Ezra 9:1-2 The Voice (VOICE)
If Ezra expects to retain the support of the Persian king, he has to obey Artaxerxes’ four commands. Within five months, Ezra completes the first two demands—he leads the Jews to Jerusalem, and he delivers all the offerings to the temple. His obedience to Artaxerxes is matched by the governors’ obedience: they agree to support financially the Jews’ efforts at reestablishing their nation.
Now that Ezra has addressed the religious situation in Jerusalem, he can tend to the legal situation as Artaxerxes requested. Ezra still needs to investigate how the Jews are practicing the law and appoint judges and teachers for the nation.
9 1-2 After we had returned to Jerusalem, made our offerings to Him, and begun to settle, the leaders notified me of a legal problem.
Jewish Leaders: The Israelites, priests, Levites, and even our chiefs have intermarried with the daughters of non-Jews and adopted the cultures of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. By mixing our families with theirs through marriage, our lineage is no longer pure, and the officials and rulers have been the worst offenders.