Devarim/Deuteronomy 7 talks about different commitments and relations with Non-Jewish idolatrous people.

One of those is intermarriage often defined as a prohebition of marrying gentiles or Non-Jews.

But verse 4 teaches that this commandment(s) is (are) given to prevent someone from turning away from G-d.

Does this mean that if a gentile or Non-Jew isn't doing this, but affirms and supports, and eventually makes giur it's actually allowed to marry such a person?

It seems to be the case as the scriptures often describe intermarriage like for example Moshe who married Tziporrah.


1 Answer 1


The verse does not say that this is why it is forbidden, but that this will happen. In the case of Moshe and Tziporah, it was done before matan torah so that she converted according to the rules of that time before they married. As I explain in the answer to Was Intermarriage Permissible at the time of Tanakh?

Rus had converted before she married Boaz as explained in Sefer Rus (which is why Shmuel Hanavi wrote it to begin with). Had she not converted, King David would not have been a member of the tribe of Yehuda and could not have become king. Esther did not marry Achashveros, it was considered a rape and she lived with him because he took her against her will.

Kiddushin 8b points out that there is no such thing as a marriage with a non-Jew (someone who has not converted). Thus the child of a Jewish man and a non-Jewish woman is never Jewish in the first place.

Rav Hirsch explains that the verse you quote is a special case even if one of the seven nations attempts to convert, you should not marry them.

so the prohibition of marrying one of the Canaanite people can only refer to a marriage after they have become Jews.


not only shall you not give your daughter to a son of a non-Jew where you know beforehand that you are estranging your child and grandchildren from Judaism, but even their daughter you shall not take for your son, in which case you might think that the power of your influence and that of your family would induce Jewish spirit and Jewish ways in the Canaanite girl;

  • There's only one argument about which I have my doubts. For the marriage between Tziporah and Moshe might have occured before Matan Torah, the marriage of Ruth and Boaz, Esther and Achashverosh, certainly did not. Ofcourse one could look at king Shlomo for example where the wifes brought him to idolatry, but there seem to be some cases in which it actually brought good things...
    – Levi
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 17:22
  • @Levi Ruth was long converted by the time she married Boaz, I wouldn't consider what happened with Esther and Achashverosh a standard case of marriage. Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:11
  • @Levi Ruth and Boaz was a case of her having converted properly. If not then King David could not have become King. Esther was not a marriage to Achashveros but a rape. Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:13
  • @sabbahillel I agree with the answer on Ruth, and that's exactly the whole point of my question; it seems one can marry a non-Jew as long as that person is one of faith with the other; I.e. accepting and sharing the same Jewish belief.
    – Levi
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 22:31
  • @Levi A person who has coverted according to halavha is Jewish in every respect. Thus Ruth was Jewish. A nonJew is someone who has not converted. Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 23:11

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