A Handbook of Bible Law - Foreign
Copyright 1991 by Charles A. Weisman. 2nd Edition: Aug., 1992;
3rd Edition: Dec., 1994
Comments: Interaction between different nations is not only
inevitable but often necessary and desirable. The Bible reveals that a
considerable amount of internation trade and commerce occurred between Israel
and other nations. The prophets did not condemn trade with foreign nations as
such, but only the greed, selfishness, oppression, and dishonesty so often
manifested in connection with it.
Agreements, contracts and treaties between nations are as
ancient as nations themselves. Such actions come unde the principles of
International Law, which has come dow to us today. Thus, a contract for timber
(1 Kings 5) be- tween Solomon, King of Israel, and Hyram, King of Tyre would be
by its terms as legally binding today as it was then.
While fair and peaceable interrelations between nations were
the norm, God had prohibited any interaction, trade, aid or treaties to be
conducted with ungodly nations. Foreigners (strangers) who were not heathens
were allowed to visit or pass through the nation, being treated as a citizen.
The official practice of receiving and entertaining foreign
dignitaries was a common practice, as in the case o Solomon receiving the Queen
of Sheba on her visit to th nation of Israel (1 Kings 10).
The biblical guidelines concerning foreign relations were well
expressed by Presidents Washington and Jefferson who said we should have peace,
commerce, and honesty with nations, are to avoid entangling alliances with all
natio and should not allow any foreign influence in our land.
- We are to pray for deliverance from our enemies. 1 Sam. 12:10-11; Psa.
17:6-9; Psa. 35:15-17; Psa. 59:1; Psa.64:1.
- Overcome enemies by kindness. 1 Sam. 26:21; 25:21-22; Rom. 12:20-21.
- Christ's enemies are to be destroyed. Luke 19:27.
- We are not to help ungodly and anti-Christ nations or show friendship
towards them. 2 Chron. 19:2.
- We can lend to other nations but are not to borrow from them. Deut.
15:6; Deut 28:12.
- It is vain to rely on other nations for help while ignoring the aid of
God. Isa. 31:11; Jer. 3:23.
|11C - Alliances and
- Alliances and covenants (treaties) with pagan or ungodly nations are
forbidden. Exod. 23:32; Exod. 34:12-16; Deut. 7:2-4; Judges 2:2-3; Ezra
9:12; Psa. 106:34-36.
- Covenants with pagan or ungodly nations leads to idolatry and adoption of
pagan ways. Exod. 34:12-16; Deut. 7:2-4.
- Do not to follow the ways of other nations. Deut. 12:29-30.
- A treaty of peace, agreeing to do no harm to another friendly nation, can
be enacted. Gen. 21:22-32; Gen. 26:28-31.
- Alliances made with wicked nations will not be fruitful. 2 Chron.
|11D - General Foreign
- We should make an effort, and do what is reasonably possible, to avoid
strife and contention (and possible war) with other nations. Gen. 26:15-22.
- International trade, and importing and exporting of goods, can be
conducted. Gen. 41:57; Gen. 42:34; 1 Kings 10:15; 2 Chron. 1:16-17; Ezek.
17:4; Ezek. 27:12,14.
- Iniquity in trading is condemned. Ezek. 28:18.
- Ambassadors can be sent to foreign nations to convey messages to it and to
speak on behave of the government. Deut. 2:26; Num. 20:14; Num. 21:21-22.
- You shall not allow foreigners that are pagans to emigrate into or dwell
in your nation; for they shall be as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your
sides, and they shall trouble you in your land. Exod. 23:33; Num. 33:5;
- Do not render evil to a nation at peace with you. Psa. 7:4.
- When in a foreign nation, you may buy and sell with it but meddle not in
its affairs. Deut. 2:5-6, 19, 28.