Ezra and the foreign wives

At the end of the book of Ezra there a horrid account of Ezra and the “officials” gang up to force Judeans who have married foreign women to divorce them and send away them and their children. What do we do with passages like this? And as part of our thinking on this, where DO our values come from? If they don’t come from the Bible, then do we have to use values established elsewhere to “judge” Scripture? Many people today do just that. But I’m a Baptist, Scripture is my final authority in matters of faith and practice, or is it?

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3 Responses to Ezra and the foreign wives

  1. Reading against the grain – The story of Ruth stands in implicit contradiction to Ezra. Thanks Tim for these snippets of wisdom. Ezra-Nehemiah have never appealed to me much, but I still value their presence in the canon. I tend to read Nehemiah as prefiguring the Paraclete. He is the temple builder and his name has the etymology of comforter.

  2. Tim says:

    Reading against the grain seems to me useful for pointing out the problems, but on its own it is not enough, but from where I stand this sort of (ana)Baptist approach to the babel of the Bible does have possibilities for a faithful, humble (i.e. not setting oneself and one’s “friends” above Scripture) reading even of difficult texts πŸ™‚