The Expulsion of Foreign Wives
1Then Ezra set out and went from the court of the temple to the chamber of Jehohanan son of Eliashib,2and spent the night there; and he did not eat bread or drink water, for he was mourning over the great iniquities of the multitude.3And a proclamation was made throughout Judea and Jerusalem to all who had returned from exile that they should assemble at Jerusalem,4and that if any did not meet there within two or three days, in accordance with the decision of the ruling elders, their livestock would be seized for sacrifice and the men themselves expelled from the multitude of those who had returned from the captivity.5Then the men of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within three days; this was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month.6All the multitude sat in the open square before the temple, shivering because of the bad weather that prevailed.7Then Ezra stood up and said to them, “You have broken the law and married foreign women, and so have increased the sin of Israel.8Now then make confession and give glory to the Lord the God of our ancestors,9and do his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from your foreign wives.”10Then all the multitude shouted and said with a loud voice, “We will do as you have said.11But the multitude is great and it is winter, and we are not able to stand in the open air. This is not a work we can do in one day or two, for we have sinned too much in these things.12So let the leaders of the multitude stay, and let all those in our settlements who have foreign wives come at the time appointed,13with the elders and judges of each place, until we are freed from the wrath of the Lord over this matter.”14Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah undertook the matter on these terms, and Meshullam and Levi and Shabbethai served with them as judges.15And those who had returned from exile acted in accordance with all this.16Ezra the priest chose for himself the leading men of their ancestral houses, all of them by name; and on the new moon of the tenth month they began their sessions to investigate the matter.17And the cases of the men who had foreign wives were brought to an end by the new moon of the first month.18Of the priests, those who were brought in and found to have foreign wives were:19of the descendants of Jeshua son of Jozadak and his kindred, Maaseiah, Eliezar, Jarib, and Jodan.20They pledged themselves to put away their wives, and to offer rams in expiation of their error.21Of the descendants of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah and Maaseiah and Shemaiah and Jehiel and Azariah.22Of the descendants of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, and Nathanael, and Gedaliah, and Salthas.23And of the Levites: Jozabad and Shimei and Kelaiah, who was Kelita, and Pethahiah and Judah and Jonah.24Of the temple singers: Eliashib and Zaccur.25Of the gatekeepers: Shallum and Telem.26Of Israel: of the descendants of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, and Eleazar, and Asibias, and Benaiah.27Of the descendants of Elam: Mattaniah and Zechariah, Jezrielus and Abdi, and Jeremoth and Elijah.28Of the descendants of Zamoth: Eliadas, Eliashib, Othoniah, Jeremoth, and Zabad and Zerdaiah.29Of the descendants of Bebai: Jehohanan and Hananiah and Zabbai and Emathis.30Of the descendants of Mani: Olamus, Mamuchus, Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal and Jeremoth.31Of the descendants of Addi: Naathus and Moossias, Laccunus and Naidus, and Bescaspasmys and Sesthel, and Belnuus and Manasseas.32Of the descendants of Annan, Elionas and Asaias and Melchias and Sabbaias and Simon Chosamaeus.33Of the descendants of Hashum: Mattenai and Mattattah and Zabad and Eliphelet and Manasseh and Shimei.34Of the descendants of Bani: Jeremai, Momdius, Maerus, Joel, Mamdai and Bedeiah and Vaniah, Carabasion and Eliashib and Mamitanemus, Eliasis, Binnui, Elialis, Shimei, Shelemiah, Nethaniah. Of the descendants of Ezora: Shashai, Azarel, Azael, Samatus, Zambris, Joseph.35Of the descendants of Nooma: Mazitias, Zabad, Iddo, Joel, Benaiah.36All these had married foreign women, and they put them away together with their children.Ezra Reads the Law to the People
37The priests and the Levites and the Israelites settled in Jerusalem and in the country. On the new moon of the seventh month, when the people of Israel were in their settlements,38the whole multitude gathered with one accord in the open square before the east gate of the temple;39they told Ezra the chief priest and reader to bring the law of Moses that had been given by the Lord God of Israel.40So Ezra the chief priest brought the law, for all the multitude, men and women, and all the priests to hear the law, on the new moon of the seventh month.41He read aloud in the open square before the gate of the temple from early morning until midday, in the presence of both men and women; and all the multitude gave attention to the law.42Ezra the priest and reader of the law stood on the wooden platform that had been prepared;43and beside him stood Mattathiah, Shema, Ananias, Azariah, Uriah, Hezekiah, and Baalsamus on his right,44and on his left Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Lothasubus, Nabariah, and Zechariah.45Then Ezra took up the book of the law in the sight of the multitude, for he had the place of honor in the presence of all.46When he opened the law, they all stood erect. And Ezra blessed the Lord God Most High, the God of hosts, the Almighty,47and the multitude answered, “Amen.” They lifted up their hands, and fell to the ground and worshiped the Lord.48Jeshua and Anniuth and Sherebiah, Jadinus, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maiannas and Kelita, Azariah and Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, taught the law of the Lord, at the same time explaining what was read.49Then Attharates said to Ezra the chief priest and reader, and to the Levites who were teaching the multitude, and to all,50“This day is holy to the Lord”—now they were all weeping as they heard the law—51“so go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet, and send portions to those who have none;52for the day is holy to the Lord; and do not be sorrowful, for the Lord will exalt you.”53The Levites commanded all the people, saying, “This day is holy; do not be sorrowful.”54Then they all went their way, to eat and drink and enjoy themselves, and to give portions to those who had none, and to make great rejoicing;55because they were inspired by the words which they had been taught. And they came together.