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This edict of complete separation from the people of the land, even to the point of divorcing their pagan wives, seems severe but it was necessary for the divine mission of Israel to be accomplished. It was his marriages with "strange wives" that first led to King Solomon's downfall and to the introduction of idolatry into the kingdom of Israel. Once again the same problem had produced a pervasive compromise with their "abominations," so it had to be stopped, cost what it may. Ezra had been given complete authority by Artaxerxes not only to teach to the people of Israel the laws of God but also to enforce those laws through magistrates and judges which He would establish, even to the extent of capital punishment when necessary (Ezra 7:25-26).
KJV Defenders Study Bible, by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
DEF 10 ISBN 0-529-10444-x
DEF 10-1 ISBN 0-529-10445-8