The Bible and Segregation
By C. R. Dickey
"The Highest allotted the races when
He divided the sons of man, fixing the bounds of the nations."
(Deut. 32:8, Ferrar Fenton Trans.)
Reprinted from DESTINY
THE BIBLE AND SEGREGATION
By C. R. Dickey
Many people have asked us if there is anything about racial segregation in the Bible. When told that there is, this request invariably comes forth: "Then do tell us where to find such information."
As a matter of fact, the Bible has so much to say on this subject that it cannot be covered fully in the space of a twopart magazine article. Therefore, the information contained herein is intended to serve mainly as an outline of Biblical events and teachings which have a bearing on the explosive racial issues now making headlines in the news of the world.
For the present purpose we begin this study with the fourth chapter of Genesis. This is the first recorded event in the life of Adam and his family after their eviction from Eden. It began in a peaceful setting amid fruits of the field and sheep of the pasture. Then came sudden tragedy. In anger Cain killed his brother Abel. When questioned by the Lord about his crime, Cain denied it, thus adding the sin of lying to that of murder.
By a premeditated overt act Cain demonstrated his unworthy character and his unfitness to propagate a righteous race in the earth. Consequently, his penalty was banishment, in order to remove his evil influence from the household of Adam. By Divine decree, Cain and his descendants were isolated or segregated, if you please from the godly line of Adam through Seth. "A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth," declared the Lord God. "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden." Ferrar Fenton gives this reading of the last clause: "and lived in a land of exile on the eastern side of Eden."
There follows a brief record of Cain's descendants, their city, their arts and crafts. It ends in the family tradition of violence with Lamech's confession: "I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt." A fragment of poetry, probably the oldest extant, tells it as follows:
"Adah and Zilpah! hear ye my voice, Ye wives of Lamech! give ear to my tale:
A man have I slain in dealing my wounds,
Yea, a youth in striking my blows:
Since sevenfold is to be the avenging of Cain,
Then, of Lamech, seventy and seven'"
Chapter four concludes with an account of the birth of Seth. Concerning him, Eve said, "For God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." The closing sentence is especially significant: "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord." Or, as the marginal reading puts it, "then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord."
Here, in the opening pages of Biblical history, we find the beginnings of two divergent groups, two distinct types of civilization. The first is that of Cain, if the aggression and subversion of the Cainites can be called "civilization." For the Cainites had one unvarying pattern of life; like their progenitor, Cain, they went the way of "the world, the flesh, and the devil." The second contemporary civilization was that of Seth. Being a Godconscious race, the Sethites sought the Lord, worshiped Him, and called themselves by His name.
For further proof that the separation of Cain was no inconsequential or temporary thing, turn to the fifth chapter of Genesis, which gives the genealogy of the patriarchs from Adam to Noah, and note that the name of Cain is not included in the record. His segregation was so complete and permanent that he was not registered in "the book of the generations of Adam" truly a significant fact.
Many centuries elapsed between the events recorded in the fourth and sixth chapters of Genesis. There is some difference of opinion among Bible scholars as to the length of this period. Archbishop Ussher's Chronology sets the time between Adam and the Flood at 1656 years; the Septuagint gives a total of 2262 years for the same period. In any case, we may be sure that enough time had passed for the Cainites and Sethites to become great multitudes and spread over large areas of the world. Each went its own separate way for a time and there is no more information about them until the fateful era of Noah.
Then, in chapter 6, the reader is confronted abruptly with dramatic circumstances which led to the greatest catastrophe in the history of the world. "With its usual directness and brevity, the Bible states the case against the once godly Sethites in the first four verses. The charge reads:
"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same become mighty men which were of old, men of renown." (Gen. 6:14.)
God's sentence of guilt and the penalty imposed follow immediately in the next three verses:
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." (Gen. 6:57.)
Thus we have before us the ending of a wonderful era the passing of a great civilization into oblivion.
The most astonishing thing about the extreme sentence against the people of Noah's time is that they are charged with only one sin with the violation of only one command and that is the decree that the godly line, selected to serve God's purpose, must maintain its racial purity. "Each after his kind" is a basic law for all the different races of mankind, as well as for all the other living things of His manifold creation. Lesser creatures keep this law instinctively; only man deliberately defies the natural order.
For centuries theologians have disagreed about the exact nature of the intrusion which brought about the miscegenation of that period. Opinions differ as to the meaning of the words "sons of God." Some scholars believe that they refer only to the Cainites, who undoubtedly did mix to some extent with Sethites; but others of equal standing believe that the reference is to angels, the "fallen angels" mentioned in II Peter 2:4 and Jude 6. Dr. Moffatt substitutes "the angels" for "sons of God"; and the SmithGoodspeed reading is:
"The sons of the gods noticed that the daughters of men were attractive; so they married those whom they liked best."
However, agreement on the meaning of the words in question is not essential to the purpose of this study. The point of importance here is that some kind of infiltration did take place which resulted in marriages contrary to God's established order and His expressed will. Therefore, the sin responsible for the death sentence was a widespread and forbidden mixing of dissimilar peoples, which corrupted utterly the sons and daughters of Adam and Seth, a race that numbered among its early notables the beloved Enoch who "walked with God."
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord .... Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." Hence Noah was worthy to become the founder of a new order based on obedience and service to God. He prepared an ark of refuge for his family as commanded. When it was finished God shut them in. Seven days later the Flood began and continued until " ... every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark" (Gen. 7:23). So defiance of one Divine command brought to an end one of the greatest eras in world history.
This chapter records the beginning of a new age and God's rainbow covenant with Noah. Inasmuch as the genealogy of Noah and his sons is found in the tenth chapter, it is arresting to find this singular statement in chapter nine, verse 18:
"And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham; and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan."
Evidently the last clause was added as a clue to the incident which follows concerning Ham and his father. Whatever Ham's indiscretion was, Noah "knew what his younger son had done unto him." We agree with the Rev. T. H. Leale's comment on this statement:
"The expression implies something more than carelessness or omission, and suggests the idea of some positive act of shame or abuse." (Preacher's Homiletic Commentary, Gen., p. 162.)
The act was of such a nature that it moved Noah to pronounce a curse not, it seems, upon Ham, as one might expect but upon his son Canaan. It reads:
"Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." (Gen. 9:25-26.)
Perhaps Ham's character had been tainted by association with Cainites. He may have married a Cainite woman, in which case his son Canaan could have been the means of perpetuating the evil works of Cain in the new order founded on the house of Noah. While the cause may be obscure, the effect is clearly stated: Noah's grandson Canaan and his descendants were removed from their official status in the great patriarch's family and reduced to servitude among their kinsmen. "A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren" this Hebraism denotes extreme degradation, a state of slavery.
To illustrate how this sort of thing follows through in Bible history, turn to Genesis 10, verses 15-20, and note among Canaan's descendants the Jebusites, Amorites, Hivites, Canaanites, et cetera. Then turn to Joshua 9, and discover these same people "gathered together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord." The chapter concludes with this report:
"And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose." (Joshua 9:27.)
We are hearing much idle talk these days to the effect that there must be no such thing anywhere as "second class citizens." This nonsense is based on the assumption that God created all human beings equal in every respect, and that He has drawn no lines of distinction among them. But in the Bible we find inequalities that segregate into classes members of the same family, to say nothing about distinctive qualities of race and color. Not man but God decides a person's status in society. As the Psalmist declared:
"God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another." (Ps. 75:7).
A modem historian would need many volumes to tell the story which is crammed into this one chapter. It is a register of the chief families of Noah's three sons. It says of Japheth, his sons and grandsons:
"From these they spread themselves over the seacoasts of the countries of the nations, each with their language amongst the gentile tribes," (Gen. 10:5, Ferrar Fenton Trans.)
Three of Ham's sons receive special mention. Cush was the father of Nimrod, renowned as a powerful ruler and "mighty hunter." His empire at first was Babylon, "from which he pushed out into Assyria, building the great city of Nineveh ..." (Moffatt). It has been aptly said of him:
"Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began,
A mighty hunter and his prey was man."
Ham's son Mizraim is associated with Egypt; his name is used in the Old Testament for Egypt or the Egyptians. Listed among several branches descended from Mizraim we find Israel's old enemies, the Philistines. Canaan, as mentioned above, fathered many of Israel's enemies, including the Canaanites, who spread abroad from Sidon and Gaza to Sodom and Gomorrah. "These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations."
Last but foremost in the roster is the family of Shem, the father of all the children of Eber (Heber), "the ancestor of all the Hebrews" according to both Moffatt and SmithGoodspeed. The house of Eber was divided into two branches, one headed by Peleg and the other by his brother Joktan. Japheth Ham Shem "These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood."
Bible history is the story of civilized man. In the first ten chapters we have glimpsed his progress and pitfalls from Adam to the Deluge; and onward from Noah to a new and remarkable development in history. Chapter II marks the dividing line between the old order and the new. The tower of Babel episode brought about the confusion of languages and the scattering of the people "abroad upon the face of all the earth." Up to this point the Bible has been concerned with Adamic history in its broad and general sense; but now it narrows down, first to the Peleg branch of Shem's family, then to one man in that line, namely, the man Abram, or Abraham, as he was called later.
From Genesis 12, the stream of history moves forward from Shem and Abraham to the Anointed One, Jesus Christ, the Saviour and King. Here is the one fact of supreme importance. All else is secondary. Knowledge of the will and ultimate purpose of the true God was to be preserved in the line of Shem through Abraham. The first step toward this end was the great covenant which has set the course of history from its beginning to the present time. It reads as follows:
"Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee, and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed," (Gen. 12:13.)
Notice that the future condition of men and nations was to be determined by their attitude toward the Covenant Race: if cooperative, they would be blessed; if belligerent, they would be punished according to their deeds. The covenant plan moved slowly at first as God carefully selected the founding fathers of His chosen race and kingdom. He called one and rejected another on the basis of fitness for His purpose. In this process of Divine selection one can find the key to a proper understanding of today's race problems, if he will seek truth with an open mind and honest heart.
Genesis XVI, XVII, XXI
These chapters establish proof of discrimination in God's plan, discrimination which bears directly on the segregation controversy today. Abram and Sarai, in their impatience for an heir, attempted to provide a substitute via Hagar, Sarai's Egyptian handmaid. Although Ishmael was born in due time, the experiment was a failure and brought grief to all concerned. First, it violated God's will as stated to Abram and Sarai; and second, it violated the law of race purity, for Ishmael was a halfbreed and not a legal son in the covenant line. God rejected Abram's plea that Ishmael might inherit the greatest of all covenants between God and man.
As if to wipe out past blunders and start over, God changed Abram's and Sarai's names to Abraham and Sarah, and augmented the covenant shortly before the birth of Isaac (ch. 17). The name "Abraham" means "father of many nations" or multitudes. Sarah's name means "princess" and of her God said:
"I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be the mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her," (Gen. 17:16.)
Then to Abraham the Lord said:
"Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. As for Ishmael ... Behold I have blessed him ... But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year," (Gen. 17:19-21.)
Thus Divine events come on schedule exactly as planned, in spite of man's impatience and mistakes.
Let the skeptics give attention especially to verses 9-14 of chapter 21. Observing Ishmael's mocking attitude, Sarah said to Abraham:
"Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac." Abraham was distressed at the thought, but God said to him:
"Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called."
Verse 14 portrays the final scene as Abraham sorrowfully sent Hagar and Ishmael away to remain apart segregated from the Covenant Race yet to come through Isaac. Bleeding hearts weep not for Ishmael! He was to receive God's mercy and blessings within the bounds of his own kind "twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation" (17:20). He was wholly unfitted for the high calling of God in Isaac, and would have been a disrupting influence had he remained within the domain of Isaac. Before his birth an angel of the Lord said of him: ..... his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him" (16:12).
Now that we have God's plan before us, as stated in the covenant with Abraham, we shall outline concisely its course and development through the years to come. By the time Isaac was forty years of age, Sarah had died and Abraham was old. There was no suitable wife for Isaac in Canaan. So Abraham said to his most trusted servant:
"Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac." (Gen. 24:24.)
The servant started on his journey with Abraham's assurance that he would be guided in his mission by an angel of the Lord. And that is how the trek led to Rebekah, granddaughter of Nahor, Abraham's brother. Some years later Esau and Jacob were born to Isaac and Rebekah. Though twins, they were entirely different. "Two nations and two manner of people," the Lord said of them, "and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger" that is, the Esau people would be subservient to the Jacob people (25:23-25). Thus, according to qualities inherent in their nature, God classifies some of His people inferior and others superior. And who are we to question His wisdom or presume to change what He has decreed?
Jacob had his faults but he was not a man with malice in his heart. Esau hated Jacob and said in his heart, ''The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob" (27:41). His choice of wives also reveals the bent of his nature. His first two wives were "daughters of Heth"; that is, Hittites, who were a sore trial to Rebekah (27:46); his third was a daughter of Ishmael (28:69). Incidentally, the Hittites descended from the HamCanaan line.
Jacob, like his father Isaac, sought marriage among the kinsmen of Abraham. His wives, Leah and Rachel, were the daughters of Laban; later, at their insistence, he took as wives their maids, Bilhah and Zilpah. I t seems likely that the two maids came from families who had long been associated with those of Nahor and Laban, as no protest was made against them and their sons were included in the covenant. These four women gave birth to Jacob's twelve sons, from whom came the Israelites of Biblical history and fame.
From this first part of our study an important truth emerges: it is that the men whom God chose to institute upright nations in the world were altar builders. Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Israel all set up altars wherever they went and worshiped the one true God. Ham, Ishmael and Esau built no altars to the God of Noah and Abraham. The peoples who came of them turned early to idolatry and made their own gods.
It is well to remember also that not all individuals in the righteous line led exemplary lives. Even the best among them made grievous errors. But their tendency was always upward; if they fell, it was forward, with hands reaching out to God for strength to rise and try again. Their sins led them to repentance. Conversely, not all individuals in the godless line were bad. Some exhibited personal traits of kindness and goodness; but the tendency in general was always downward, away from God and His righteousness without repentance.
THE BIBLE AND SEGREGATION
GOD SET THE BOUNDS
We have already mentioned that the Bible story narrowed down for a time to Abraham and Isaac. Now we come to the promise of a tremendous expansion through Jacob and his twelve sons.
Jacob was encamped at Bethel with his large family and many possessions. He built there an altar and worshipped God. Then the Lord appeared and said to him:
"Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land."
Jacob's new name Israel signifies "a prince of God." The angel who wrestled with Jacob at Peniel said to him:
"Thy name shall be called no more Jacob but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." (Gen. 32:28.)
Henceforth JacobIsrael was a dedicated man, destined through his offspring to rule with God in the affairs of men and nations, even unto the coming of Jesus Christ to "reign over the house of Jacob for ever" (Luke 1:32-33).
Before God could accomplish the next major development in the Divine plan, it was essential for Jacob. Israel's family to increase and become a great multitude. This would take time, several centuries, in fact. He selected Egypt as the locale for this numerical expansion, and Joseph as the key figure in the transition. Hence Joseph's rise to power in Egypt was God's means of guiding and protecting the covenant race, consisting of "seventy souls" in the days of its infancy. Joseph settled his father and brothers in Goshen, a district in Egypt adapted for flocks and herds, situated in the rich delta area a few miles northeast of On. There they prospered and enjoyed many privileges during the lifetime of Joseph.
We pause here because the importance of this chapter is overlooked completely by modern Biblical scholars. Shortly before Jacob's death he called for Joseph and his two sons. Joseph had married in Egypt and his sons belonged to that nation by birth and circumstances. Their mother was a woman of high rank, approved by the king as Joseph's wife. Her father belonged to the notable priestly order of On, esteemed in Herodotus' day as the most learned in all Egypt. Even so, Jacob knew that it was not God's will for Joseph's sons to remain Egyptians; he must see to it that they find their appointed places in the covenant family of Israel.
Jacob accomplished this purpose by adopting Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons. "And now," Jacob said to Joseph, "thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, arc mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine." In blessing Joseph and the lads, Jacob said: " ... let my name [Israel] be named on them, at1d the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." Prophesying of their future, Jacob said that Manasseh would become a great people or nation, and that Ephraim would become a multitude of nations. Thus they were predestined to become the latterday "nation and company of nations" promised to Jacob at Bethel (Gen. 35:11).
Commenting on this prophetic and highly significant transaction, theologian Lange wrote:
"They [Ephraim and Manasseh] shall not be two branches, merely, of one tribe but two fullyrecognized tribes of Jacob and Israel, equal in this respect to the firstborn Reuben and Simeon."
Speaking of Jacob's signal tribute to the house of Joseph, another writer has aptly said:
"Joseph was worthy of special honor. He was the noblest son of the family. He saved the house of Israel, as well as of Egypt. This act of Jacob would give two shares in the land of promise to his beloved and distinguished son,"
After Joseph's death, things went well with the families of Israel for a time. Eventually "there arose up a new king over Egypt which knew not Joseph" then the Lord's people suddenly found themselves reduced to servitude and almost unbearable hardships. The Egyptian taskmasters "made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour."
The question arises as to why God subjected His people to bondage in Egypt. God's chief concern for them was to preserve their faith and their racial purity. He knew that suffering would cause them to cleave to Him, and that Egyptian customs would not encourage close association and intermarriage. Therefore, Egypt was the most likely place to keep Israel segregated during the long period of numerical growth. These statements are supported by Dr. John D. Davis when he says in his Dictionary of the Bible, page 414:
"There is reference to Egyptian conceptions of propriety in the separate setting of bread for Joseph, for his brethren, and for the Egyptians present (Gen. 43:32). Joseph ate by himself, because he was a man of highest rank and a member of the priestly class, which kept apart from the laity. The Egyptians ate by themselves, for Egyptians held aloof from foreigners,"
As the time drew near for Israel's deliverance from bondage in Egypt, God appointed Moses to lead His people through the difficult period of deliverance and adjustment to a new order of life. The Book of Exodus is the official record of Israel's miraculous flight from the land of the Pharaohs, and the beginning of their wilderness journey. This chapter is one of the most important in the entire Bible. The scene is Sinai; and the event is the organization of the covenant race into a nation under God. On Mount Sinai, God spoke to Moses, saying:
"Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These arc the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."
The people responded with this pledge: "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do." Thus the transaction was sealed. The kingdom and holy nation established that day was none other than the "kingdom of God," or "kingdom of heaven," on earth, the kingdom which Jesus proclaimed and illustrated so graphically in His stories and parables. God called this kingdom and its citizens His "peculiar treasure, above all people" "the apple of His eye" to be guarded by all means against infiltration, subversion and corruption. This nation was chosen to do God's will, to demonstrate His presence and power to all the world. "Eternal truths lost to the world, or buried beneath the customs of men, were to be revived illustrated by fresh facts set forth in a written law and a visible polity." To this end Moses was instructed to write out the Ten Commandments, the statutes, judgments, and ordinances of worship.
Considering the events of Sinai, it is evident that God drew a line of demarcation between His holy people and the idolatrous peoples about them. It is utterly stupid to insist that there is no difference in people, that, in God's sight, all are equal in every respect. To say this is to make no distinction between maneating savages and dedicated Christians. What saith the Scriptures? With little or no comment we shall let the Bible speak for itself on the subject.
When Moses was pleading with God to forgive Israel's idolatry, he said:
"I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way ... and consider that this nation is thy people .... If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth."
"When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, 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 thou; and when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them; 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. 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. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." (See I Kings II: 12.)
"Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance." (32:79.)
I Kings XIII
"After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth." (13:33-34.)
"And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken thy commandments, which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever." (9:10-15; see the entire passage.)
We quote briefly from this important chapter:
"Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives. Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do . . . . Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all of them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us," (10:10-14.)
"And the rest of the people, priests, Levites, warders, singers, templeattendants, and everyone who had separated from the natives for the law of God, along with their wives and sons and daughters, everyone old enough to understand, they all adhered to their fellows, the chiefs swearing, under penalty of a curse, to follow the directions of God given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and fulfil all the commands of the Eternal our Lord, all his rules and regulations; we swore that we would not marry our daughters to the natives of the land, nor marry their daughters to our sons .... " (10:28-30, Moffatt Trans.)
"Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude .... Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil. to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives? And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites." (13:3,26-29.)
"Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he ought to love [marginal reading], and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts." (2:11-12.)
In the foregoing paragraphs we have before us God's unequivocal and unchanging law concerning segregation of the races of mankind.
Other historians, and Israel's great prophets also, have much to say about the results of ignoring Divine commands, both for their own time and for our day as well, but it is not necessary to cite more examples for the present purpose.
God sent no outstanding states· men or inspired prophet to Jerusalem and the remnant of Judah after Nehemiah and Malachi, until the Advent of Jesus Christ. It was a period of four centuries during which no voice of authority challenged and rebuked the people; consequently, there was no limit to the excesses of racial admixture and subsequent deterioration of faith and morals. It was in such an evil time that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He came to His own and they "received him not." That is, He came to His own chosen land and Holy City, the seat of His future reign over Israel, but those in authority neither knew Him nor received Him.
If the Jewish leaders of that time had been true sons of Israel, they would have recognized and received Jesus. For verification read the eighth chapter of John's Gospel. Among other things in this heated controversy, Jesus said:
"If ye were Abraham's children [i.e., children of the covenant], ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham .... If God were your Father, ye would love me: ... Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do .... He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."
Bear in mind always that it was not the faith of the Jews which Jesus used as the foundation of Christian faith but the faith of Abraham and Moses. (See John 5:38-47.) Jesus knew the background of the Jews and Judaism. They had been mongrelized since the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. The latter said of them:
"In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: and their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people." (Neh. 13:23-24.)
They were not true Israelites either in lineage or faith. Our Lord branded them as usurpers and hypocrites. They adhered to certain forms of Israel's religion, but for profit they desecrated the temple, perverted the law, and robbed the people. Jesus said to them:
"Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (See Mark 7 and Matt. 23.)
That tradition bore the marks of Babylon then, and continues to do so in the Judaism of today.
Some people object to the use of Old Testament laws as authority in the Christian Era. Old stuff, they say, irrelevant to the Gospel! Well, let us see. The very first subject dealt with by Jesus in His discourse, recorded by Matthew in chapters 57, was the relation of Old Testament law to His Gospel. On this important issue, Jesus declared:
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (5: 17-18.)
One of the oldest and most fundamental of Divine laws is, as we have seen in this study, the prohibition of racial amalgamation. It is as fixed as the law against idolatry, theft or murder, and was never abrogated by Jesus Christ. Only the ordinances pertaining to animal sacrifice were abolished by the Christian Gospel. The unchanging basic laws were made more binding than ever by Jesus' interpretation of them. They were codified by Moses and confirmed by Christ as the Constitution of His everlasting Kingdom of righteousness.
New Testament writers said little or nothing about the law of segregation because it never occurred to them that Christians would question or repudiate any fundamental law in the Old Testament. They took for granted that believers would understand that Christian society must develop within the framework of Biblical law, as enunciated by God from the beginning, and as ratified by Jesus when He came. To be all one in faith does not imply all one in race. Oneness of faith in Christ does not abolish the innate barriers of race, which God ordained for the good of all races.
Paul's statement in Acts 17:26 is now so interpreted as to make it mean the exact opposite to what Paul intended. It reads:
"And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation ... ,"
Without quoting the latter part of this verse, some people make much ado over the first clause, and use it glibly to overthrow all previous Biblical teaching concerning racial separation. The key word used to prove the oneness of all mankind is "blood"; yet, actually, it proves nothing, because the word "blood" does not appear in ancient manuscripts. It was added by translators. Ferrar Fenton gives this most logical reading of the passage:
"Himself giving to everyone life and breath and all things; because He made by One [i.e., Christ] every race of men to dwell upon the whole face of the earth .... "
Then comes the part which is seldom quoted "and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." This makes sense and leaves Paul's teachings consistent with Old Testament law.
An unholy mixing of races in defiance of God's stated command is the gravest danger now threatening Christian civilization. The patter about equality of all races, without regard to their inherent character and potentialities, is foolishness. It is not supported by the Bible nor by the facts of life. However, it serves well the purpose of the Communist conspiracy and politicians looking for votes.
We are indebted to The Southern Conservative for an article by the Rev. James P. Dees, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Statesville, North Carolina. In this article titled, "Conspiracy Is Afoot to Destroy the Social and Cultural Life of the South," the Rev. Dees says in part:
"There is a conspiracy afoot to destroy the South. The members of this conspiracy are of various backgrounds. Their basic aim, knowingly or unknowingly, is to destroy the social and cultural life of the South and the white race by amalgamation of the races. Component elements of this conspiracy to destroy the South are the Communist Party, the NAACP, the United Nations, the National Council of Churches, the leadership in many denominations of the Christian Church, elements of the TV networks, elements of the movie industry, a number of leading magazines with nationwide circulation, elements in the Republican and Democratic Parties, and, to a large extent, the Press ...
"Large foundations reportedly are putting large sums of money into the integration program all over the country. Many others are pushing integration: The YMCA, religious liberals, various dubbed dogooders, etc., and many sincere and good ministers of the Gospel. They have succumbed to and been traduced by the integration propaganda of the Communist Party, the NAACP, and various liberal and unorthodox theologians bleating their shibboleths of 'Justice' and 'Freedom.' In the interest of their unnatural religious and social philosophy, they are working to destroy the races that God has created, crying 'oneworld brotherhood' and 'racial equality,' neither of which conceptions have any substantiation whatsoever in the Scripture or in the study of mankind anthropology, psychology, etc. ...
"The Supreme Court has violated, in my opinion, ... the Constitution which they have sworn to uphold, and they should be impeached. Strong sentiment is arising all over our nation to restrict the Court; but when you have such a Court as the one we have now, the only practical remedy is to kick them out and put new men in ... This conspiracy to effect the submersion of the white race under a Negro society must not prevail. We are forced to take a stand."
The United States needs many more preachers of the Gospel with the insight and courage of Dr. Dees. The Christian ministers who show the most real love and concern for all races are those who tell them God's truth as revealed in the Scriptures. For no race of mankind will fail to be blessed abundantly if it stays within the orbit assigned to it by the will and purpose of the Creator.
But any commingling of races, that leads to close contacts and the possibility of amalgamation, is as evil now in the Christian Era as it was in the days of Noah. Strange as it may seem to the doubter, it was Jesus Himself who looked forward to our generation, then brought us back in a full circle to the ancient time of Noah. Speaking of His return at the end of the age, Jesus said:
"For as it was in the time of Noah [Gen. 6-7], so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. At that time, before the deluge, men were busy eating and drinking, taking wives or giving them, up to the very day when Noah entered the ark, nor did they realise any danger till the deluge came and swept them all away; so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man." (Matt. 24:37-39, Weymouth Trans.)
Clearly Jesus implies here the similarity of conditions in the latter days to those existing in the days of Noah. Jesus would not have condemned ordinary legitimate marriages; therefore, He must refer to practices which violate Divine law, as, for instance, multiple marriages, Hollywood style. But His comparison to Noah's era indicates a more specific charge, some evil prevalent at that time, which will recur prior to His Return. In that case we may expect to find the covenant race, Christian in name if not in practice, making numerous marriages with other races, a process that defiles and destroys the purity of all participating races. This sin brought judgment by water in Noah's day and it will bring judgment by fire in the day of Christ's Return. (See II Peter 2:4-5; 3:6-7.)
Mr. Paul Harvey, in a news report about a year ago, stated that U. S. service men in Japan, at that time, were marrying Japanese girls at the rate of one hundred per week. This is a sample of how "hot" and "cold" wars are being used around the world to mongrelize the Lord's people in western Christian nations. Apropos of the situation, we quote Psalm 12:8 and Proverbs 29:2:
"The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted .... When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."
Top TV programs, cinema and stage productions are being used profusely to publicize plays based on romantic scenes and marriages between white men and women of dark colored races. Soon they will get around to mating white women with Negroid and other varieties of dark color as the most cultural form of entertainment in this once glorious but now benighted land.
Here is an illustration of how the idea is catching on even in southern churches. Not long ago the pastor of a Methodist Church in our town exultantly announced from his pulpit and in the local newspaper that "there is no order for a color line anywhere in the Bible." He then qualified for the booby prize with this comment on interracial marriages:
"Nobody tells us who we can have for our friends, and I for one am not concerned whether my child marries his own race or another. After all, he has his life to live, and we ought to realize that the fate of the world hinges, not on whether we stay white or Negro or yellow, but on how we follow Jesus."
Communists can relax now, as the churches are doing their work for them with more speed and success than they had ever dared to hope. A special report to the Dallas News some months ago stated that United Church Women of Texas, in annual session at San Antonio, voted to support the ruling of the Supreme Court on segregation. The report continues as follows:
"In a resolution in the field of human rights, the women urged that each local church build a fellowship 'without barriers.' They urged that Texas legislators eliminate from the state statutes any law therein which requires segregation or 'any form of discrimination based on race, color, or creed.' ...
"Featured speaker of the Assembly was Mrs. David Baker of New York, editor of The Church Woman. She was a member of a team that made a good will trip around the world for the United Church Women. The team was interracial, international, and interdenominational. The breaking down of barriers 'is the Christian thing to be doing in our age,' she said."
To which we add: That is exactly what the people of Noah's time thought just before the deluge.
A staff writer of the Dallas News, Dick West, wrote in one of his editorials:
"Everywhere now you hear the following line, as though some preconceived pushbutton technique suddenly had set it in motion: 'Segregation is unChristian.' Good, conscientious, devout church members are wrestling with their souls. Some are developing a guilt complex .... A prominent Presbyterian lay leader thinks 'genuine Christians' are in the minority in the South because the majority are segregationists.
"All of which means that if you go to a segregated church, according to this gentleman and the current line, you are not a Christian .... What had been the practice, and Christian, for nearly five generations in America suddenly, by a decision of the Supreme Court, becomes the wrong practice and unChristian. But morals are not necessarily the law, just as the law is not always moral. It is hard to believe that honest, Godfearing, Godworshiping Negroes desiring to worship their own way in their own institutions are suddenly unChristian. And the same with whites.
Here a complicating angle enters. It is of record that the Communists, themselves, hope to stir social rebellion through churches just as they hope to destroy faith in America through the schools. Lenin ordered it. It is of record from their own mouths that their prime target in this rebellion is the South where the racial problem is so pronounced. 'There is no proof,' a reader writes, 'that we who believe in integration in churches are following the Communist line.'
"There is no proof, by the same token, that those who worship in their own kind of churches are unChristian. But the effort to confuse the conscience continues. When the conscience is confused, there is little to believe in. When there is nothing to believe in, there is nothing to defend. Get the idea?"
Mr. Henry T. Hinsch, a man of keen discernment, wrote this apt and timely comment on the American scene:
"Edward J. Odam, Jr., national church secretary of NAACP, says there are twenty ministers, some in Texas, serving as presidents of local NAACP branches. Booker T. Washington, addressing a group of Negroes, said, 'I believe that in the Providence of God you were brought here to get the white man's education and religion. Now you ought to go back and give it to your people.'
"The Negro was brought here by the greed of white men and Negroes. But all they have, they got from the white man. White missionaries, men and women, still have to go to Africa, while the Negro laymen and ministers join the NAACP,"
As we have seen already in this study, the Covenant Race was strictly forbidden to permit foreigners of other races, either white or colored, to hold positions of leadership in the nations of Israel. Like their forebears in ancient times, the Lord's people today are disregarding that command. High government posts and agencies are swarming with men and women whose roots are elsewhere, and whose aim is to abolish the character and government of the United States as we have known it in the past.
The plan moves on apace. An editorial in Life informs us with pride that President Eisenhower "has appointed more than a dozen Negroes to important government positions, notably J. Ernest Wilkins of Chicago, Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Affairs and the first Negro to achieve subcabinet rank." We are told also that "Sherman Adams' staff includes the first White House Negro secretary." It might be a good thing for the President, his advisers, and the voters as well, to remember what happened to King Jeroboam and other rulers in Israel for making the same mistake.
Yes, the Bible is a discriminating Book, both as to race and creed. Beware of the cliche "no discrimination." Unless, of course, you want to join hands with international schemers in destroying the Christian heritage which guarantees your freedom.
The race of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph now the kindred AngloSaxonCeltic Christian peoples of the United States, the British Company of Nations, and Western Europe cannot commit to other races the supreme place which God has assigned to that race alone. The exalted position of the Bible's Covenant Race carries with it worldwide moral and spiritual responsibilities, which no other race has the Godgiven ability to perform. This Divine commission demands of us the spirit of humility and love. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, "Who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive?"
Let none boast of superiority for we are called of God to be His Servant Race. God speaks to His beloved people through the Prophet Isaiah. Note that the message concerns a future time when they no longer understand their past and their relation to the Old and New Covenants. Consider also at this point that the prophet's message is addressed to the whole house of redeemed Israel, and not to the Jews. The Jews rejected Christ the Redeemer and His Gospel; they have never done the witnessing that God commissioned Israel to do; they are not a company of kindred nations; in fact, they neither do the work nor bear the marks of Israel.
Here are a few statements from Isaiah to clarify the status of modern Christian Israel nations:
"Who is blind, but my servant? Or deaf, as my messenger that I sent?" (42:19.)
"But now thus saith the Lord that created you, O Jacob, and him that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by my name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour." (43:1-3.)
"Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears .... Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour." (43:8,10-11.)
We are, indeed, a peculiar people. Chosen above all and segregated for service to the whole world:
"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." (Deut. 14:2.)
Writing to the "elect" Christian Israelites of his day, the Apostle Peter said:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (I Peter 2:9-10; see also Hosea 1:9-10.)
Is it not strange that nations of kindred people so richly endowed can be so incredibly blind as to their place in the Divine Plan? Yet our very blindness, in these latter days, identifies us as the redeemed Servant Race of the Holy Scriptures.