Hybridity and Intermarriage

Katherine E. Southwood

in Ethnicity and the Mixed Marriage Crisis in Ezra 9-10

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644346
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739316 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Hybridity and Intermarriage

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This chapter applies the research concerning intermarriage and ethnicity to Ezra 9–10 in light of our existing understanding of Ancient Near Eastern evidence concerning marriage and divorce practices. The focus is primarily on the vocabulary which is used within Ezra to describe marriage and the lack of divorce proceedings. Rather than using regular terminology, specifically nuanced language is selected, often from within texts warning against the peril of intermarriage, in order to persuade audiences of the intrinsic wickedness of ethnic intermarriage. Likewise, there is a conspicuous absence of the typical language of divorce or of any legal proceedings. In addition, the types of social mechanisms, such as stigmatization and an emphasis on deviance, which are usually employed by powerful third parties in order to persuade against and to denigrate the status of ethnic intermarriage, are present within the chapter, most prominently, through the sense of religious guilt and shame which is associated with such illegitimate unions.

Keywords: marriage; divorce; Elephantine; intermarriage; shame; stigma

Chapter.  13085 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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