Ezra’s Prayer About Intermarriage

After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate(A) from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites,(B) Ammonites,(C) Moabites,(D) Egyptians and Amorites.(E) They have taken some of their daughters(F) as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled(G) the holy race(H) with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”(I)

When I heard this, I tore(J) my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled.(K) Then everyone who trembled(L) at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled(M) until the evening sacrifice.

Then, at the evening sacrifice,(N) I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands(O) spread out to the Lord my God and prayed:

“I am too ashamed(P) and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.(Q) From the days of our ancestors(R) until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword(S) and captivity,(T) to pillage and humiliation(U) at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today.

“But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious(V) in leaving us a remnant(W) and giving us a firm place[a](X) in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes(Y) and a little relief in our bondage. Though we are slaves,(Z) our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness(AA) in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins,(AB) and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.

10 “But now, our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken the commands(AC) 11 you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: ‘The land you are entering(AD) to possess is a land polluted(AE) by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices(AF) they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. 12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them(AG) at any time, that you may be strong(AH) and eat the good things(AI) of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’(AJ)

13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil(AK) deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved(AL) and have given us a remnant like this. 14 Shall we then break your commands again and intermarry(AM) with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us,(AN) leaving us no remnant(AO) or survivor? 15 Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous!(AP) We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand(AQ) in your presence.(AR)

Footnotes

  1. Ezra 9:8 Or a foothold

The People’s Confession of Sin

10 While Ezra was praying and confessing,(A) weeping(B) and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. Then Shekaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam,(C) said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful(D) to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel.(E) Now let us make a covenant(F) before our God to send away(G) all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”

So Ezra rose up and put the leading priests and Levites and all Israel under oath(H) to do what had been suggested. And they took the oath. Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he was there, he ate no food and drank no water,(I) because he continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles.

A proclamation was then issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem for all the exiles to assemble in Jerusalem. Anyone who failed to appear within three days would forfeit all his property, in accordance with the decision of the officials and elders, and would himself be expelled from the assembly of the exiles.

Within the three days, all the men of Judah and Benjamin(J) had gathered in Jerusalem. And on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people were sitting in the square before the house of God, greatly distressed by the occasion and because of the rain. 10 Then Ezra(K) the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt.(L) 11 Now honor[a] the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.”(M)

12 The whole assembly responded with a loud voice:(N) “You are right! We must do as you say. 13 But there are many people here and it is the rainy season; so we cannot stand outside. Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing. 14 Let our officials act for the whole assembly. Then let everyone in our towns who has married a foreign woman come at a set time, along with the elders and judges(O) of each town, until the fierce anger(P) of our God in this matter is turned away from us.” 15 Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai(Q) the Levite, opposed this.

16 So the exiles did as was proposed. Ezra the priest selected men who were family heads, one from each family division, and all of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to investigate the cases, 17 and by the first day of the first month they finished dealing with all the men who had married foreign women.

Those Guilty of Intermarriage

18 Among the descendants of the priests, the following had married foreign women:(R)

From the descendants of Joshua(S) son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib and Gedaliah. 19 (They all gave their hands(T) in pledge to put away their wives, and for their guilt they each presented a ram from the flock as a guilt offering.)(U)

20 From the descendants of Immer:(V)

Hanani and Zebadiah.

21 From the descendants of Harim:(W)

Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel and Uzziah.

22 From the descendants of Pashhur:(X)

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

23 Among the Levites:(Y)

Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah and Eliezer.

24 From the musicians:

Eliashib.(Z)

From the gatekeepers:

Shallum, Telem and Uri.

25 And among the other Israelites:

From the descendants of Parosh:(AA)

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

26 From the descendants of Elam:(AB)

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

27 From the descendants of Zattu:

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

28 From the descendants of Bebai:

Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai and Athlai.

29 From the descendants of Bani:

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

30 From the descendants of Pahath-Moab:

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

31 From the descendants of Harim:

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

33 From the descendants of Hashum:

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

34 From the descendants of Bani:

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

38 From the descendants of Binnui:[b]

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

43 From the descendants of Nebo:

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

44 All these had married foreign women, and some of them had children by these wives.[c]

Footnotes

  1. Ezra 10:11 Or Now make confession to
  2. Ezra 10:38 See Septuagint (also 1 Esdras 9:34); Hebrew Jaasu 38 and Bani and Binnui,
  3. Ezra 10:44 Or and they sent them away with their children

Psalm 131

A song of ascents. Of David.

My heart is not proud,(A) Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;(B)
I do not concern myself with great matters(C)
    or things too wonderful for me.(D)
But I have calmed and quieted myself,(E)
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.(F)

Israel, put your hope(G) in the Lord
    both now and forevermore.(H)

The Widow’s Offering(A)

21 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.(B) He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”(C)

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times(D)(E)

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another;(F) every one of them will be thrown down.”

“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.(G) When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.(H) 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.(I)

12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me.(J) 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.(K) 15 For I will give you(L) words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends,(M) and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me.(N) 18 But not a hair of your head will perish.(O) 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.(P)

20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies,(Q) you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.(R) 22 For this is the time of punishment(S) in fulfillment(T) of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled(U) on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.(V) 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.(W) 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man(X) coming in a cloud(Y) with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”(Z)

29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God(AA) is near.

32 “Truly I tell you, this generation(AB) will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.(AC)

34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life,(AD) and that day will close on you suddenly(AE) like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray(AF) that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple,(AG) and each evening he went out(AH) to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives,(AI) 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.(AJ)

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