I didn’t plan on writing on this subject but to my surprise, there is an alarming number of Christian sites that believe it’s okay to marry your cousin. They say the word “cousin” isn’t listed in the prohibitions in Leviticus therefore, it’s okay to do it. They also reason that “close relative” MAY mean first cousin but second cousins and beyond is okay. This is absolutely false and I’m going to attempt to prove it.
So is the word “cousin” listed in the prohibitions?
No, the bible doesn’t actually use the word “cousin” but it also doesn’t use “omnipresent,” “trinity,” “Halloween,” “Christmas,” “omniscient,” etc. yet we know these are biblical concepts or prohibitions. So you can’t go by what’s NOT said because that leaves the door wide open for all kinds of sin. So this is where we have to use our heads and “reason” these things out….
Think of two groups – blood related, and NOT blood related (which is through marriage)
The following marriages are prohibited:
Stepchildren (Lev 18:8,17) – NOT blood related – only through marriage
Stepsisters (Lev 18:11) – NOT blood related
Daughter-in-law – (Lev 18:15) – NOT blood related
Sister-in-law (Lev 18:16) – NOT blood related
Step-granddaughter (Lev 18:17) – NOT blood related
Most verses prohibiting marriage are people related by marriage – NOT by blood.
So if the bible is against marrying an “in-law,” then how much more would it be against a BLOOD relative especially when the bible says:
“None of you shall approach ANY BLOOD RELATIVE to his to uncover nakedness: I am the Lord.” (Lev 18:6)
The literal Hebrew translation reads:
“Any man to ALL BLOOD RELATIVE not come near to uncover nakedness, I am the Lord.”
How many is “ALL?” Now the bible does give SOME examples of blood relatives that are prohibited (aunt – Lev 18:12-14 — sister Lev 18:9; Deut 27:22 —–granddaughter Lev 18:10) but it’s not going to mention every single relationship by name because it already says “ALL BLOOD RELATIVES.” God said “all blood relatives” because He means what He says.
This is how the enemy deceives. He’s counting on you NOT using your heads to reason in order to cause you to sin. We need to be careful because the adversary seeks to destroy you.
[I’m aware that Abram married his half sister and that kings had multiple wives but this was either before these other laws were given or it was never intended from the beginning yet God allowed for whatever reason. And again, for these reasons, they do not apply to us.]
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