Confession of Improper Marriages

10 Now (A)while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down (B)before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very (C)bitterly. And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, spoke up and said to Ezra, “We have (D)trespassed[a] against our God, and have taken pagan wives from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope in Israel in spite of this. Now therefore, let us make (E)a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and those who have been born to them, according to the advice of my master and of those who (F)tremble at (G)the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the (H)law. Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. We also are with you. (I)Be of good courage, and do it.

Then Ezra arose, and made the leaders of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel (J)swear an oath that they would do according to this word. So they swore an oath. Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib; and when he came there, he (K)ate no bread and drank no water, for he mourned because of the guilt of those from the captivity.

And they issued a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the descendants of the captivity, that they must gather at Jerusalem, and that whoever would not come within three days, according to the instructions of the leaders and elders, all his property would be confiscated, and he himself would be separated from the assembly of those from the captivity.

So all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered at Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month; and (L)all the people sat in the open square of the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of heavy rain. 10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have [b]transgressed and [c]have taken pagan wives, adding to the guilt of Israel. 11 Now therefore, (M)make confession to the Lord God of your fathers, and do His will; (N)separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the pagan wives.”

12 Then all the assembly answered and said with a loud voice, “Yes! As you have said, so we must do.

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Footnotes

  1. Ezra 10:2 been unfaithful to
  2. Ezra 10:10 acted unfaithfully
  3. Ezra 10:10 Heb. have caused to dwell or have brought back