Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH): 

"Mix Not"…What Does This Mean?

There are two main scriptures that deal with mixing: Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:9-11. How are we of Israel to, firstly, apply this in our lives and secondly, to understand this? Understanding the commandments, however, should not be our priority before we obey. We are to obey first and then understanding may come later. And some commandments are almost impossible to understand -- but we should keep them regardless!

by HOIM Staff

Are we doing all that YEHOVAH God has spoken -- and are we obedient? One issue, of many, that a man studying YEHOVAH's Word led me to look into, is mixing. The prohibition to mix certain things is something that is often overlooked and seems quite unimportant. So why would we want to spend any time investigating this? The Messiah gave us the answer: 

Luke 16:10: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much."

We, for the most part, do not wear clothing made of mixed thread. We wear 100% cotton, 100% linen or 100% polyester or whatever else is available, but 100%. You probably noticed that I said, for the most part. Some clothing items are difficult, if not impossible, to find without mixed materials, like socks, winter stockings and underwear. What are we to do in these cases? Have you not also wondered if this is indeed the correct interpretation of these verses? We will endeavor to find answers for these questions. 

The Prohibited Mixtures 

The commandments in Scripture regarding prohibited mixtures are about mixing cattle, mixing seed and wearing garments made of two kinds of material. Israel is furthermore forbidden to intermarry with the nations. That too is mixing. We have written previous articles about mixed worship and how it will lead to your deception and downfall.

So, how are we to keep these commandments and why is this significant? We will commence by looking at the meaning of the word “mix.” This quote is from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. To mix is:

Keep this in mind as we study the scriptures about mixing. There are two main scriptures that deal with mixing: Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:9-11 (excluding the Scriptures prohibiting mixing with the nations. We shall get to those later.) How are we of Israel to, firstly, apply this in our lives and secondly, to understand this? Understanding the commandments should not be our priority before we obey, we are to obey first and then understanding may come later, though not always. Some commandments are just impossible to understand, but we should keep them regardless. Maybe one of the reasons this verse starts with “You are to keep My statutes…” 

Leviticus 19:19: "You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together."

In this passage, we are given three instructions:

The phrase “two kinds“ used with seed and material is translated from “kilayim” which means as translated, two things of different kinds. Both seed and material is not in the original text, but rightly deduced from the context. 

3977 כִּלְאַיִם (kil·ʾǎ·yim): n.[masc.] dual; ≡ Str 3610; TWOT 980d -- LN 63.9-63.12 two things of differing kinds (Lev 19:19; Dt 22:9+) [2]

It is important to note that when mixing takes place, the product becomes indistinguishable from the parts used to create it. Keep this in mind as you continue to read. 

Note that in the process of mixing, the various substances become a single mass, and the constituent parts are indistinguishable. [3] 

As noted before, this passage begins with: “You are to keep My statutes” and ends after verse 37 with the same words. Could there be special significance to these statutes, something that binds them together? It is quite possible, but not our focus. 

This passage prohibiting mixing is repeated in Deuteronomy: 

Deuteronomy 22:9-11: “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together."

What do we have here? 

How are we to understand this? Once again; do we need to understand this? We do not need a reason; however, we can contemplate, but we need to know how to apply this commandment in our lives. These are the same three categories we found in Leviticus 19:19, this time slightly different and more specific. We shall take each of the three categories and explore the Scriptures to see if we can gain more understanding. 

Mixing of Cattle and Plowing With an Ox and Donkey Together 

Let us look at these two verses together. What are we to understand from this statute? 

In Leviticus 19:19 is is written that you are not to breed together two kinds of your cattle. The Hebrew word “raba” was translated as "breed": 

8061 I. רָבַע (rā·ḇǎʿ): v.; ≡ Str 7250, 7252, 7254; TWOT 2108 -- 1. LN 23.61-23.65 (qal) have sexual relations with, formally, lie down, i.e., engage in sexual intercourse (Lev 18:23; 20:16+); (hif impf.) mate, i.e., cause animals to breed (Lev 19:19+), note: in context, “cross-breed [2]

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia on crossbreeding for more understanding:

"A crossbreed or crossbred usually refers to an animal with purebred parents of two different breeds, varieties, or populations. Crossbreeding refers to the process of breeding such an animal, often with the intention to create offspring that share the traits of both parent lineages, or producing an animal with hybrid vigor. While crossbreeding is used to maintain health and viability of animals, irresponsible crossbreeding can also produce animals of inferior quality or dilute a purebred gene pool to the point of extinction of a given breed of animal." [4]

Remember the above quote, we shall build on it later. 

At the onset of this article, we were of the opinion that this could be referring to genetic engineering. It does include this, but we realized that it must be more basic than this to fit the context of Israel and ancient times. Finding this reference about crossbreeding clarified quite a lot. Another kind of mixing will result in a hybrid: 

"A hybrid animal is one with parentage of two separate species, differentiating it from crossbred animals, which have parentage of the same species. Hybrids are usually, but not always, sterile.

"One of the most ancient types of hybrid animal is the mule, a cross between a female horse and a male donkey or ass. The liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion and female tiger. The yattle is a cross between a cow and a yak. Other crosses include the tigon (between a female lion and male tiger) and yakalo (between a yak and buffalo). The Incas recognized that hybrids of Lama glama (llama) and Lama pacos (alpaca) resulted in a hybrid with none of the advantages of either parent." [4]

"A clearly ambiguous counter-example to any value judgment on hybrids and hybrid vigor is the mule. While mules are almost always infertile, they are valued for a combination of hardiness and temperament that is different from either of their horse or donkey parents. While these qualities may make them “superior” for particular uses by humans, the infertility issue implies that these animals would most likely become extinct without the intervention of humans through animal husbandry, making them “inferior” in terms of natural selection." [5]

Mules are mentioned in the Bible, eighteen times to be precise. Donkeys and horses will breed naturally, but as we saw from the quote the foal will mostly be infertile. This reference to not crossbreeding cattle does not, in our opinion, pertain to natural occurrences like those mentioned above, except if human intervention caused it. 

Let us look at some of the words here to see if we can understand this better. The Hebrew word translated as cattle is “behemah,” and this could be referring to any animal, in my opinion, but probably domesticated animals as wild animals would not be “yours” as it is written: ”you shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle.” 

989 בְּהֵמָה (behē·mā(h)): n.fem.(usually coll.); ≡ Str 929; TWOT 208a -- 1. LN 4.1-4.37 beast, animal, i.e., a class of living being (not flying, creeping, or swarming) that is not human (Ge 6:7; Ex 8:13); 2. LN 4.1-4.37 domestic animal, livestock, herds, cattle (Ge 47:18), cf. also 990; 3. LN 4.1-4.37 wild animal (Mic 5:7; Dt 28:26; Isa 18:6) [2]

As we touched on before, this commandment would prohibit genetic engineering. When genetic engineering is carried out, one of the things that can be accomplished, is to mix different species to become a new species. Knowing what is happening in the Scientific World, we can understand that it must be an abomination to YEHOVAH God. From the beginning man wanted to be like YEHOVAH. That’s the reason why Eve ate the fruit, then we see the same with the Tower of Babel -- and you can go on and on. 

Also, animal genes are now being mixed with human genes and vice versa to “create” humans with better eyesight, for example, or sheep that can produce human milk. Scientists do this under the mantle of helping humankind, but they do not think it through. What would happen if these sheep with human genes get in contact with sheep bred for meat? It won’t always be possible to keep track of these animals and keep them separate because they look the same from the outside. The union of these sheep will cause humans to consume human DNA, which will probably have serious health consequences. What an abomination! 

In the verse in Deuteronomy, plowing with an ox and donkey together is prohibited. This is just another form of mixing. This prohibition makes sense as this practice is inhumane. An ox is much stronger than a donkey, and the donkey will therefore be caused to work considerably harder than it is capable. It is interesting also to note that an ox is a clean animal and a donkey an unclean animal. 

Could this not yoking together an ox and donkey relate to what Paul was teaching in his letter to the Corinthian Israelites? 

2 Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?"

The word “bound together” is more correctly translated as "yoked together." 

2282 ἑτεροζυγέω (heterozygeō): vb.; ≡ Str 2086; TDNT 2.901 -- LN 34.9 be mismatched, formally, be unevenly yoked (2Co 6:14+) [2]

Paul is using this Torah commandment to illustrate a spiritual principle. We will go into more detail about this later. 

Mixed Seed 

“You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed” (Leviticus 19:19) and “you shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled” (Deuteronomy 22:9) are the phrases from these two passages pertaining to plants or seed. 

This verse pertains to produce like grains, vegetables and vines. In nature trees, shrubs and flowers grow together in natural harmony. Planting a flower garden is different to planting for food. 

Also take note, in Deuteronomy we are given a consequence of sowing mixed seed: the increase of the vineyard will become defiled or the yield of both crops be forfeited. 

Deuteronomy 22:9: "Thou dost not sow thy vineyard with divers things, lest the fullness of the seed which thou dost sow, and the increase of the vineyard, be separated." [6]

9311 תְּבוּאָה (teḇû·ʾā(h)): n.fem.; ≡ Str 8393; TWOT 212c -- 1. LN 3.33-3.46 yield, produce, crops, i.e., what is harvested from plants, whether grain or fruit (Ge 47:24; Dt 22:9); 2. LN 65.1-65.16 gain, income, i.e., what is valuable (Pr 16:8; Ecc 5:9[EB 10]) [2]

The result of mixing plants is the same as the mixing of animals. It causes perversion. So much mixing has taken place that we cannot compare the grains we have at present with ancient grains. Grains we have nowadays can even, in some cases, affect our health negatively. There are many people who have gluten intolerance, and many digestive problems exist because of the grain we consume. If people kept YEHOVAH’s commandments, this would surely be different. 

You see, the problem is that humankind thinks they can do it better. YEHOVAH God created, and now man wants to better something where no improvement was required in the first place. This has now ended in corruption and destruction, so much so that our very existence is threatened. Why are they doing it? For power and money, that is what it is always about. They reject YEHOVAH’s ways in order to gain control and fortune. Sounds like Satan's way of life, doesn’t it? 

So what can we do about it? We can make sure we plant only heirloom seeds, no hybrids or genetically modified seed is to be used. Here is some more information on these three groups for more understanding: 

"Heirloom vegetables are not a special species of plants. The term heirloom vegetable is used to describe any type of vegetable seed that has been saved and grown for a period of years and is passed down by the gardener that preserved it. It has a provenance, of sorts. To be capable of being saved, all heirloom seed must be open pollinated. 

"Open pollinated or OP plants are simply varieties that are capable of producing seeds that will produce seedlings just like the parent plant. Not all plants do this.

"Plant breeders cross breed compatible types of plants in an effort to create a plant with the best features of both parents. These are called hybrids and many of our modern plants are the results of these crosses.

"While plants can cross-pollinate in nature and hybrids repeatedly selected and grown may eventually stabilize, many hybrid seeds are relatively new crosses and seed from these hybrids will not produce plants with identical qualities.

"For example, each year new hybrid tomato varieties are offered. You may see them labeled as hybrids or F1, first filial generation (first-generation hybrid), or F2. These may eventually stabilize, but for the moment a tomato like the popular ‘Early Girl’ does not produce seeds that reliably have the features you expect in an ‘Early Girl’ tomato. Seed from hybridized plants tends to revert to the qualities of the parents, so tomatoes grown from seeds saved from your ‘Early Girl’ tomatoes might still be tasty, but not so early.

"Anyone can select and eventually stabilize their own seed or even hybridize new plants, but plant and seed companies have recently begun patenting their crosses so that only have the right to reproduce the hybrids they’ve developed.

"Hybrids should not be confused with genetically modified organisms or (GMOs) which, according to About.com’s Biotech Guide, can be any plant, animal or microorganism which have been genetically altered using molecular genetic techniques such as gene cloning and protein engineering. Plants like corn that has the pesticide Bt engineered into its genetic makeup to make it resistant to certain pests are GMO crops. Bt is a natural pesticide, but it would never naturally find its way into corn seed." [7]

This said, we also understand this to mean that we are to sow our seed in neat rows of the same kind, we are not just to take a handful of mixed seed and scatter it over the ground. That is chaos and confusion. At one time we followed a gardening method where you plant all the vegetables together in one bed -- and we ended up with a vegetable garden of confusion. It was difficult to distinguish the plants from each other and then we had some “wild herbs” in between as well. Needless to say, we won’t do that again. That is practical experience showing us that it is not to be done. We found this verse in Isaiah which gives a bit more understanding as to why YEHOVAH God commanded  this. It is to help us… 

Isaiah 28:25-29: "Does he not level its surface and sow dill and scatter cummin and plant wheat in rows, barley in its place and rye within its area? 26 For his Elohim instructs and teaches him properly. 27 For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin; but dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club. 28 Grain for bread is crushed, indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever. Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it, he does not thresh it longer. 29 This also comes from YHVH of hosts, Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great."

It is interesting to note that ancient Hittite laws also forbade the sowing of different kinds of seed in the same field. It appears that mixing of this kind was reserved for sacred purposes, and the average person was not allowed to engage in these practices.

Now for the last part of the scripture on mixing. This pertains to material used for clothing: 

Mixed Material 

How are we to understand this commandment? What is mixed material? The Hebrew word used for mixed material is in both verses, Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:6, “saatnez” -- and this is the meaning according to the DBL (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains): 

9122 שַׁעַטְנֵז (šǎ·ʿǎṭ·nēz): n.masc.; ≡ Str 8162; TWOT 2431 -- LN 6.152-6.187 woven material, i.e., cloth made by the process of weaving (Lev 19:19; Dt 22:11+), note: in context, likely a wide, loose mesh [2]

From this we can deduce that it specifically pertains to the weaving together of different materials. This is important because some teach that you should not wear a garment of wool over a garment of linen. This is simply not true. 

It is interesting to note that the Septuagint translates this term as κίβδηλον, meaning “adulterated”. Here is a definition from google: 

Adulterated: "Render (something) poorer in quality by adding another substance, typically an inferior one." [8]

To mix linen and wool will, according to this interpretation, render it of poorer quality than garments made of wool or linen alone. Could this be said of all mixtures?

Let us also look at the words used for wool and linen to see what we can learn from it. This is the Hebrew word for “wool;” “semer”: 

7547 צֶמֶר (ṣě·měr): n.masc.; ≡ Str 6785; TWOT 1931a -- 1. LN 8.15 wool, i.e., the hair of a sheep not yet processed (Jdg 6:37; 2Ki 3:4; Ps 147:16; Isa 1:18+); 2. LN 6.171 wool, i.e., a material for making clothing and fabric, originally from the hair of sheep (Lev 13:47, 48, 52, 59; Dt 22:11; Pr 31:13; Isa 51:8; Eze 27:18; 34:3; 44:17; Hos 2:7[EB 5],11[EB 9]+) [2]

and this is the word used for linen: “peset”: 

7324 פֵּשֶׁת (pē·šěṯ): n.masc. [BDB: n.fem.]; ≡ Str 6593; TWOT 1848 -- 1. LN 3.13-3.32 flax, i.e., a slender erect annual, with blue flowers, of the genus Linum (Jos 2:6; Jdg 15:14; Pr 31:13; Isa 19:9+), note: used for fiber and seed; 2. LN 6.152–6.187 linen, i.e., a cloth made of flax (Lev 13:47, 48, 52, 59; Dt 22:11; Jer 13:1; Eze 40:3; 44:17, 18; Hos 2:7[EB 5],11[EB 9]+), see also 73252

Wool is an animal product and linen a plant product. It is interesting to note that the first prohibitions against mixing is animal with animal, then plant with plant and now plant with animal. However, in Leviticus it reads that we are not to “wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.” No mention of linen or wool -- why?

While the Deuteronomy passage specifically forbids wearing a woven garment of wool and linen, the Leviticus passage seems broader, forbidding clothes woven of two different types of fabric -- no matter what the material. However, wool and linen would have been the primary options for the ancient Israelite when it came to making thread for weaving. Woolen thread would have been made from the hair of a sheep or goat -- although today it is made from a variety of other animals as well (llamas, alpacas, etc.). Linen was made from fibers contained in the stalk of the flax plant (see Joshua 2:6). There is no evidence that ancient Israel cultivated cotton and, of course, they did not have synthetics like nylon or polyester. Therefore, we can safely assume that wool and linen are in view in the Levitical passage -- even though the materials are not specifically stated.

Should this be interpreted to include other materials? It probably is best to interpret the Scripture literally and seeing that linen and wool was the most used materials in ancient times, it makes logical sense that these are mentioned as an example in the Deuteronomy passage. 

It should be noted that neither passage says anything about wearing two garments made of different kinds of material. For example, a linen undergarment worn with a woolen outer garment may have been acceptable. Nor do the commandments say anything about clothing that is not woven -- such as leather or animal skins being used with a lining made of wool or linen. The prohibition pertains ONLY to wearing a single garment woven with both wool and linen.

The rule against wearing different types of fabric was not a moral law. There is nothing inherently wrong with weaving linen and wool together. In fact, the ephod of the High Priest was made of linen and dyed thread (Exodus 28:6-8; 39:4-5). The dyed thread would have been made of wool. This fact is probably the key to understanding the prohibition. The ephod of the High Priest was the ONLY garment that could be woven of linen and wool. No one else was allowed to have such a garment. Apparently, this rule was to place some distance between the High Priest and the people, with the ultimate purpose of reminding Israel of how holy YEHOVAH God truly is.

A similar prohibition is in the Law regarding anointing oil. YEHOVAH God gave a special recipe for the anointing oil, and it was strictly forbidden to duplicate the recipe for common use. No Israelite was allowed to make this oil for his own purposes (Exodus 30:31-38).

Different schools of Jewish thought offer various justifications. Some of the earliest rabbinic leaders glimpsed an explanation in the Biblical narrative of Cain and Abel. In that Bible story, as you’ll recall, Cain, one of the sons of Adam and Eve, offered a sacrifice of flax to YEHOVAH God. And Abel, his brother, sacrificed one of his best sheep. YEHOVAH recognized Abel’s sacrifice but not Cain’s. The Bible doesn’t say why. Naomi Rosenblatt, in Wrestling With Angels, suggests that YEHOVAH God might have been testing Cain, assessing whether he made his sacrifice out of a sense of true thanksgiving or to gain YEHOVAH’s approval. We don’t know the reason, but we know the situation didn’t end well. Cain became jealous and killed Abel. According to the early rabbis’ exegesis, Cain’s murder of Abel led YEHOVAH God to decree that the offering of a sinner -- linen, which is made from flax -- should not be mixed with the offering of an innocent -- wool, which comes from sheep.

There is a very popular teaching among Torah believers that materials emit frequencies that can influence our health and healing. This is stated as the reason for this prohibition. That is absolute nonsense. We have done some research to find the origin of this teaching.

In reality, these commandments are about set apartness. To be a believer in YEHOVAH God is to be set apart, not like the world, not doing what the rest of the world does -- and not wearing the same clothing. 

The next scripture fits the context very well, especially when you read on to the next section about mixing: 

Zephaniah 1:8: “Then it will come about on the day of YHVH’s sacrifice that I will punish the princes, the king’s sons and all who clothe themselves with foreign garments."

What does this mean? 

Mixing With Other Nations 

Deuteronomy 23:2-3: "A bastard [child of a mixed race couple] shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever."

Nehemiah 13:1 demonstrates that the phrase “to his tenth generation”, as in Deuteronomy 23:2, is a Hebrew idiom meaning forever.

According to Strong's, "Hebrew #4464: mam-zare'; a mongrel, i.e. born of an Israelite father and a heathen {non-Israelite} mother." The child of a mixed marriage, not a child conceived out of wedlock as the clergy of organized religion would have you believe.

Any person born from a mixed union, such as Ishmael, was not recognized as a Hebrew, nor was he recognized by YEHOVAH God as Abraham's lawful son, even though he was Abraham's first born.

Genesis 21:9-13: “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; FOR IN ISAAC SHALL THY SEED BE CALLED. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed” (KJV).

For a second witness:

Romans 9:7-8: “...nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, 'In Isaac your seed shall be called.' That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed” (KJV).

Here Paul is saying that just because they are the seed of Abraham, Ishmael and his descendants, the sons of Ketura and her sons, Esau and his sons or any of the other mixed race people formed because of unions between true Israelites and the other races and peoples of the world, they are NOT children of the promise: but, "IN ISAAC YOUR SEED SHALL BE CALLED."

We read in Genesis about Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac to Almighty God:

Genesis 22:12: "...now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou has not withheld thy son, THINE ONLY SON from me."

Hebrews 11:17-18: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That IN ISAAC SHALL THY SEED BE CALLED” (KJV).

Here we can see that once again Isaac is recognized as Abraham’s only son because those of the other wife and concubine were not recognized as the CHILDREN of Abraham, but were his seed. Isaac was seventeen years old when this happened, and Ishmael, Abraham's first born was living and was about thirty-four years old at that time. (See also Hebrew 11:18) THIS, CLEARLY SHOWS, THAT YEHOVAH GOD DOES NOT AND DID NOT RECOGNIZE MIXED SEEDS (MIXED BREEDS).

We must remember, we the white race are Israelites, if we are pure white. If one could not prove that they were an Israelite (pure white man/woman) they were cast out of the priesthood and not allowed to serve YEHOVAH God at the altar.

Leviticus 21:10-15: "And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments...shall take a virgin of HIS OWN PEOPLE TO WIFE. Neither shall he profane his seed [mix his seed with other races] among his people..."

Here again is the distinction of our seed. We see references to various mixtures. Remember that the white race is NOW called Caucasians, but were known BEFORE by nationality and even earlier as Israelites. But when Israel sinned against YEHOVAH God and He divorced her (Book of Jeremiah), they were not allowed to be called Israelites (MEANING RULING WITH YEHOVAH GOD), so their name of Israel was lost to them and they became known by other names; i.e., Scots, English, French, Dutch, Americans, Canadians and etc.

This is clearly shown in the Apocrypha, where we read:

"The nation of Israel, the princes, the priests and the Levites, have not put away from them the strange people of the land, nor the pollutions of the Gentiles, to wit, of the Canaanites, Hittites, Pheresites, Jebusites, and the Moabites, Egyptians, and Edomites. For both they and their sons have married with their daughters, and the holy seed is mixed with the strange people of the land; and from the beginning of this matter the rulers and the great men have been partakers of this iniquity...

"For our sins are multiplied above our heads, and our ignorances have reached up unto heaven. For ever since the time of our fathers we have been and are in great sin, even unto this day. And for our sins and our fathers’ we wish our brethren and our kings and our priests were given up unto the kings of the earth, to the sword, and to captivity, and for a prey with shame, unto this day...

"Therefore now shall ye not join your daughters unto their sons, neither shall ye take their daughters unto your sons. Moreover ye shall never seek to have peace with them, that ye may be strong, and eat the good things of the land, and that ye may leave the inheritance of the land unto your children for evermore. And all that is befallen is done unto us for our wicked works and great sins: for thou, O LORD, didst make our sins light. And didst give unto us such a root: but we have turned back again to transgress thy law, and to mingle ourselves with the uncleanness of the nations of the land...

"Then Jechonias the son of Jeelus, one of the sons of Israel, called out, and said, O Esdras, we have sinned against the LORD God, we have married strange women of the nations of the land, and now is all Israel aloft. Let us make an oath to the LORD, that we will put away all our wives, which we have taken of the heathen, with their children...

"So Esdras arose up, and said unto them. Ye have transgressed the law in marrying strange wives thereby to increase the sins of Israel. And now by confessing give glory unto the LORD God of our fathers. And do his will, and separate yourselves from the heathen of the land, and from the strange women" (1 Esdras 8:69-70, 75-77, 84-87, 92-93; 9:7-11).

We are told: "Then the angel said unto him, dost thou not remember the precepts which thy Father gave thee, that thou shouldest marry a wife of thine own kindred?" (Tobit 6:15).

YEHOVAH God commanded Israel not to intermarry with the pagan nations around them: 

Deuteronomy 7:3-4: “Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of YHVH will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you."

Gentiles -- or even pagans -- can join with the nation of Israel. However, they MUST be believers in YEHOVAH God and be obedient to His commandments. They will then be a part of Israel -- however, ONLY Israel has been offered salvation.

Ancient Israel disobeyed YEHOVAH God and intermarried with the pagan nations and turned away from YEHOVAH. This scenario is described many times. In Psalm 106, this is described twice, with the consequences they suffered as a result of this. 

Psalm 106:28-31: "They joined themselves also to Baal-peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. 29 Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds, and the plague broke out among them. 30 Then Phinehas stood up and interposed, and so the plague was stayed. 31 And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, to all generations forever."

Psalm 106:34-37: "They did not destroy the peoples, as YHVH commanded them, 35 but they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, 36 and served their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons,"

Are we not in the same sad state? Having been mixed in with the nations and following their practices. Here is another scripture: 

Hosea 7:8: "Ephraim mixes himself with the nations; Ephraim has become a cake not turned."

“A cake unturned” describes Ephraim’s spiritual condition after they have mixed themselves with the nations. This cake that is referred to is a flat cake or bread that is baked in the fire. It could also be a cake made by putting the dough on the outside of an earthenware vessel, with fire on the inside. If it remains unturned, it will burn on the one side while remaining uncooked and doughy on the other side. Unsuitable for consumption. Ephraim’s mixing (intermarrying) with the nations, will cause them to become corrupt. 

Another example is found in the book of Judges: 

Judges 3:5–7: "The sons of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; 6 and they took their daughters for themselves as wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. 7 The sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of YHVH, and forgot YHVH their Elohim and served the Baals and the Asheroth."

This was the result: 

Judges 3:8: "Then the anger of YHVH was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years."

Much later, after the Babylonian captivity was over, some Israelites returned to the land. This was in the time of Ezra. The Israelites have mixed with the nations by taking foreign wives. They now were returning, not only to the land, but also to YEHOVAH God. They realized that it was against YEHOVAH’s Torah to have taken foreign wives. 

Ezra 9:14: "Shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape?"

Ezra 10:2-3: "Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our Elohim and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. So now let us make a covenant with our Elohim to put away all the wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law."

They decided to obey YEHOVAH God and send these foreign wives away.

Is there a contradiction when you read the words of Paul? Some point to 1 Corinthians and claim that a foreign wife is the same as an unbelieving wife -- is this true? 

1 Corinthians 7:12-13: "But to the rest I say, not YHVH, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away." 

Here is David Stern’s commentary on these verses: 

"12-16 The New Testament teaches a second ground for divorce, besides adultery (vv. 10-11&N), but it applies only in the case of a marriage between a believer and a nonbeliever. Since a believer is expected not to marry a nonbeliever (v. 39&N, 2C 6:14&N), such a marriage should arise only if one of two married unbelievers becomes a believer." [9]

Unfortunately, David Stern does not point out the fact that Paul is addressing his epistle to Israelites in dispersion in Greece! These are NOT Gentiles or non-Israelites! Paul is in no way indicating that an unbelieving wife or husband can remain in the relationship if a Gentile or non-Israelite! This passage pertains to Israelites ONLY since salvation is only offered to Israelites! This makes sense because Paul would not teach against Torah. He was Torah-observant himself. There is no contradiction here. 

What have we learned from this study? 

These instructions are about YEHOVAH's created order. He made things in a certain way, the best way, and it is not for us to tamper with this. He did not make corn with an insecticide in it, because He knew it would not be good for our health. You can do some research on this for yourself and see how much humankind “benefits” from these changes that are made to plants and animals. Even minor changes may have a much bigger impact than we can comprehend. It may, in some instances, take years to see the effect of our tampering. We are therefore to ensure we do what is required. Our set apartness is our own responsibility. 

YEHOVAH God has also made wool, flax and other natural materials to have particular characteristics; flax keeps you cool in summer, and wool keeps you warm in winter, to simplify it greatly. We don’t know for certain why we are not to wear clothing of mixed materials, but as we said before, we don’t have to know; we have to obey. We are to make sure that we do not wear clothing of mixed materials. What about the things we cannot find? We may have to be creative, however, there may be one or two things we can not find unmixed. You will know when you compromise… 

The last part of the study is about Israel mixing with the nations. Ultimately, that which is reserved for Israel, namely redemption, salvation, resurrection to eternal life, belongs ONLY to Israel. It is their inheritance from Abraham, according to the promise made by YEHOVAH God to the fathers of Israel.

The one great difference between Israel and the other races is that YEHOVAH made a covenant relationship between Himself and Israel that He did NOT make with other races. This made Israel accountable for keeping the covenant relationship. Breaking the covenant brought judgment upon Israel and it was with the same people who had the Old Covenant that YEHOVAH God made the New Covenant with -- (Hebrews 8:8). The sense that Israel are YEHOVAH's chosen people is by covenant relationship. Israel has a heavy accountability and burden that is not laid upon other peoples.

YEHOVAH also knew that Israel will either mix the ways of the idolaters with His ways or depart from Him, therefore another aspect His stern warning not to mix with the nations is mentioned. We have seen through history what the consequence of this mixing was and is. 

Last but not least, we learn that there is a spiritual principle in these commandments. However, this does not negate the physical, to quote the Messiah again: 

Luke 16:10: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much."

Paul also said the following which supports this: 

1 Corinthians 15:46: "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual."

The natural is first, the physical keeping of these commandments, but there is a spiritual side to this. We as Israel, YEHOVAH’s chosen people, are to live set apart lives. We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers or non-Israelite races. This set apartness include what we do with our animals, our crops and the clothes we wear, and most importantly, who we choose to closely associate with as in marriage, friendships and partnerships. 

What will you do with this knowledge? Will you obey YEHOVAH God, even in the small things -- or do you think it’s not important? Do you fear YEHOVAH God? We pray that YEHOVAH will give each one of you reading this, and us, the strength to do what is right in His eyes. It may not be easy, but you are not alone. 


[1] Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

[2] Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Vol. 1: Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (613). New York: United Bible Societies.

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbreed

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosis

[6] Young, R. (1997). Young’s Literal Translation (Dt 22:9). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetable1/f/Heirlooms.htm

[8] https://www.google.nl/search?q=adulterated&rlz=1C1MDNE_nlNL506NL506&oq=adulterated&aqs=chrome.0.57j0l3j62.2831j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

[9] Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary: A companion Volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed.) (1 Co 7:12). Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications.


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God, His Messiah and the Saints of Israel to Rule This Earth!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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