Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:
[Ezra 10:2-3] Even before Israel had entered into the land, they had been warned not to intermarry with the inhabitants. Such intermarriage would inevitably result in idolatry….
Divorce was permitted under certain circumstances in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Could it be that Ezra unlocked the meaning of that mysterious phrase for something unseemly, shameful or as the NIV translates he finds something indecent about her? This could not refer to adultery, as the law provided the death penalty in that case (Deut 22:28). Thus it had to be something else that brought shame on God's people. What could bring greater shame than the breaking of the covenant relationship and the ultimate judgment of God on all the people? I believe then that Ezra had this passage in mind when he observed the law and proved for the divorce of these unbelieving wives…
Are we left then with an argument for divorcing unbelieving spouses today? No! In fact 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 says that if the unbeliever is willing to continue living with the believer, then they must not divorce…. But when an unbeliever chooses to desert his or her partner and marriage vows, then reluctantly the believer may let that one go, that is, sadly accept the divorce with the right to be married to another.
Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Hard Sayings of the Old Testament (Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1988), pp. 141-143.
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