Males had to be circumcised, sabbaths had to be observed, and people had to obey hundreds of dietary, social, and hygiene rules.
All these regulations were intended to protect the Israelites from their neighbors' pagan influences, but no one could keep so many laws.
The Old Covenant was established between God and the people of Israel, after God freed them from slavery in Egypt.
An important Bible verse about understanding interracial marriage is 2 Corinthians : "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers." That last word, "unbelievers" is of key importance.
A Christian should not marry a non-Christian no matter how kind and good they are. Deuteronomy 7:1-6 tells the Israelites to destroy all the inhabitants of the Canaan land and not to intermarry with them because they would "turn your sons away from following Me, that they may serve other gods." The same key concern of 2 Corinthians is again expressed here.
Moses' wife was of another race and in Numbers 12:1-15 Aaron and Miriam were punished for criticizing this interracial marriage.
The book of Ruth tells a delightful story of a foreigner who became part of the lineage of Christ.
For three years, Jesus taught throughout Israel about the kingdom of God and his role as Messiah.
To support his claim as Son of God, he performed many miracles, even raising three people from the dead.
Only Aaron, the high priest, could enter the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement, to intercede for the people directly with God.
After the Israelites conquered Canaan, King Solomon built the first permanent temple in Jerusalem, where the animal sacrifices continued.
Invaders eventually destroyed the temples, but when they were rebuilt, the sacrifices resumed.