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In these passages is the account of Ezra directing the Jews to divorce their foreign wives. When Ezra arrived in Jerusalem he learned that many of the Jews who returned had married foreign wives. This was contrary to the Law of Moses which directed Israel to be separate from the indigenous population.

They were not to intermarry  because this would cause Israel to adopt the ways of the native people of the land. Their ways were very sinful, and they worshiped demons. Ezra was fearful that God would once again punish Israel and reject them from the land because of this transgression.

Ezra assembled the people and told them that they must divorce their foreign wives. The Jews who refused would be excluded from the Jewish assembly. Many therefore did divorce their wives. Some even had children.

This raises in a question in my mind. The Bible says that ‘God hates divorce.’ The Bible also says that if a believer marries a nonbeliever the believer should not divorce the non-believer.  The non believing spouse might be saved through the influence of the believing spouse.

In the account Ezra ordering these divorces there is no indication that Ezra first asked God for direction. Also, there was no confirming word from God.  Additionally, the Bible does not support Ezra’s decision.  I therefore believe that what Ezra did was wrong.