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Ezra 10:1-15 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Plan for Ending Mixed Marriages

10 While Ezra was bowing in prayer in front of the Temple, weeping and confessing these sins, a large group of Israelites—men, women, and children—gathered around him, weeping bitterly. Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, of the clan of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have broken faith with God by marrying foreign women, but even so there is still hope for Israel. Now we must make a solemn promise to our God that we will send these women and their children away. We will do what you and the others who honor God's commands advise us to do. We will do what God's Law demands. It is your responsibility to act. We are behind you, so go ahead and get it done.”

So Ezra began by making the leaders of the priests, of the Levites, and of the rest of the people take an oath that they would do what Shecaniah had proposed. Then he went from in front of the Temple into the living quarters of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, and spent the night[a] there grieving over the unfaithfulness of the exiles. He did not eat or drink anything.

A message was sent throughout Jerusalem and Judah that all those who had returned from exile were to meet in Jerusalem by order of the leaders of the people. If any failed to come within three days, all their property would be confiscated, and they would lose their right to be members of the community. Within the three days, on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the men living in the territory of Judah and Benjamin came to Jerusalem and assembled in the Temple square. It was raining hard, and because of the weather and the importance of the meeting everyone was trembling.

10 Ezra the priest stood up and spoke to them. He said, “You have been faithless and have brought guilt on Israel by marrying foreign women. 11 Now then, confess your sins to the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and do what pleases him. Separate yourselves from the foreigners living in our land and get rid of your foreign wives.”

12 The people shouted in answer, “We will do whatever you say.” 13 But they added, “The crowd is too big, and it's raining hard. We can't stand here in the open like this. This isn't something that can be done in one or two days, because so many of us are involved in this sin. 14 Let our officials stay in Jerusalem and take charge of the matter. Then let anyone who has a foreign wife come at a set time, together with the leaders and the judges of his city. In this way God's anger over this situation will be turned away.” 15 No one was opposed to the plan except Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, who had the support of Meshullam and of Shabbethai, a Levite.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezra 10:6 One ancient translation spent the night; Hebrew went.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Ezra 10:1-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The People’s Response

10 While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him out of Israel; the people also wept bitterly. Shecaniah son of Jehiel, of the descendants of Elam, addressed Ezra, saying, “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. So now let us make a covenant with our God to send away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. Take action, for it is your duty, and we are with you; be strong, and do it.” Then Ezra stood up and made the leading priests, the Levites, and all Israel swear that they would do as had been said. So they swore.

Foreign Wives and Their Children Rejected

Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God, and went to the chamber of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, where he spent the night.[a] He did not eat bread or drink water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles. They made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem, and that if any did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all their property should be forfeited, and they themselves banned from the congregation of the exiles.

Then all the people of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days; it was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. All the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain. 10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have trespassed and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. 11 Now make confession to the Lord the God of your ancestors, and do his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” 12 Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “It is so; we must do as you have said. 13 But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand in the open. Nor is this a task for one day or for two, for many of us have transgressed in this matter. 14 Let our officials represent the whole assembly, and let all in our towns who have taken foreign wives come at appointed times, and with them the elders and judges of every town, until the fierce wrath of our God on this account is averted from us.” 15 Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levites supported them.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezra 10:6 1 Esdras 9.2: Heb where he went
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Ezra 10:1-15 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

10 While ‘Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrated before the house of God, a huge crowd of Isra’el’s men, women and children gathered around him; and the people were weeping bitterly. Sh’khanyah the son of Yechi’el, one of the descendants of ‘Eilam, spoke up and said to ‘Ezra, “We have acted treacherously toward our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples of the land. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Isra’el. We should make a covenant with our God to send away all these wives, along with their children, in obedience to the advice of Adonai and of those who tremble at the mitzvah of our God; let us act in accordance with the Torah. Stand up, and do your duty, for we are with you; take courage, and do it!”

‘Ezra stood up, and he made the chief cohanim, the L’vi’im and all Isra’el swear that they would act according to what had been said; and they took the oath. ‘Ezra then left his place in front of the house of God and went to the room of Y’hochanan the son of Elyashiv. After going there, he neither ate food nor drank water; because he was mourning over the treachery of the exiles.

A proclamation was issued throughout Y’hudah and Yerushalayim that all the exiles were to assemble in Yerushalayim; and that whoever didn’t come within three days, in answer to the summons from the officials and leaders, would forfeit all he owned and himself be banished from the community of the exiles. All the men of Y’hudah and Binyamin assembled in Yerushalayim within the three days. It was the twentieth day of the ninth month. All the people sat in the open place in front of the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain. 10 ‘Ezra the cohen stood up and addressed them: “You have acted treacherously by marrying foreign women and have thus increased Isra’el’s guilt. 11 Now, therefore, make confession to Adonai, the God of your ancestors; and do what will please him by separating yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign women.” 12 In response, the whole assembly cried aloud, “Yes, our duty is to do as you have said. 13 But there are many people, and it’s the rainy season — we can’t stay out here in the open. Also, it isn’t the work of a day or two; for there are many of us who have committed this crime. 14 Let our leaders represent the whole community; and let all those in our cities who have married foreign women appear at prearranged times, accompanied by the elders and judges of each city; until our God’s fierce anger over this has been turned away from us.” 15 Only Yonatan the son of ‘Asah’el and Yachz’yah the son of Tikvah, supported by Meshulam and Shabtai the Levi, opposed this.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Ezra 10:1-17 The Message (MSG)

Ezra Takes Charge

10 Ezra wept, prostrate in front of The Temple of God. As he prayed and confessed, a huge number of the men, women, and children of Israel gathered around him. All the people were now weeping as if their hearts would break.

2-3 Shecaniah son of Jehiel of the family of Elam, acting as spokesman, said to Ezra: “We betrayed our God by marrying foreign wives from the people around here. But all is not lost; there is still hope for Israel. Let’s make a covenant right now with our God, agreeing to get rid of all these wives and their children, just as my master and those who honor God’s commandment are saying. It’s what The Revelation says, so let’s do it.

“Now get up, Ezra. Take charge—we’re behind you. Don’t back down.”

So Ezra stood up and had the leaders of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel solemnly swear to do what Shecaniah proposed. And they did it.

Then Ezra left the plaza in front of The Temple of God and went to the home of Jehohanan son of Eliashib where he stayed, still fasting from food and drink, continuing his mourning over the betrayal by the exiles.

7-8 A notice was then sent throughout Judah and Jerusalem ordering all the exiles to meet in Jerusalem. Anyone who failed to show up in three days, in compliance with the ruling of the leaders and elders, would have all his possessions confiscated and be thrown out of the congregation of the returned exiles.

All the men of Judah and Benjamin met in Jerusalem within the three days. It was the twentieth day of the ninth month. They all sat down in the plaza in front of The Temple of God. Because of the business before them, and aggravated by the buckets of rain coming down on them, they were restless, uneasy, and anxious.

10-11 Ezra the priest stood up and spoke: “You’ve broken trust. You’ve married foreign wives. You’ve piled guilt on Israel. Now make your confession to God, the God of your ancestors, and do what he wants you to do: Separate yourselves from the people of the land and from your foreign wives.”

12 The whole congregation responded with a shout, “Yes, we’ll do it—just the way you said it!”

13-14 They also said, “But look, do you see how many people there are out here? And it’s the rainy season; you can’t expect us to stand out here soaking wet until this is done—why, it will take days! A lot of us are deeply involved in this transgression. Let our leaders act on behalf of the whole congregation. Have everybody who lives in cities and who has married a foreign wife come at an appointed time, accompanied by the elders and judges of each city. We’ll keep at this until the hot anger of our God over this thing is turned away.”

15-17 Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite, opposed this. So the exiles went ahead with the plan. Ezra the priest picked men who were family heads, each one by name. They sat down together on the first day of the tenth month to pursue the matter. By the first day of the first month they had finished dealing with every man who had married a foreign wife.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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