1Then Ezra went from the court of the Temple into the living quarters of Jehohanan son of Eliashib 2and spent the night there grieving over the people's terrible violation of the Law. He did not eat or drink anything.
3A message was sent throughout Jerusalem and Judah, calling all those who had returned from exile to meet in Jerusalem, 4by order of the leaders of the people. If anyone failed to come within two or three days, his cattle would be confiscated, and he would lose his right to be a member of the community.
5Within the three days, on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the men of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin came to Jerusalem 6and assembled in the Temple square. Everyone was shivering with the cold because it was wintertime.
7Then Ezra stood up and spoke to them, “You have broken the Law and brought guilt on Israel by marrying foreign women. 8Now then, tell the truth and confess your sins to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, 9and do what he requires. Separate yourselves from the foreigners living in our land and get rid of your foreign wives.”
10The people shouted in reply, “We will do whatever you say.” 11But they added, “The crowd is too big, and it's wintertime. We can't stand here in the open like this. This isn't something that can be settled in one or two days, since so many of us are involved in this sin. 12Let our officials stay in Jerusalem and take charge of the matter. Then let anyone who has a foreign wife come at an appointed time, 13together with the leaders and the judges of his city. In this way God's anger over this situation will be turned away.” 14Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah assumed responsibility for the plan; and Meshullam, Levi, and Shabbethai served with them as judges.
15The returned exiles carried out the investigation in full. 16Ezra the priest appointed men from among the heads of the clans and recorded their names. On the first day of the tenth month they began their investigation, 17and within the next three months they investigated all the cases of men with foreign wives.
The Men who had Foreign Wives
18The following is a list of the men who had foreign wives:
Priests, listed by clans:
19Clan of Joshua and his brothers, sons of Jozadak: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Jodan. 20They promised to divorce their wives, and they offered rams as a sacrifice for their sins.
21Clan of Immer: Hanani, Zebadiah, Manes, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Azariah
22Clan of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nathanael, Okidelus, and Elasah
Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (also called Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Jonah
Eliashib and Bacchurus
Shallum and Telem
Clan of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Milelos, Eleazar, Asebiah, and Benaiah
27Clan of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jezriel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah
28Clan of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Othoniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Zerdaiah
29Clan of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Emathis
30Clan of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth
31Clan of Addi: Naathus, Moossias, Laccunus, Naidus, Bescaspasmys, Sesthel, Belnuus, and Manesseas
32Clan of Annan: Elionas, Asiah, Melchiah, Sabbaiah, and Simon Chosemaeus
33Clan of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Manasseh, and Shimei
34Clan of Bani: Jeremai, Maadai, Amram, Joel, Mamdai, Bedeiah, Vaniah, Carabasion, Eliashib, Machnadebai, Eliasis, Binnui, Elialis, Shimei, Shelemiah, and Nathaniah
Clan of Ezora: Shashai, Azarel, Azael, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Joseph
35Clan of Nebo: Mattithiah, Zabad, Iddo, Joel, and Benaiah
36All these men had foreign wives. They divorced them and sent them and their children away.
Ezra Reads the Law to the People
37 # 1 Chr 9.2Neh 11.3 The priests, the Levites, and many of the ordinary people of Israel settled in Jerusalem and its vicinity. By the seventh month the other Israelites were all settled in their towns. On the first day of that month 38they all assembled in Jerusalem in the square just inside the east gate of the Temple. 39They asked Ezra, the High Priest and scholar of the Law which the Lord had given Israel through Moses, to bring the book of the Law. 40So Ezra brought it to the place where all the people — men, women, and all the priests — had gathered to hear it. 41There in the square by the gate he read the Law to them from dawn until noon, and they all listened attentively.
42Ezra was standing on a wooden platform that had been built for the occasion. 43The following men stood at his right: Mattathiah, Shema, Ananiah, Azariah, Uriah, Hezekiah, and Baalsamos; 44and the following stood at his left: Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Lothasubus, Nabariah, and Zechariah.
45Ezra took his seat on the platform in a prominent place where everyone could see him. As soon as he took the book of the Law 46and opened it, all the people stood up. Ezra said, “Praise the Lord, God Most High, God Almighty, Ruler of all.”
47All the people raised their arms in the air and answered, “Amen!” They knelt down in worship, with their faces to the ground.
48The following Levites taught the Law of the Lord to the people: Jeshua, Anniuth, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maiannas, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Peliah. They read the Law to the people and explained what was read.
49-50When the people heard what the Law required, they were so moved that they began to weep. The governor#9.49–50 Probable meaning The governor; Greek Attharates. said to Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law, and to all the Levites who were teaching the people, “This day is holy to the Lord; 51go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who have none. 52Today is holy to the Lord, so don't be sad. He will restore your former glory.”
53The Levites gave the command to all the people: “This day is holy; do not be sad.” 54So all the people went home and ate and drank joyfully and shared what they had with those who had nothing. They celebrated 55because they understood what had been read to them.
Then they assembled… #9.55 Originally the Greek text must have continued (see Neh 8.13).
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