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É Z RA X. 4. Arise, for this matter belongeth unto thee,
we also will be with thee: be of good conrage, and do it.
Ezra reproved the People of Israel, for their having marry'd with the idolatrous Nations, contrary to the Command of God. And they returned him this Answer: We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange Wives of the People of the Land; yet now there is hope in Ifrael concerning this thing : Now therefore let us make a Covenant with our God, to put away all the Wives, and such as are born of them, according to the Counsel of my Lord, and of those that tremble at the Commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the Law. Arise, for this matter belongeth unto ther, we also will be with thee : -be of good
Let me here observe in the first Place, That all the Nations then in the World, except the Jews, were Idolaters. And therefore, to forbid Marriage with Idolaters, was the same tö the Jews, as to forbid Marriage with any who were not of their Communion. For they only then were the Peculium or Holy Seed, which had been deduc'd in their Fore-Fathers; all the
courage, and do it.
way from Seth; which is the reason that their Genealogies are set down with so much Exa&t. ness in Genesis, even before the Flood. And this seems to have been the chief Purpose for
which that History was intended. The Prohibition And this will appear farther, in that this on account of Prohibition to the Jews of marrying with the Religion.
Heathens, was not on account of their Nation, This the Red but Religion : Of which, the first Evidence Í son given. offer you is this, That this is the Reason given
for this Command almost in every place where
this Command is repeated in Scripture. Deut. vii.
Thou Malt not make Marriages with them, thy Daughter thou shalt not give unto his Son, nor his Daughter shalt thou take unto thy Son, for they will turn away thy Son from following
me, that they may serve cther Gods. 1 Kin.xi. 2. The Lord said unto the Children of Israel, ye
Shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you, for surely they will turn away your Heart after their Gods. They turn'd away the Heart of Solomon; and if the Wisdom of Solomon was not Proof against the Witchcraft of this Sin, What second Man's Presumption can be Guiltless?
But that the Hazard of being Tempted to Idolatry was the Reason of God's Prohibiting His People to Match with the Idolatrous Nations,
farther Evinc'd from this, That not only Marriages with them was forbidden, but every thing else that might tend to the same end of
Tempting them to Idolatry. Exod. xxiii. Thou shalt make no Covenant with them, nor
with their Gods, they shall not Dwell in thy Land, left they make thee Sin against Me, for if thou serve their Gods, it will be surely a Snare unto thee --Left thou make a Covenant with the Inhabitants of the Land, and they go
a whoring after their Gods, and do sacrifice
Te shall drive out all the Inhabitants of the Num. xxxiii.
Whence we may learn, that God's hating these Nations was upon account of their Idolatry;
and that for the same Cause He will equally hate any other Nation.
But farther, to convince you that the Prohibition to the fews of Marrying with Heathens was not on account of their Nation, but Religion; we find the same Reproof against the Fews for Marrying with Idolaters of their own Nation : Thus it is Recorded of Fehoram King 2 Chron.xsi.6. of Judah; He walked in the way of the Kings of Israel -- for he bad the Daughter of Achab to Wife. And Jehofhaphat is Reproved for join- xix. 2. ing in Affinity with the same Achab; and this Reason is given, Shouldst thou help the Ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? And the like we find of his joining with Achaziah another idolatrous King of Israel : Because thou haft xx. 3*.
joined thy self with Achaziah, the Lord hath
ken, ốc. Ob.of marrying
But it may be objected, that this wou'd inwith the ten ofer, it was unlawful for the two Tribes that Tribes. stuck to Rehoboam, to marry with the other ten
Tribes, because they never departed from the
cause they were Idolaters.
fame, because ther were always many in Israel
posed that the Prophets had none such in their 2 Kin. ii. 3.
Communion. We read of a College of Prophets
even at Bethel, beside several Others; and in 1 Kin, xix. 18. the lowest Ebb that ever ther was, we find
7000 who bowed to not Baal.
But also those of the ten Tribes who did join in Idolatry, I cannot see but the Command did Reach them; when we see before our Eyes the Reproof of those who did Marry with
it was not on account of their Nation, but Re-
Marth. i. 5.