The oath to put away foreign wives (Ezra 10:5-10:6)

“Then Ezra stood up. He made the leading priests, the Levites, and all swear that they would do as had been said. So they swore. Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God. He went to the chamber of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, where he spent the night. He did not eat bread or drink water. He was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.”

Taking the advice of Shecaniah, Ezra made the leading priests, Levites, and all the Israelites swear to put away their foreign wives. This is no longer a 1st person account of Ezra, but a 3rd person account about him that continues throughout this chapter. It was not clear what the fate of these foreign wives was to be. Where would they go? How were they and their children to be taken care of? Ezra left the Temple and went to the house of Jehohanan where he stayed overnight fasting because of the faithlessness of his fellow returning exiles. In fact, this Jehohanan may have been a grandson of the high priest Eliashib. He may also have been one of those men who had a foreign wife.


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