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analysis of Deut. 7:3-4, which form the basis of the rabbinical claim that judaism descends from the mother, showing that claim to be false
JEWISH MOTHER OF ALL LIES
Deuteronomy Chapter 7
א כִּי יְבִיאֲךָ, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ; וְנָשַׁל גּוֹיִם-רַבִּים מִפָּנֶיךָ הַחִתִּי וְהַגִּרְגָּשִׁי וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי, וְהַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי--שִׁבְעָה גוֹיִם, רַבִּים וַעֲצוּמִים מִמֶּךָּ.
1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before thee, the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
ב וּנְתָנָם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לְפָנֶיךָ--וְהִכִּיתָם: הַחֲרֵם תַּחֲרִים אֹתָם, לֹא-תִכְרֹת לָהֶם בְּרִית וְלֹא תְחָנֵּם.
2 and when the LORD thy God shall deliver them up before thee, and thou shalt smite them; then thou shalt utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them;
ג וְלֹא תִתְחַתֵּן, בָּם: בִּתְּךָ לֹא-תִתֵּן לִבְנוֹ, וּבִתּוֹ לֹא-תִקַּח לִבְנֶךָ.
3 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.
ד כִּי-יָסִיר אֶת-בִּנְךָ מֵאַחֲרַי, וְעָבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים; וְחָרָה אַף-יְהוָה בָּכֶם, וְהִשְׁמִידְךָ מַהֵר.
4 For he 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 He will destroy thee quickly.
Here are some examples of Christian Bible translations of this passage. The first two miss the gender and singularity of verse 4, while the last gets it right:
Deuteronomy 7:3-4 (King James Version)
3Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
4For 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.
Deuteronomy 7:3-4 (New International Version)
3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 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.
Deuteronomy 7:3-4 (Young's Literal Translation)
3And thou dost not join in marriage with them; thy daughter thou dost not give to his son, and his daughter thou dost not take to thy son,
4for he doth turn aside thy son from after Me, and they have served other gods, and the anger of Jehovah hath burned against you, and hath destroyed thee hastily.
Note that the Israeli website very precisely translates both the gender and number of the Hebrew words. However, as we shall see, this precision comes at a great cost of falsifying the meaning of the Scripture by imputing a level of subtlety that the verses do not contain, all to serve a sinister agenda of portraying the “Israel of God” as a narrowly construe d race rather than a universal people of deliberate choice. This has great implications for Christian-Jewish relations.
The plain meaning of the verses is that the he that doth turn aside thy son from after Me in verse 4 is the very same he as his son, and his daughter in verse 3, i.e, the prospective Canaanite father in law. And the meaning is that the Torah is warning that if Israelite children intermarry with Canaanites then the Canaanite in-laws will exert a deleterious influence upon them and turn them away from following Me.
However, in pursuit of their racialist-supremacist agenda, the Talmudic rabbis are not content with this obvious interpretation and instead propose a convulted explanation of the he who is turning away thy son? First they assert that thy son could not mean your literal son, since there is no “he” to turn him away, since he had married a female Canaanite. (This misses or purposely avoids the obvious interpretation mentioned above.) So thy son must refer to your grandson. The he who turns him away could not refer to your son who married a female Canaanite, since your Israelite son presumably would not turn his own child away from the LORD. So the scenario must be: your daughter married a male Canaanite, had a child who is called thy son – your grandson in reality - meaning he is still considered an Israelite, but the danger is that the Canaanite father will exert an unfavorable influence upon his son to turn him away from the LORD. The rabbis then assume that verse 4 implies that in the case of intermarriage, only the specific case of an Israelite daughter marrying a heathen son produces offspring considered to be thy, or Israelites. But the opposite case of your Israelite son marrying a heathen woman produces non-Israelite children.
Here is the rabbinical explanation, based on the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Kiddushin, page 68b, of the premier Medieval exegete Rashi:
For he will turn away your son from following Me i.e., the heathen’s son, if he marries your daughter, will turn away your [grand]son whom your daughter will bear to him, from following Me. This teaches us that your daughter’s son, born of a heathen man, is called “your son,” but your son’s son, born of a heathen woman, is not called “your son,” but “her son.” For Scripture [first says, “Do not give your daughter to his son, and do not take his daughter for your son.” Then it follows with “For he will turn away your son….” However], referring to “do not take his daughter,” it does not say“For she will turn away your son…” [because he is considered her son, not yours (Kid. 68b).
Now even within Judaism today this interpretation is controversial. Orthodox Jews accept that this is the so-called “oral interpretation” given to Moses when he wrote these verses down. They believe that the mother determining the Israelite status of the children is an inviolable Divine decree. One of the main principles of the Talmud is that the Torah is economical with words and packs a lot of information into as few words or verses as possible. This then gives the rabbis license to interpolate into the text many additional layers of meaning. Christians themselves agree that the Bible text has many layers of homiletic meaning; however the rabbis assume authority to interpolate binding legalistic implications into the text. And this is one of the major sources of tension between Judaism and Christianity.
Underlying the Talmudic approach to these verses is a racial and mystical view of what constitutes the Israel of God. While Christianity asserts that the true Israel of God is a universal people who have freely excercised their power of choice to accept the sacrifical role of Messiah Jesus in consecrating them as acceptable to God, Judaism takes a much narrower and more exclusionary view. Since the rabbis believe that only Jews have a divine soul called a neshama, a Jewish baby must develop inside a vessel (the mother’s uterus) that itself is capable of containing this soul. And since a heathen woman does not have this special neshama soul, according to the rabbis, she could not contain a developing fetus with such a soul. Once the baby is born, for the first two years it is almost totally in the care of the mother, so a Jewish mother will have a strong cultural and psychological effect upon it. But as it gets older the heathen father starts to exert his influence and may turn the child away from the LORD. This is pretty much how the rabbis would explain these verses.
However Reform Jews, who also miss (or purposely avoid) the obvious interpretation of these verses indicated above, argue that since the Torah is speaking generally and that a child’s “Jewishness” is educational and cultural rather than biological or mystical, therefore in a mixed marriage the Jewish parent (of whatever gender) will exert a pull towards the LORD while the heathen parent (of whatever gender) will exert a pull away from the LORD. There also may be an assumption that since the baby passes its critical first 2 years almost exclusively with the mother, if the mother is a heathen then the baby will be imprinted with anti-Jewish values so strongly that the Jewish father has little chance to reeducate him later. However all this overlooks the fact that the couple married and bonded and the woman may have strongly accepted the Jewish father’s cultural and religious values so there would be no risk that their offspring would be anti-Torah. In addition these verses may be a specific warning against intermarrying with Canaanites only, but the orthodox rabbis extrapolate the warning to all gentile nations. Note also the underlying racism. This interpretation clearly is the origin of the idea that Jews are a race, and not just a religious system.
Note also, from a Christian perspective, that anyone who believes these rabbinical ideas, would find it extremely difficult to accept such teachings of Jesus as: “God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones”, “that many will come from the east and west and sit down and dine with the Patriarchs, while many of the natural (Jewish) children will be thrown out into utter darkness”, “that God will give His vineyard over to a people (the Gentiles) who will tend it properly”. The whole idea of Christianity expanding membership in God’s family to include all nations who choose to believe in Jesus Christ goes deeply against the rabbinical interpretation of these two verses in Deuteronomy!