Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/347

This page has been validated.
331
MARRIAGE AMONG THE ANCIENT ISRAELITES.

Moreover, when we look into the marriages mentioned in Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, we find that they exhibit the same peculiarity as do those mentioned in Genesis. They could all take place if the Israelites were exogamous, and had descent in the female line, while many could not possibly take place if they were exogamous, and had descent in the male line. It is needless to multiply examples, and the two following will be sufficient. (Joshua, xv, 17:) Othniel, son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, married Caleb's daughter. (II Chronicles, xi, 18:) Rehoboam, son of Solomon, (1) Mahalath, his first cousin on the father's side; (2) Abihail, his father's first cousin; and (3) Maachah, his first cousin on the father's side. There may be some doubt about the last wife. In II Chronicles, xi, 20, and I Kings, xv, 2, she is called the daughter of Absalom; but in II Chronicles, xiii, 2, she is called the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

It may be objected that the Israelites could not have been exogamous because they were endogamous; but the fact is that they were not endogamous till after the Babylonian captivity, and were not endogamous in the true sense even then. Endogamy is that law which allows marriage only between persons who are recognized as being of the same blood; and though, after the captivity, the Israelites made a law against marrying foreigners (Ezra, x; Nehemiah, x, xiii; I Esdras, ix), yet at the same time they observed the Levitical law forbidding marriage within certain degrees of consanguinity. They had thus an endogamy of nationality, coupled with exogamy within the nation.

But even this external endogamy, so to speak, did not exist before the captivity, for the evidence that the Israelites did marry foreigners is overwhelming. There was marriage with foreign women taken in war, and rules governing the procedure in such cases. Then of individual examples we have the following: Abraham took Hagar, an Egyptian, and Keturah, an Arab (Genesis, xvi, 3, and xxx, 1). Esau married a Hittite and a Hivite (Genesis, xxxvi, 2). Judah married Shuah, a Canaanitish woman (Genesis, xxxviii, 2). Joseph married Asenath, an Egyptian (Genesis, xli, 45); and Moses, Zipporah, an Ethiopian (Exodus, ii, 21, and Numbers, xii, 1). Simeon married a Canaanitish woman (Exodus, vi, 15).

The first limitation of marriage with foreigners is found in Deuteronomy, vii, 1-3, where the Israelites are forbidden to intermarry with seven nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. But the Israelites did not obey this prohibition[1] (Judges, iii, 6, and I Kings, xi, 2), and


  1. We suppose here, for the sake of argument, that the prohibition existed at this time, though there are good reasons for believing that Deuteronomy was really written by Jeremiah.