After Ezra had wept and prayed about the sin of the people of God in taking themselves foreign wives, a deep sense of conviction followed and the leaders of the people urged Ezra to take action. In Ezra 10:1-44, we not only learn the names of the men who took foreign wives, but also the way in which this matter was to be dealt with as the wives, and in some cases their children, were sent away. While this sounds harsh to modern ears, Ezra’s goal had been to establish a sense of the need for personal and national holiness. The Messiah who was still to come, would not be born from a ‘mixed- marriage’. At the end of the book the reader will realise that the promised kingdom had still not arrived. And when the King in that kingdom did come (Jesus), he did not send people away because they were law-breakers but gathered them in because of grace.