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Friday, September 12 2014
Ezra 9: Why Did Ezra Ban Marriage To Idol Worshipers?
"Should we again break Thy Commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations?"
The people of Israel and Judah were created from the nations all around them (see also The First Nations Of The New World). There was nothing genetically special or superior about the Israelites because they were descendants and cousins of all of the nations of the world.
There was no "exceptionalism" (except as their excuse to be blatant hypocrites when their behavior was far more morally-rotten than those that they claimed to "lead") of the Israelite people themselves because "Israel" was a prophecy of the coming Kingdom of God that will be composed of all people who repent and obey the LORD (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God).
Why then did Ezra (see The Letter From Artaxerxes To Ezra and Ezra's Journey From Babylon) ban marriage of the people of Judah to people of other nations - when Israel and Judah were themselves those same people?
The answer is found in what Ezra actually banned - marriage to unrepentant people of heathen religions. It was the very reason that Israel was divided in the time of King Solomon (see What Caused Solomon's Idolatry?) and it was the reason that Judah was corrupted in the time that the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) had them taken away into the Babylonian exile (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon?). The "holy seed," which referred to the Messiah, was already composed of people of other nations. It was the defiling of the line of the Messiah with heathen religion: "that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands ... doing according to their abominations" that was outlawed.
"9:1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 9:2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
Fact Finder: When and where did idol religions begin?
This Day In History, September 12
490 BC: The Battle of Marathon. Athenians defeated the second Persian invasion of Greece at the Greek town of Marathon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Babylon and Persia and A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).
1309: The First Siege of Gibraltar began during the Spanish Reconquista; the forces of the Kingdom of Castile against the Emirate of Granada produced a Castilian victory.
1609: English explorer Henry Hudson, while employed by the Netherlands, discovered a river in eastern North America that would later be named after him - the Hudson River. New York City was originally named New Amsterdam by its Dutch founders.
1683: Austrian and Polish forces took Vienna, Austria, back from the Ottomans after the Battle of Kahlenberg (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1683: Vienna was retaken from the Ottomans.
1722: The Treaty of St. Petersburg ended the Russo-Persian War.
1758: French astronomer Charles Messier began his Messier Catalog of deep-sky objects with the Crab Nebula - the remnants of a supernova explosion that was first observed by Chinese astronomers in 1054.
1848: Switzerland adopted a new constitution under which it became a federal republic.
1878: The obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle, originally cut from the quarries of Aswan in about 1475 B.C., was erected in London (see also The Cleopatra Connection).
1914: During the First World War (1914-1918), the First Battle of the Aisne in France began. It lasted 17 days. British and French forces battled the Germans to a stalemate; static trench warfare set in on the Aisne and lasted for the next 18 months (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1934: The Baltic Entente, a mutual defense pact by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, was signed. Intended primarily against Nazi Germany which had replaced the Soviet Union as the greatest (perceived) threat against them.
1938: Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany annexed Czech Sudetenland.
1962: In a lead-up to the political face-saving "Cuban Missile Crisis" (after the failed CIA "Bay of Pigs" attempted invasion of Cuba), U.S. President Kennedy held a news conference and announced that the U.S. would not tolerate any Soviet base in the western hemisphere (while at the same time the U.S. itself had dozens of offensive bases in the eastern hemisphere, some right on the Russian border, as is still the case today). Militarily, Russian missiles in Cuba actually would have been no greater threat to the U.S. than long-range ballistic missiles launched from Russia (which to this day cannot be stopped - no effective defense has yet been developed that is capable of stopping ballistic missiles) or from missiles and cruise missiles launched by Russian submarines positioned near the U.S. east and west coasts, much closer than Cuba, as is still the case today.
1988: Hurricane Gilbert inflicted heavy damage on Jamaica before turning toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula where it caused an estimated $5 billion in damage.
1972: Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda, sent a cable to the United Nations Secretary General to announce that since no statue of Hitler had been erected in Germany, he proposed to set one up in Uganda.
1974: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was deposed by a military coup, ending a reign of 58 years.
1990: Agreements were signed by Britain, the U.S., France, Russia, and East and West Germany that permitted the re-unification of Germany - a key event in European history, and Bible prophecy (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
2003: In Fallujah, US forces shot and killed eight Iraqi police officers in a "friendly fire" incident. Over the course of the first ten years of the conflict that began when George W. Bush ordered the invasion, over 1 million Iraqi people were killed, wounded or maimed, while the country was reduced to rubble and chaos. Bush's justification for the destruction, Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction," were never found, and were later declared to have never existed. Despite a persistent myth, Iraq also had no connection to the 9-11 terrorist attacks; captured documents proved that Saddam Hussein actually viewed Al-Qaeda, the terrorist Muslim organization founded by Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, as a threat to Iraq.