the eastern tendency toward amalgamation

This is an interesting observation about Clean and Unclean laws of the Old Testament and possible look into God’s reasoning. Excerpted link below…


In commanding complete destruction of the Canaanites, the Lord says,
“You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their
sons, or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away
your sons from following me, to serve other gods” (Deut 7.3-4).
This command is part and parcel of the whole fabric of complex Jewish
ritual law distinguishing clean and unclean practices.  To the
contemporary Western mind many of the regulations in Old Testament law
seem absolutely bizarre and pointless:  not to mix linen with wool, not
to use the same vessels for meat and for milk products, etc.
The overriding thrust of these regulations is to prohibit various kinds
of mixing.  Clear lines of distinction are being drawn: this and not that.  These serve as daily, tangible reminders that Israel is a special people set apart for God Himself.

I spoke once with an Indian missionary who told me that the Eastern mind
has an inveterate tendency toward amalgamation.  He said Hindus upon
hearing the Gospel would smile and say, “Sub ehki eh, sahib, sub ehki eh!”
(“All is One, sahib, All is One!” [Hindustani speakers forgive my
transliteration!]).  It made it almost impossible to reach them because
even logical contradictions were subsumed in the whole.  He said that he
thought the reason God gave Israel so many arbitrary commands about
clean and unclean was to teach them the Law of Contradiction!

By setting such strong, harsh dichotomies God taught Israel that any
assimilation to pagan idolatry is intolerable.  It was His way of
preserving Israel’s spiritual health and posterity.  God knew that if
these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the
undoing of Israel.  The killing of the Canaanite children not only
served to prevent assimilation to Canaanite identity but also served as a
shattering, tangible illustration of Israel’s being set exclusively
apart for God.