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Ezra 9:1–15

Intermarriage with Pagans

9 When these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not aseparated themselves from the peoples of the lands, bwith respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have ctaken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the dholy seed is emixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this 1trespass.” So when I heard this thing, fI tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down gastonished. Then everyone who htrembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the ievening sacrifice.

At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and jspread out my hands to the Lord my God. And I said: “O my God, I am too kashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for lour iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mgrown up to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day nwe have been very guilty, and for our iniquities owe, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the psword, to captivity, to plunder, and to qhumiliation, 2as it is this day. And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may renlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage. sFor we were slaves. tYet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but uHe extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us va wall in Judah and Jerusalem. 10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments, 11 which You commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land, with the wuncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from one end to another with their impurity. 12 Now therefore, xdo not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons; and ynever seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and zleave it as an inheritance to your children forever.’ 13 And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God ahave punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this, 14 should we bagain break Your commandments, and cjoin in marriage with the people committing these abominations? Would You not be dangry with us until You had 3consumed us, so that there would be no remnant or survivor? 15 O Lord God of Israel, eYou are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. fHere we are before You, gin our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!”

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