According to the Bible, the Israelites have had a bad habit of sliding back into idolatry and other disloyalty to God despite the threat of serious punishment: total annihilation, famine, foreign invasions, locust armies, people reduced to eating their children—you know, stuff like that. It never seemed to work. But in Ezra and Nehemiah, an epidemic of loyalty and obedience is breaking out. This time, they're listening. What's up with that?
Questions About Loyalty
How are the people (and Ezra and Nehemiah) rewarded for their loyalty?
How is marrying a foreign wife supposed to be an expression of disloyalty?
Why are the Israelites now so much less likely to be disloyal?
How do the characters express loyalty toward God—does it go beyond just following his rules?