I’m not sure I ‘get’ the purpose of Ezra. Yes, it tells the story of the return from exile of some of the Israelites in two waves but beyond that … I do notice that it is the first time I can recall that in the version of the Bible I am reading the Israelites are referred to as Jews. It is also the first time that we have switched to the narrative being in the first person which I found slightly odd to read especially when it switched back again mid-chapter – something any writing tutor or instructor would advocate against most strongly.
The only real thing to comment on is the divorcing and sending away of foreign wives and children from these marriages. I understand that for some people keeping blood lines pure is important although for what purpose and how they have reached this conclusion is completely incomprehensible. In a week when I have felt the need to defend tarring all people of a particular race, nationality or religion with the same brush, it seems especially short-sighted to me. Diversity has been proved time and time again to be beneficial in developing ideas and practices. And whilst I might not yet be at the point where I necessarily agree with the words of John Lennon’s song Imagine in regard to imagining a world with no religion, I can completely understand the sentiment.