was more compassionate than the Pharisee–the Jewish “bible-thumper”. This story is found in Luke 10:25-37.

Are you a “bible thumper”? Someone who thinks that because the jews were not allowed marry foreigners, then this applies to you and those you meet? Do you despise those who have different skin color than you? Then, you would not like heaven much. “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'” Revelation 7:9-10

Something to think about: learn about genes and figure out the color of the first man and woman.

Todd Shilt