Ezra declared that anyone married to a “foreign” woman–anyone not of clear Jewish decent–must divorce her immediately and disown any children they might have together. The names of such sinners were recorded for infamy.
So that’s Ezra….Coming up, we have the brief memoir of another minor bureaucrat in the Persian empire, Nehemiah.
One of Ezra’s first acts was to try to nip in the bud the sinful and unholy practice of intermarrying with all of the other area peoples–Ammonites, Moabites, Canaanites, etc–as had been occurring for the past several centuries. (Remember David himself was 1/8 Moabite).
Ezra careful audited the coffer and Temple goods, and placed the Levites returning with him in charge of them, on pain of their life.
Following our timeline, Darius’s son, Artaxerxes II decided to send this dude Ezra down to be a judge and teacher in Judah. So Ezra, not only was he a direct descendant of the first high priest Aaron, he was also an expert in Mosaic law and a scribe for the government. The king even allowed Ezra to take with him any descendant of Israel who wanted to travel to Jerusalem to sacrifice at the Temple. The king also gave him discretionary funds to supply sacrificial needs up to the amount of 7500 pounds of silver, 600 bushels of wheat, 600 gallons of wine, and 600 gallons of oil.