Uncle-Niece Marriage, Christianity and Christians

Table of Content

Biblical Laws

Examples within Bible

Examples outside Bible

Biblical laws

In Leviticus 18, List of unlawful sexual relations are given and in Leviticus 20, punishments for such forbidden marriages are given. Sexual relations with Father’s sister, Mother’s sister and wife of uncle are prohibited in these chapters but there is no prohibition or punishment mentioned against relations between Uncle and niece.

Reference: Leviticus 18:12-14New International Version (NIV)

Online Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%2018%3A12-14&version=NIV;RSV;KJV

Text:

12 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.

13 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.

14 “‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

Reference: Leviticus 20:19-20New International Version (NIV)

Online Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%2020%3A19-20&version=NIV;RSV;KJV

Text:

19 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible.

20 “‘If a man has sexual relations with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible; they will die childless.

Examples in Bible

Abraham and his brother Nahor:

Abraham’s brother Nahor married his niece while Abraham himself married his half-sister Sarah but according to Rabbinic Judaism, she was her niece as marriage between siblings is forbidden by God and in Torah. They say Iskah was actually Sarai.

Reference: Genesis 11:27-29New International Version (NIV)

Online Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+11%3A27-29&version=KJV;RSV;NIV

Text:

27 This is the account of Terah’s family line.Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah.

Caleb married his daughter to his brother:

This marriage is after Torah was given to Israel and performed by people of tribe of Judah. Caleb appears in the Hebrew Bible as a representative of the Tribe of Judah during the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land.

Reference: Joshua 15:16-17New International Version (NIV)

Online Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+15%3A16-17&version=KJV;RSV;NIV

Text:

16 And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 17 Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.

Reference: Judges 1:12-13New International Version (NIV)

Online Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+1%3A12-13&version=KJV;RSV;NIV

Text:

12 And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 13 Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.

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