The Bible and Incest


Incest. If God doesn't change, how can Torah mean incest wasn't wrong retrograde? If murder is wrong (Law or no Law) then incest (which is taking sexual advantage of a relative...and it is always couched that way) has always been wrong and to say "well there was no Law then" isn't that equivocating?

Well, for 1: They had no choice. They HAD to commit incest because there were no other human beings around that they could mate with. Also, the genes were not corrupted enough to produce birth defects and other genetic problems. I believe God prohibited incest when He did because by that time, the genes had become corrupted enough to where birth defects and other genetic problems were brought about. Also, it was no longer necessary because humanity had spread out enough by then that a person could mate with someone very, very, very far removed from their bloodline. Incest was no longer a necessity.

God's moral nature does not change. That granted, it seems God can still sanction certain behaviors as conditionally immoral. These things may not be absolutely, unalterably, universally immoral, but they are immoral in a specific context. This isn't to say morality is relative. Since some things are absolutely right and absolutely wrong. But it may be the case that SOME things, like incest, are only immoral under certain conditions. Those conditions being A: It cause genetic defects. B: It's no longer required. C: God said so.

Take, for example, sanctions against eating unclean foods. Under the Mosaic covenant, eating shellfish was immoral. The act of eating crustaceans is not immoral per se, but it becomes immoral when it violates a law. The same is true of civil law: driving your car past a light that is the color red is not immoral per se, but it becomes immoral because it violates a law intended to protect lives.

The purpose, scope, and duration of these sorts of conditional laws may vary. But that doesn't mean the character of God changes.

It seems possible, then, that marrying a blood relative is not immoral per se, but that it becomes immoral only under certain conditions. The reasons why I think He permitted it at the start and prohibited it later is listed above. You could say, then, that incest violates a less-than-universal command. In our present circumstance, it is immoral; under other circumstances (e.g. Adam's children) it was not. None of that does an injustice to God's immutable character.