Now awhen Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and bcasting himself down cbefore the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people †wept very sore. 2 And Shechaniah the son of dJehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have etrespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. 3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God †to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that ftremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done gaccording to the law. 4 Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: hbe of good courage, and do it. 5 Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, ito swear that they should do according to this word. And they sware. 6 Then Ezra rose up kfrom before the house of God, and went into the lchamber of mJohanan the son of mEliashib: and when he came thither, he did neat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away. 7 And nnthey made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem; 8 And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be †forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.
9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, otrembling because of this matter, and for †the great rain. 10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and †have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. 11 Now therefore pmake confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and qseparate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives. 12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do. 13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for ||we are many that have transgressed in this thing. 14 Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at rappointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until sthe fierce wrath of our God ||for this matter be turned from us. 15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah †were employed about this matter: and tMeshullam and uShabbethai the Levite helped them. 16 And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in vthe first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. 17 And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by v*the first day of the first month.
Dt. 9:18 (Heb.).
Comp. 2 Chr. 20:9.
Heb. wept a great weeping.
Heb. to bring forth. ver. 19.
ch. 1:1 marg.
Heb. the showers. So ver. 13.
See Josh. 7:19.
So ver. 3.
Or, we have greatly offended in this thing.
Or, till this matter be dispatched.
Heb. stood. Comp. 1 Esdr. 9:14.