They admit marrying outsiders. The list of offenders.
VERSE 1. Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before God’s house, there was gathered together to him out of Israel a very great assembly of men and women and children; for the people wept very bitterly.
VERSE 2. Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered Ezra, “We have trespassed against our God, and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land. Yet now there is hope for Israel concerning this thing.
there is hope for Israel. There is always hope!
VERSE 3. Now therefore let’s make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives and those who are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. Let it be done according to the law.
to put away all the wives. They are going to divorce their wives.
Be courageous, and do it. This is the trigger of the spiritual life. We are not only called to believe, but also to DO.
We are called to Action-Faith.
VERSE 5. Then Ezra arose, and made the chiefs of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel to swear that they would do according to this word. So they swore.
made … all Israel to swear. In our day, the Lord Jesus Christ forbids his followers from swearing an oath.
Sirach 23:9. Accustom not your mouth to an oath; And be not accustomed to the naming of the Holy One.
Matthew 5:34. but I tell you, don’t swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
VERSE 6. Then Ezra rose up from before God’s house, and went into the room of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib. When he came there, he didn’t eat bread or drank water, for he mourned because of the trespass of the exiles.
he ate no bread, nor drank water. Ezra fasts not only from food, but also from water.
This is often called a “dry fast.”
Fasting is a natural human impulse. And it is a wonderful companion during our special times of prayer to God. Read more »
VERSE 7. They made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together to Jerusalem;
VERSE 8. and that whoever didn’t come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his possessions should be forfeited, and he himself separated from the assembly of the captivity.
should be forfeited. Whoever does not take part in this event will lose their citizenship.
VERSE 9. 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; and all the people sat in the wide place in front of God’s house, trembling because of this matter, and because of the great rain.
It was the ninth month. This took place in November-December of 457 BC.
because of the great rain. There was a downpour.
VERSE 10. Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have trespassed, and have married foreign women, increasing the guilt of Israel.
the guilt of Israel. Ezra is speaking of group guilt.
They had a group conscience. It was not just individuals who had sinned. The entire nation had sinned.
VERSE 11. Now therefore make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers and do his pleasure. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign women.”
Separate yourselves from … the foreign women. Ezra calls the men to divorce their wives.
VERSE 12. Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “We must do as you have said concerning us.
VERSE 13. But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand outside. This is not a work of one day or two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter.
This is not a work of one day. They suggest the matter be deferred.
VERSE 14. Now let our princes be appointed for all the assembly, and let all those who are in our cities who have married foreign women come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city and its judges, until the fierce wrath of our God is turned from us, until this matter is resolved.”
VERSE 15. Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah stood up against this; and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.
VERSE 16. The children of the captivity did so. Ezra the priest, with certain heads of fathers’ households, after their fathers’ houses, and all of them by their names, were set apart; and they sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
VERSE 17. They finished with all the men who had married foreign women by the first day of the first month.
They finished. They actually completed this project. All the men divorced their wives.
VERSE 18. Among the sons of the priests there were found who had married foreign women: of the sons of Yeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah.
VERSE 19. They gave their hand that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their guilt.
VERSE 20. Of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.
VERSE 21. Of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah.
VERSE 22. Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
VERSE 23. Of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (also called Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
VERSE 24. Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri.
VERSE 25. Of Israel: Of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchijah, and Benaiah.
VERSE 26. Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah.
VERSE 27. Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza.
VERSE 28. Of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.
VERSE 29. Of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth.
VERSE 30. Of the sons of Pahathmoab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh.
VERSE 31. Of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,
VERSE 32. Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah.
VERSE 33. Of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei.
VERSE 34. Of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel,
VERSE 35. Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi,
VERSE 36. Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,
VERSE 37. Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasu,
VERSE 38. Bani, Binnui, Shimei,
VERSE 39. Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah,
VERSE 40. Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,
VERSE 41. Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah,
VERSE 42. Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph.
VERSE 43. Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Iddo, Joel, and Benaiah.
VERSE 44. All these had taken foreign wives. Some of them had wives by whom they had children.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.