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Two Styles of Leadership (?): Who’s Hair Are You Pulling? (Ezra/Nehemiah)

I have always been intrigued by the varying approaches of Ezra (the priest) and Nehemiah (the administrator, should I say ‘community organizer’?) to the same event:

Nehemiah:

  • And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. And I made them take oath in the name of God, saying, ‘You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves’ (Nehemiah 13:25).

Ezra:

  • As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and my cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled (Ezra 9:3).

Emphasis added.

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