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3.37 Numbers -- Significance of This Marriage, cont.

           b.  The marriage to the Cushite woman was a serious problem for Moses.  Both he and Joshua issued warnings to the Israelites against intermarrying with surrounding nations:  Ex 34:16Deut 7:3Josh 23:12.  The fear was that foreign women would lead Israelite men into idolatry.  Despite this prohibition, Moses himself married a non-Israelite.  This leaves us with just two alternatives:


          1.  Moses was a hypocrite
          2.  It was not a sin to marry the Cushite woman


Picking #1 would not be the logical choice, in view of what God did to Aaron and Miriam.  So let's go with #2.  At any rate, there was no word of disapproval from God.  God was not slow to rebuke Moses for striking the rock in the desert of Zin (Num 20:12), but He said nothing about this marriage.  His silence is of major significance.


Racist interpretations of Genesis made Cush a co-inheritor of the curse on his brother Canaan, which was passed on to all his descendants.  But if all the descendants of Ham were cursed, wouldn't God have prevented His chosen leader from marrying a racial inferior?  This is a God who is fanatical about purity, spots on the skin, disfigurements and defects of any kind.  How could He permit Moses to share a tent with an unclean woman and then enter His own tent of meeting?  It is inconceivable, any more than He would have let Moses get away with eating uncooked meat with blood in it.  Furthermore, Moses himself would have done nothing even faintly displeasing to God. His sin at Zin was an act of impulsive anger, but marriage to the Cushite woman was a deliberate decision. He would never have married her if he felt it risked offending the Lord or compromising his own rightstanding with God.         


The only possible conclusion is that marriage to the Cushite woman, who may have been African, was not a sin.  Therefore, this one verse proves that the curse of Noah did not extend to any of the other sons of Ham except Canaan and his descendants.   The prohibition on intermarriage by Moses and Joshua applied only to the Canaanite tribes.  The Cushites were not cursed, and the woman was adopted by marriage into the nation of God without objection.   

This means that the old US Southern white tradition that God put a curse of slavery or inferiority on Africans is without any Biblical basis. That belief is a figment of white supremacy reading into the text its own prejudices.  Rather than upholding such a doctrine, the Bible actually disproves it, on the authority of the greatest Old Testament prophet. Num 12:1 is the Emancipation Proclamation of the Bible.

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