1Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before 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 bitterly.
2And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have married foreign wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.
3Now 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 tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.
4Arise; for this matter belongs unto you: we also will be with you: be of good courage, and do it.
5Then arose Ezra, and made the leading priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word. And they swore.
6Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came there, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.
7And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem;
8And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the order of the leaders and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and he himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.
9Then 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 open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and because of the heavy rain.
10And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, You have transgressed, and have taken foreign wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.
11Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the foreign wives.
12Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As you has said, so must we do.
13But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain, and we are not able to stand outside, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.
14Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them who have taken foreign wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter is turned from us.
15Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supported them.
16And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain heads of the fathers' houses, according to their fathers' houses, and each of them by name, were set apart, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
17And they finished with all the men that had taken foreign wives by the first day of the first month.
18And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken foreign wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
19And they gave their promise that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.