Ezra 9–10: Marriages to Non-Israelite Wives

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 123

Perhaps the biggest reason Israel and Judah were scattered and taken captive was that they worshiped idols. Ezra and other Jewish leaders tried to keep the people from making these same mistakes again as they returned to their promised land. But, as you will read in Ezra 9–10, many Jews had married outside of the covenant, increasing the temptation to worship the gods of their spouses. As you read these two chapters, consider how you might apply what these writings teach about marrying in the covenant.

Understanding the Scriptures

Ezra 9

Abominations (vv. 1, 11, 14)Things that are wrong in the sight of God 
Holy seed (v. 2)Covenant people 
Mingled (v. 2)Intermarried 
Chief in this trespass (v. 2)Leaders in doing wrong 
Astonied (vv. 3–4)Surprised and saddened 
Heaviness (v. 5)Heavy burden 
Blush (v. 6)Humiliated 
Iniquities (vv. 6–7, 13)Sins 
Space (v. 8)Period of time 
Reviving (vv. 8–9)Hope 
Affinity (v. 14)Close relationship 

Ezra 10

Swear (v. 5)Promise 
Substance should be forfeited (v. 8)Property should no longer belong to that person 
Pleasure (v. 11)Will 

Ezra 10:9—“Trembling Because of This Matter, and for the Great Rain”

The incident described in Ezra 10:9 occurred during the coldest, rainiest time of the year. The people shivered because of the cold and also because they felt the Lord was upset with them because of their sins.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Ezra 9–10.

Activity A iconInterview Ezra

Imagine you are a newspaper reporter at the time of the events in Ezra 9. Choose three questions you would ask Ezra, and write how you think he would answer, based on what you read in Ezra 9.

Activity B iconIdentify Principles of Repentance

  1. 1.

    The people listened to Ezra and many tried to be more righteous. Write in your notebook and underline in your scriptures three principles of true repentance you find in Ezra 10.

  2. 2.

    Tell why each principle you found above is important to the repentance process.