Confession of Improper Marriages
1Now #Dan. 9:4, 20while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down #2 Chr. 20:9before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very #Neh. 8:1–9bitterly. 2And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, spoke up and said to Ezra, “We have #Ezra 10:10, 13, 14, 17, 18; Neh. 13:23–27trespassed against our God, and have taken pagan wives from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope in Israel in spite of this. 3Now therefore, let us make #2 Chr. 34:31a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and those who have been born to them, according to the advice of my master and of those who #Ezra 9:4tremble at #Deut. 7:2, 3the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the #Deut. 24:1, 2law. 4Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. We also are with you. #1 Chr. 28:10Be of good courage, and do it.”
5Then Ezra arose, and made the leaders of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel #Ezra 10:12, 19; Neh. 5:12; 13:25swear an oath that they would do according to this word. So they swore an oath. 6Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib; and when he came there, he #Deut. 9:18ate no bread and drank no water, for he mourned because of the guilt of those from the captivity.
7And they issued a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the descendants of the captivity, that they must gather at Jerusalem, 8and that whoever would not come within three days, according to the instructions of the leaders and elders, all his property would be confiscated, and he himself would be separated from the assembly of those from the captivity.
9So all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered at Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month; and #1 Sam. 12:18; Ezra 9:4; 10:3all the people sat in the open square of the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of heavy rain. 10Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have transgressed and have taken pagan wives, adding to the guilt of Israel. 11Now therefore, #(Lev. 26:40–42); Josh. 7:19; (Prov. 28:13)make confession to the Lord God of your fathers, and do His will; #Ezra 10:3separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the pagan wives.”
12Then all the assembly answered and said with a loud voice, “Yes! As you have said, so we must do. 13But there are many people; it is the season for heavy rain, and we are not able to stand outside. Nor is this the work of one or two days, for there are many of us who have transgressed in this matter. 14Please, let the leaders of our entire assembly stand; and let all those in our cities who have taken pagan wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of their cities, until #2 Kin. 23:26; 2 Chr. 28:11–13; 29:10; 30:8the fierce wrath of our God is turned away from us in this matter.” 15Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah opposed this, and #Ezra 8:16; Neh. 3:4Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite gave them support.
16Then the descendants of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain #Ezra 4:3heads of the fathers’ households, were set apart by the fathers’ households, each of them by name; and they sat down on the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. 17By the first day of the first month they finished questioning all the men who had taken pagan wives.
Pagan Wives Put Away
18And among the sons of the priests who had taken pagan wives the following were found of the sons of #Ezra 5:2; Hag. 1:1, 12; 2:4; Zech. 3:1; 6:11Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah. 19And they #2 Kin. 10:15gave their promise that they would put away their wives; and being #Lev. 6:4, 6guilty, they presented a ram of the flock as their #Lev. 5:6, 15trespass offering.
20Also of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah; 21of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah; 22of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
23Also of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (the same is Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
24Also of the singers: Eliashib; and of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri.
25And others of Israel: of the #Ezra 2:3; 8:3; Neh. 7:8sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Jeziah, Malchiah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchijah, and Benaiah; 26of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Eliah; 27of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza; 28of the #Ezra 8:11sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai; 29of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Ramoth; 30of the #Ezra 8:4sons of Pahath-Moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh; 31of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, 32Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah; 33of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei; 34of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel, 35Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluh, 36Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasai, 38Bani, Binnui, Shimei, 39Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, 40Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph; 43of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah.
44All these had taken pagan wives, and some of them had wives by whom they had children.