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  • 1 Esdras 9

    Ezra went out from the temple court to the inner room of Jehohanan, Eliashib’s son, and stayed the night there. He neither ate bread nor drank water, as he was mourning for the great immoral deeds of the multitude.

    An announcement was issued throughout Judea and Jerusalem to all who had returned from exile that they should gather at Jerusalem. Whoever didn’t meet there within two or three days, according to the order of the leading elders, their animals would be used for sacrifice and the people themselves cut off from the company of those who had returned from the exile.

    Then everyone from the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin gathered together at Jerusalem within three days; this was the twentieth day of the ninth month. The whole crowd sat in the square of the temple, shivering because it was winter. Then Ezra stood up and said, “You have broken the Law and married foreign women, and thus have increased the sin of Israel. So confess and give glory to the Lord God of our ancestors. Do God’s will and separate yourselves from the neighboring peoples and from the foreign women.”

    10 The whole crowd cried out, “We will do what you have said. 11 But it’s a big crowd, and it’s winter, and we aren’t strong enough to keep standing outside. This isn’t something we can do in one or two days, because we have sinned too greatly in these matters. 12 So let the leaders of the crowd remain, and let all those in our settlements who have foreign wives come at a specific time, 13 with the local elders and judges, until we are free from the Lord’s wrath that is against us in this affair.”

    14 Jonathan, Asahel’s son, and Jahzeiah, Tikvah’s son, accepted these terms, and Meshullam and Levi and Shabbethai supported them as moderators. 15 Those who had returned from exile followed these recommendations in every respect. 16 Ezra the priest chose for himself the leading men of their families, each by name. On the new moon of the tenth month they convened their investigation of this affair. 17 The cases of the men who had married foreign wives were completed by the new moon of the first month.

    18 Those who were found to have married foreign wives from the priesthood were: 19 Of the family of Jeshua, Jozadak’s son, and his brothers Maaseiah, Eleazar, Jarib, and Jodan. 20 They pledged to divorce their wives and to offer rams as reconciliation for their error in judgment. 21 Of the family of Immer: Hanani, Zebadiah, Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Azariah. 22 Of the family of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nathanael, Gedaliah, and Salthas.

    23 And of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah who was Kelita, Pethahiah, Judah, and Jonah. 24 Of the temple singers: Eliashib and Zaccur. 25 Of the gatekeepers: Shallum and Telem.

    26 Of Israel: of the family of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Asibias, and Benaiah. 27 Of the family of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jezrielus, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah. 28 Of the family of Zamoth: Eliadas, Eliashib, Othoniah, Jeremoth, Zabad and Zerdaiah. 29 Of the family of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Emathis. 30 Of the family of Mani: Olamus, Mamuchus, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth. 31 Of the family of Addi: Naathus, Moossias, Laccunus, Naidus, Bescaspasmys, Sesthel, Belnuus, and Manasseas. 32 Of the family of Annan: Elionas, Asaias, Melchias, Sabbaias, and Simon Chosamaeus. 33 Of the family of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Manasseh, and Shimei. 34 Of the family of Bani: Jeremai, Momdius, Maerus, Joel, Mamdai, Bedeiah, Vaniah, Carabasion, Eliashib, Mamitanemus, Eliasis, Binnui, Elialis, Shimei, Shelemiah, and Nethaniah. Of the family of Ezora: Shashai, Azarel, Azael, Samatus, Zambris, and Joseph. 35 Of the family of Nooma: Mazitias, Zabad, Iddo, Joel, and Benaiah. 36 All these had married foreign women, and they divorced them, along with their children.

    37 The priests, the Levites, and the Israelites lived in Jerusalem and in the countryside. On the new moon of the seventh month, after the people of Israel were settled in their homes, 38 the whole crowd gathered together in the courtyard near the east gate of the temple. 39 They told Ezra the chief priest and reader to bring the Law from Moses that had been given by the Lord God of Israel. 40 On the new moon of the seventh month, Ezra the chief priest brought the Law before the whole crowd, both men and women, as well as the priests, to hear the Law. 41 He read from dawn until noon in the courtyard near the temple gate, before men and women. The whole crowd gave full attention to the Law. 42 Ezra the priest and reader of the Law stood on the wooden podium that had been prepared. 43 Next to him stood Mattathiah, Shema, Ananias, Azariah, Uriah, Hezekiah, and Baalsamus at his right; 44 and at his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Lothasubus, Nabariah, and Zechariah. 45 Ezra took up the Law scroll in front of the large crowd (for he was in charge in the place of honor before everyone). 46 When he opened the Law, everyone stood up. Ezra blessed the Lord God Most High, the God of heavenly forces, the almighty, 47 and the whole crowd responded, “Amen.” They lifted up their hands. They fell to the ground and worshipped the Lord. 48 The Levites (Jeshua, Anniuth, Sherebiah, Jadinus, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maiannas, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah) taught and read the Law from the Lord to the crowd, explaining the meaning.

    49 Then Attharates said to Ezra the chief priest and reader, and to the Levites who were teaching the people, and to everyone, who were all weeping as they listened to the Law: 50 “This day is holy to the Lord. 51 Go your way, eat the rich food and drink the sweet wine, and send some of it to those who have nothing, 52 because the day is holy to the Lord. Don’t be sad, because the Lord will honor you.” 53 The Levites ordered all the people, “This day is holy; don’t be sad.” 54 They all went their way, to eat and drink and to rejoice, and to share with those who had none, and to enjoy themselves. 55 They were excited by the words that they had been taught. And they came together.