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Copr. Bruce N. Cameron, J.D., 1996.

LESSON 6 MIXED MARRIAGES (Ezra 9 & 10)

INTRODUCTION: THIS WEEK OUR STUDY TURNS TO EZRA 9 & 10 AND THE SUBJECT OF "MIXED MARRIAGES."

LETS REVIEW FOR A MOMENT: THE TEMPLE HAS BEEN REBUILT UNDER THE BLESSING OF THE LORD AND THE LEADERSHIP OF ZERUBBABEL AND JOSHUA. THEN, 60 YEARS LATER, ANOTHER GROUP LEFT PERSIA FOR JUDAH UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF EZRA. OUR LESSON LAST WEEK WAS ABOUT THIS SECOND RETURN. WELL, THIS WEEK EZRA AND THE NEW GROUP HAVE BEEN IN JERUSALEM FOR ABOUT FIVE MONTHS AND HE GETS SOME BAD NEWS.

I. THE PROBLEM

II. THE REACTION

III. NATURE OF THE PROBLEM.

IV. THE SOLUTION (?) TO THE PROBLEM.

(ONE COMMENTATOR THAT I READ HAD THREE THINGS TO SAY ABOUT THIS THAT MAY MAKE THIS MASS DIVORCE MORE UNDERSTANDABLE. FIRST, HE SAID THAT THE SINGLE PARENT FAMILY DID NOT EXIST AS IT DOES TODAY. THE EFFECT OF THIS DIVORCE WOULD BE TO RETURN THE WIFE AND CHILDREN TO THE EXTENDED FAMILY THAT THE WIFE LEFT IN THE BEGINNING. SECOND, WE ARE NOT SURE HOW COMMON DIVORCE WAS AMONG THESE PEOPLE. PERHAPS THEY HAD ALREADY DIVORCED THEIR JEWISH WIFE TO MARRY A FOREIGNER. THIRD, THIS WAS A REALLY DESPERATE SITUATION. THE PROBLEM WAS WIDESPREAD, AND GOD WAS NOT GOING TO HAVE A PEOPLE IF THIS CONTINUED.) (OUR LESSON ALSO POINTS OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF THESE SPOUSES CONVERTING: JEWISH LAW ALLOWED FOR CONVERTS. (SEE EX.12:48 AND RUTH 4:9 ff -- ALTHOUGH IF YOU COMPARE NEH 13:1, IT SEEMS THAT MOABITES SHOULD NOT EVEN BE ADMITTED TO THE ASSEMBLY. AND RUTH WAS A MOABITE.) G. READ EZRA 10:5-6. THE DIVORCE SOLUTION HAS BEEN PUT IN MOTION. EVERYONE HAS TAKEN AN OATH TO DO THIS. WHAT IS EZRA'S REACTION TO THIS? (I HAVE THE DISTINCT FEELING THAT THIS IS A PROBLEM WITH NO GOOD SOLUTION. THAT EZRA IS CERTAINLY UPSET ABOUT THE WHOLE THING.)

V. NEXT WEEK: A PATRIOTS VISION -- WE START A NEW BOOK, THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH AND LOOK AT THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS.