Jungle Fever (Ezra 7-9)

Ezra, a scribe and a prophet, is tasked by King Artaxerxes of Persia to go to Babylon and collect some goods in the forms of gold and silver mainly. Artaxerxes sends Ezra along with a little note that basically says, “Listen to this guy. He’s for real.” Sort of like when your Mom sent you to Beckers for cigarettes with a note. Ah, Beckers. You could really stretch your dollar there as a kid.

Ezra takes a big team with him to Babylon. As a leader, he’s a real buzzkill because he keeps making everyone go on fasts, which is impractical for a bunch of guys who hauling around precious metals. Maybe he wasn’t aware of the atomic weight of gold. It doesn’t say but I assume that these guys aren’t getting paid much so they at least deserve a hot lunch.

When Ezra gets back into town an interesting issue pops up: mixed marriages. Hmm. Ezra hears that there has been some intermingling of such VASTLY DIFFERENT groups as the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. SCANDAL. Upon receiving this new, he says he “rent [his] garments and [his] mantle, and pulled hair from [his] head and beard, and sat appalled” (Ezr 9:3). UNNECESSARY. Sitting appalled is particularly funny to me since it’s the exact same reaction of my roommates cat whenever we dress him up in costumes.

Maybe it’s just Ezra’s bias, but it would seem that the Bible comes down heavily on mixed marriages. “Therefore, give not your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.” (Ezr 9:12) Hmm. I don’t quite know what to say. Chalk it up to the time period the Bible was written in and ignore it? If yes, why not the rest of its prescriptions?

I have nothing else to add here.

Published in: on October 31, 2011 at 1:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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