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The People’s Confession of Sin

10 Now while Ezra prayed and confessed, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large congregation of men, women, and children gathered around him from Israel, for the people too wept bitterly. Shekaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said to Ezra, “We have acted with vile unfaithfulness against our God and have wedded foreign women from the people of the land, yet there is now hope in Israel concerning this. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to sever relations with all the women and their children according to the counsel of my lord and those who tremble at the commandment of our God. May this be done in accordance with the law. Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. But we are standing with you. Be courageous and act!”

Then Ezra stood and made the presiding Levitical priests and all Israel to swear an oath to act according to this word. And they swore an oath. Then Ezra stood in front of the house of God and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib. When he arrived there, he ate no bread and drank no water because he was mourning over the vile unfaithfulness of the exiles.

They made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem for all the children of the exile to assemble in Jerusalem. Whoever would not come within three days would forfeit all his possessions, according to the counsel of the leaders and the elders, and would himself be excluded from the congregation of the exiles.

Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. All the people sat on the grounds of the house of God, trembling about this matter and also because of the great rain. 10 Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have acted unfaithfully by bringing home foreign women, adding to the guilt of Israel. 11 Now therefore make confession to the Lord God of your fathers and do what pleases Him: Sever your relationships with the people of the land, especially from the foreign women.”

12 Then all the congregation answered loudly, “As you have said to us, that we will do. 13 But there are many people, and because it is the rainy season we will not be able to set up outside. Moreover, this is not a task for a day or two since we have so grievously transgressed in this matter. 14 Let now our rulers preside over all the congregation so that, in each of our cities, all who have married foreign women, along with the elders and judges of that city, will come at appointed times, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter is turned from us.” 15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, with Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supporting them.

16 Then the descendants of the captivity did so. Ezra the priest selected men, heads of the fathers’ households, according to their families, each of them by name. They sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter, 17 and finished dealing with every man who had married foreign women by the first day of the first month.

Those Guilty of Intermarriage

18 Some of the sons of the priests were discovered to have wedded foreign women,

namely the sons of Joshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah. 19 They committed to sever their relations with their women, and, being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their guilt.

20 Likewise, of the sons of Immer,

there were Hanani and Zebadiah.

21 Of the sons of Harim,

there were Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah.

22 Of the sons of Pashhur,

there were Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.

23 Also, from the Levites,

there were Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah, (the same is Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.

24 Among the singers,

there was Eliashib,

and from the porters,

there were Shallum, Telem, and Uri.

25 Further from Israel,

of the sons of Parosh,

there were Ramiah, Izziah, Malkijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malkijah, and Benaiah.

26 Of the sons of Elam,

there were Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah.

27 Of the sons of Zattu,

there were Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza.

28 Of the sons of Bebai,

there were Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.

29 Of the sons of Bani,

there were Meshullam, Malluk, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth.

30 Of the sons of Pahath-Moab,

there were Adna, Kelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh.

31 Of the sons of Harim,

there were Eliezer, Ishijah, Malkijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, 32 Benjamin, Malluk, and Shemariah.

33 Of the sons of Hashum,

there were Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei.

34 Of the sons of Bani,

there were Maadai, Amram, Uel, 35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Keluhi, 36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu.

38 Of the sons of Binnui,

there were Shimei, 39 Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, 40 Maknadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41 Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph.

43 Of the sons of Nebo,

there were Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah.

44 All these married foreign women, and some of them had wives that had children.