Bible Question:

Deuteronomy 7:2-5 says that we are not to intermarry with other races. Does that mean Spanish and Caucasians are out of the will of God if they marry? Are they cursed?

Bible Answer:

Marriage between people of different races occurs every day in spite of the conflicts that occur between nations and different interest groups. When some have read Deuteronomy 7:2-5, they conclude that God is opposed to intermarriage among the races. Therefore, our question is, “Does God prohibit people of different races from marrying?”

Should Christians Marry People of Other Races

Meaning of Deuteronomy 7:2-5

Deuteronomy 7:2-5 was written to the Israelites before they entered the land of Canaan which would become their Promised Land. The verses warn Israel to not intermarry with the people of the territory.

. . . and when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. 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 the LORD will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you. But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire. Deuteronomy 7:2-5 (NASB)

The names of the nations with whom they were not to marry were listed in verse 1.

When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away 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 stronger than you . . . Deuteronomy 7:1 (NASB)

Now the question we must ask is, “Why did God prohibit marriage between the Israelites and the “many nations before” them.  The answer is given in Deuteronomy 7:4 when God tells them what will happen if they intermarry. He says, “They will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods.” Notice that God is concerned the husband or wife from a foreign nation will cause the Israelite spouse to worship another god — the gods of the foreign nations. This reveals  the reason that God opposed the Israelites marrying people of foreign nations. It was because the people of the foreign nations were unbelievers. God is opposed to believers and unbelievers marrying.

How It Applies To Us

King Solomon is an example of an Israelite marrying wives from foreign nations. 1 Kings 11:1 lists the nations from which his wives came. He married seven hundred women and had three hundred concubines. He disobeyed God. He disobeyed Deuteronomy 7:1-5.

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. 1 Kings 7:1-3 (NASB)

Verses 2-3 tell us that these wives turned King Solomon’s heart from God “after their gods.” This was also in direct violation of the first commandment,

You shall have no other gods before Me. Exodus 20:3 (NASB)

He also violated the foremost command to love God more than anything else (Matthew 22:36-37).

 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5 (NASB)

So King Solomon violated the first of the Ten Commandments, the first and foremost commandment, and the command in Deuteronomy 7:1-5.

Therefore, what does Deuteronomy 7:1-5 teach us? Followers of God are to marry only those who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,


The same principle is stated in the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 7:39 Paul commands every Christian to only marry another Christian. Why? Non-Christians will pull Christians away from the Lord Jesus.

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:39 (NASB)

Christians are not to marry non-Christians. Deuteronomy 7:2-5 taught the Israelites to not marry anyone who did not follow the true God. God does not prohibit marriage between a Christian of one race and a Christian of a different race.

Suggested Links:

How can I know who God wants me to marry? What does the Bible say?
Should Christians date non-Christians?
What does the Bible say about interracial marriages?
If I change my religion, can I marry my Christian girlfriend?
Did marriage licenses or contracts exist in Bible times?