Ezra Chapter 10  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Ezra 10
 
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Ezr 10:7

“the returned exiles.” Literally, “the sons of the exile,” an idiom for those who had been taken as captives to Babylon in the Babylonian Captivity.

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Ezr 10:8(top)
Ezr 10:9

“the ninth month.” The association of the ninth month and heavy rains shows that Judah at this time was using a Nisan-year calendar, with the first month of the year starting at Nisan. That made the ninth month Kislev, which falls in our November/December. The “former rains” start in mid-October and are heavy and cold by December, sometimes including snow in and around Jerusalem. The “latter rain” starts in February and ends by mid-April. These heavy rains were cold, and the people were trembling (and shivering) because of the rain but also, as the text says, because they were aware that they had broken God’s law and, recently having returned from a 70-year captivity in Babylon, were scared of further divine wrath.

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Ezr 10:13

“for many of us.” The Hebrew is more literally, “we have sinned greatly in this matter,” but reading the English that way makes it seem like the problem that will take so long is the terrible nature of the sin, but that is not the case. The problem would take a long time and the sin was “great” because such a great number of people were involved in the sin and it was difficult and would have to be dealt with on almost a case-by-case basis. The best answer to make the English read clearly is to nuance the English to make the text clear, and many English versions do that.

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Ezr 10:17

“And they were finished.” Dealing with the men who had married foreign women started on the first day of the tenth month and ended by the first day of the first month—so they were completed shortly before the first day of Nisan—so it took almost three months. Dealing with dissolving the marriages of those men and trying to deal with the women and any children would have been a horrible business, with many tears and gut-wrenching decisions. The Bible spares us the details and just tells us the task was handled, but it was certainly not quick or easy.

There is a great lesson buried here in the Word of God: many times because of lack of wisdom or weakness we get ourselves into messes that cannot be straightened out quickly or easily. This can lead to avoiding dealing with the situation, which usually only makes things worse because, as the saying goes, not making a decision is making a decision. Dealing with life in a godly manner often means making difficult decisions and having the fortitude and persistence to see them through until completion. That is what Ezra and the leaders with him had to do.

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Ezr 10:19

“They gave their hand.” This indicates a custom for making a pledge, perhaps even an early handshake.

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