It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Marriages--approved and unapproved, 1 Edras 9

After a period of mourning over their great iniquities, Ezra made a proclamation that all the returned exiles should assemble in Jerusalem. Anybody who didn't come within two or three days would be expelled from the category of returned from captivity and his livestock be confiscated.

On the day of assembly, the weather was cold. Ezra told them, "Separate yourselves from your foreign wives." The multitude shouted their agreement with loud voices. But, they added that since it was winter, the cold would prevent them from doing all they were supposed to do. They asked that the leaders stay but that the rest of them who had foreign wives take care of the situation 

Eventually many men who had married foreign women put them away together with their children.

Everyone gather to hear Ezra read the law.They wept as they heard the law--"Eat the fat and drink the sweet, and share with those who don't have any. This day is holy; do not be sorrowful, for the Lord will exalt you." 

So, with great rejoicing, they ate and drank and shared because they were inspired by the words which they had been taught. And they came together.

What was life like for the men who had had to give up their marriages in order to remain in their society? How did those marriages affect other married people? Why did they have this rule at this time? After all, many of their leaders in the past had taken foreign wives, and many in the future will, too.

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