34 You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”
Reminded me a lot about Matthew 18:20 where two or more gather there I am in the midst of you… well this was long before Matthew and there God is telling everybody that this is my land and I gave it to you and I am among you so you have to follow my rules….That whole rule about which women were allowed to marry which men so long as they’re from the same tribe was strictly following the obedience to the Lord because all the inheritances in the lands and the money and oxen and all that stuff is already equally divided according to God.. so if they cross tribes than all those inheritances would be mixed up and some people would say that certain things would be unfair and such, but if they all follow in obedience to the Lord then there could be no mention of what’s fair and what’s not fair because it’s all following what He requested in the beginning and now they are keeping even more obedience with regards to who they marry with.
I remember being teased about inbreeding when I was younger..Somebody said that all Jews are similar and that’s why we all have big noses and other Semitic looks.. in the case of Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah , not only did they marry within the tribe, but they were married to the sons of their father’s brothers – their cousins. This obviously kept the land inheritance within the tribe, and even within the larger family unit. Now it makes all kind of weird sense as to why my Baba would kind of suggest under her breath and sometime right aloud (how embarrassing) how nice it would be for me and my first cousin to “get together” for the record.. I wasn’t married, she wasn’t married so it was “perfect” for this lovely elderly jewish woman …but the thought NEVER crossed our minds, we would just look at eachother and do the Joan Rivers “throat gag” thing and then laugh it off.