INVESTIGATING THE ISSUE OF MIXED MARRIAGES IN MALACHI, EZRA-NEHEMIAH AND THE PENTATEUCH
AbstractThis contribution investigates the issue of mixed marriages in the book of Malachi, Ezra-Nehemiah and the Pentateuch. It is found that mixed marriages in Malachi are denounced on religious grounds while in Ezra-Nehemiah nationalistic motivations such as language and culture also come into play. Malachi most probably draws on the legal traditions in the Pentateuch, notably Deuteronomy 7:1-8, to motivate his stance on mixed marriages. What is interesting is that the Pentateuch also tells various stories about prominent figures in the history of Israel who married foreign women without being judged for doing so. In fact, what they did is told approvingly. Does this mean that there are two traditions at play here: one a more legal approach denouncing mixed marriages and secondly a more pragmatic approach approving mixed marriages? Is the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible consistent in its view on this matter?
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