1Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men and women and children out of Israel gathered together to him, and the people wept with a bitter weeping.
2And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said to Ezra, “We have acted unfaithfully towards our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land. Yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.
3So now let us cut a covenant with our God to put away all the wives and those who have been born by them, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. Let it be done according to the law.
4Arise, for the matter is your responsibility, and we are with you. Be strong and act.”
5Then Ezra arose and made the leading priests, the Levites, and all Israel, take an oath that they would do according to this word. So they took the oath.
6Then Ezra rose up from in front of the house of God and went into the room of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib. While he was there he did not eat bread or drink water, for he mourned because of the unfaithfulness of those who had returned from exile.
7And they made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles, that they were to gather at Jerusalem,
8and that whoever did not come within three days, according to the counsel of the leaders and the elders, all his possessions would be forfeited and he himself would be excluded from the congregation of the returned exiles.
9Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within the three days; it was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month, and all the people sat in the wide place before God’s house, trembling because of this matter and because of the great rain.
10Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful and have married foreign women, increasing the guilt of Israel.
11Now therefore, make confession to Yahweh the God of your fathers and do his will, and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign women.”
12Then all the assembly answered and said with a loud voice, “You are right! We must do as you have said.
13But the people are many and it is a time of much rain and we are not able to stand outside. Nor is this a work of one day or two, for many of us have transgressed in this matter.
14Let now our leaders represent the whole assembly, and let all those who are in our cities who have married foreign women come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of every city, until the burning anger of our God on account of this matter is turned from us.”
15Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supported them.
16The returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected certain men—heads of fathers’ houses according to their fathers’ houses, and all of them by name—and they sat down on the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
17And they were finished with all the men who had married foreign women by the first day of the first month.
Of the sons of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
34Of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, and Uel, 35Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, 36Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu, 38and Bani, and Binnui, Shimei, 39and Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah, 40Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41Azarel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42Shallum, Amariah, Joseph.