Interracial Marriage Forbidden in the Bible

The scripture forbids interracial marriage in 17 different books of the Bible. Prohibitions against marrying strangers or those of another race are given beginning in Genesis.

Interracial Marriage in Genesis

Abraham forbids interracial marriage

Genesis 24:3

Abraham gave one of the first direct commands not to marry outside of one's race in Genesis 24:3.

Genesis 24:3 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: (YLT)

In Genesis 24 Abraham is giving directions to his eldest servant to find a wife for Abraham's son Isaac. Verse 2 describes this servant as "the eldest of his house, who is ruling over all that he hath." Genesis 13:2 tells us that Abraham "was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold" implying Abraham greatly trusted this servant which ruled over all that he had.

The importance of Abraham's directions for the marriage of his son Isaac is further strengthened when Abraham's other son Ishmael is considered as well as the promises which God gave to Abraham. That Abraham's instructions to his servant are the last recorded words of Abraham is fitting considering the importance of God's promise of giving him Isaac.

The Race of the Canaanites

Ham, the son of Noah, is recorded as the father of Canaan in Genesis 9:18. Therefore the Canaanites could have possibly still been the same race as Abraham. However, given the Canaanites wickedness and the further instructions to abstain from making marriages with them, they could have intermarried with other races by the time of Abraham.