Book of Ezra
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|Author:||--- Background & Theme ---||dated at:|
|Ezra, name means: God helps, a scribe and a priest.||
The book of Ezra covers the Israelites first and second return from the Persian
empire, from their Babylonian captivity. The first return was led by Zerubbabel
in 538bc, the second return was eighty years later lead by Ezra. The book tells
of the rebuilding of the temple and of the hindrances encountered to force a
stop to the building. The reinstitution of the law was then brought back,
soon followed by the violation of the law, (intermarriage with non-Jews and idol
1Now in the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia, the prophecy of the LORD spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, stirred up the spirit of the king's heart. That he might fulfill it, thus the king put this proclamation in writing and sent it throughout all his kingdom.
2Thus says Cyrus the king of Persia, The LORD God has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has convicted me to build Him a temple in Jerusalem. 3Who is there among the captives of His people, whom his God is with him? Let him go up to Jerusalem and build the temple, for the God of Israel, is God. 4And whoever of the Babylonian captivity remains behind, let him support his fellow workers with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offering for the temple of God that is in Jerusalem.
5Then the chief fathers of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the priests and the Levites, with all of them whose spirit God had raised up, rose up to go up to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. 6And all who were around them gave them gifts of vessels of silver, gold, goods, pack animals and other precious things, besides their free-will offerings.
7Also Cyrus, the king brought out the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought taken out of Jerusalem, (at the time of the Jew's captivity) and had put them in the house of his gods. 8Cyrus the king of Persia brought out these items out, recorded by his treasurer and gave them to the prince of Judah. 9And this is the number of them: thirty dishes of gold, one thousand dishes of silver, twenty-nine knives, 10thirty bowls of gold, four hundred ten silver bowls and one thousand other vessels. 11All the vessels of gold and of silver were 5,400. And they were all brought back to Jerusalem, after they had been taken in the Babylon captivity.
1These are the people of the province of Judah that were carried away into Babylon, captive by king Nebuchadnezzar and whom came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, everyone unto his city; 2Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number and the family names of the returning men to Israel are:
|3-42 28,774 sons and men according to their family name.|
|Parosh: 2,172||Shephatiah: 372||Arah: 775||Pahath-moab, of Jeshua & Joab: 2,812|
|Elam: 1,254||Zattu: 945||Zaccai: 760||Bani: 642||Bebai: 623|
|Azgad: 1,222||Adonikam: 666||Bigvai: 2,056||Adin: 454||Ater of Hezekiah: 98|
|Bezai: 323||Jorah: 112||Hashum: 223||Gibbar:95||Bethlehem: 123|
|Netophah: 56||Anathoth: 128||Azmaveth:42||Kirjath-arim, Chephirah, & Beeroth: 743|
|Ramah & Geba: 621||Michmas: 122||Bethel & Ai: 223||Nebo: 52||Magbish: 156|
|Elam: 1,254||Harim: 320||Lod, Hadid & Ono: 725||Jericho: 345||Senaah: 3,630|
|Priests of Jedaiah house of Jeshua: 973||Immer: 1,052||Pashur: 1,247||Harim: 1,017|
|Levites, of Jeshua & Kadmiel: 74||Singers, of Asaph: 128|
|Gatekeepers, Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita & Shobai: 139|
|43-58 392 temple servants & the sons of Solomon's servants|
|Darkon||Giddel||Shephatiah||Hattil||Pochereth of Zebaim||Ami|
|59-63 652 men whom came out of captivity, but could not prove there genealogy to be that of Israel.|
|Children of the priests sought their register, but was not found||Habaiah||Koz||Barzillai, whom took on his wives name|
|They were excluded from the priesthood as ceremonially unclean, and told not to eat of the most holy things, until a priest could determine their priesthood using a Urim and Thummim.|
|64-65 The congregation was 42,350. Plus servants of 7,337 and 200 male and female singers.|
66They had 736 horses, 245 mules, 67435 camels and 6,720 donkeys. 68And when some of the heads of the families, came to the house of the LORD, in Jerusalem, they gave freely to rebuild the temple on its site. 69 They gave after their ability, 61,000 drachmas of gold, 5,000 pounds of silver and 100 priests' garments.
70Thus all the priests, the Levites and some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers and the servants of the temple, dwelt in their cities and all Israel in their cities.
1Now in the seventh month the children of Israel were all gathered together in the cities of Jerusalem. 2Then Jeshua, with his brethren the priests and Zerubbabel with his brethren, built an altar to God in Israel, to offer burnt offerings on, as was written in the law of Moses. 3They set up the altar, for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries, so they offered burnt offerings to the LORD, both day and night. 4They also kept the feast of tabernacles, as it is written and offered the daily burnt offerings according to each days requirement. 5Offering continual burnt offering, both for the new moons and for all the set feasts of the LORD and of everyone whom willingly offered freewill offering unto the LORD. 6On the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, even before the foundation of the temple of the LORD was yet built. 7With the funds that they received from the king of Persia, they hired masons and carpenters, giving meat, drink and oil, unto them of Zidon and receiving cedar trees from them of Tyre.
8Now in the second month of the second year, (NOTE: 20 months after they began altar sacrifices). Zerubbabel and Jeshua together with the remnant of their brethren that had come out of the captivity, appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to the work of the house of the LORD. 9Then Jeshua and his sons, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, Henadad and his sons together with the Levites took on the oversight of the workmen in the building of the temple of God.
10Now when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David, king of Israel. 11They sang and praised the LORD responsively, because the LORD is good, His mercy endures forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout for the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12Many of the older priests and Levites, whom had seen the first house, wept loudly while others shouted loudly for joy: 13Both were so loud that one could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping, however, the noise was so great it could be heard afar off.
1Now when the adversaries (the Samaritans), of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin heard that the Israelites that had returned from their captivity, were building a temple unto the LORD God of Israel. 2They came to Zerubbabel, the governor and the head of the households and said; Allow us to build with you for we also seek your God as you do and we have sacrificed to Him since the days of king Esar-haddon of Assyria, who brought us here. 3But Zerubbabel, Jeshua and the rest of the heads of Israel, said; You shall have nothing to do in the building of a house to our God. Our people alone shall together build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia did commanded us to. 4Then the people of the land, (the Samaritans) continually wore down the people of Judah, harassing them in their building, 5They even hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, until the reign of Darius king of Persia, (NOTE: this covered nearly a 16 year time period).
6Now in the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus, (the Samaritans), wrote an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 7And again in the days of king Artaxerxes of Persia, again they wrote a letter and it was written and interpreted in the Syrian language. 8Rehum the [Persian commander of the Samaritans] and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to king Artaxerxes of Persia. The letter read as follows.
9From: Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe, together with the rest of our companions; the Dignities, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites and the Elamites, 10Also the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over and set in the cities of Samaria, on this side the river. 11To: king Artaxerxes, from your servant's west of the river Euphrates.17The king reply is as follows:
12May it be known to the king, that the Jews which came up from you, have come to us and are now in Jerusalem. They are rebuilding this rebellious and the wicked city, For they have repaired the foundations and have set up the walls. 13May it also be known to the king, that, if the city is rebuilt and the walls are again set in place. The people then will pay toll, tribute and custom, thus to the damage of the king's revenue. 14Because we are maintained by the king's palace and it is not proper for us to see the king's disgrace, therefore, have we sent and certified this letter to the king; 15When you search the matter out in the book of records, you will find that this is a rebellious city very much hurtful to kings and provinces, for they have rebelled in the past, thus causing the destruction of the city. 16We assure the king that, if this city be built again and the walls set back in place, the king shall have no portion on this side the river.
To: Rehum the chancellor and to Shimshai the scribe and to the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria and unto the rest beyond the river, Peace.
18 The letter which you have sent me has been plainly read before me. 19I have search this matter out and I have found that this city has a history of revolting against kings and rebellion to authorities. 20There have also been mighty kings over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river and toll, tribute and custom, was paid unto them. 21Now this is my order: cause these men to cease their building, this city shall not be built, until I give another order. 22Carry this order out with all diligence, let not this become a hurt unto the king?
23When king Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their companions, they went up quickly to Jerusalem to the Jews and through the use of force and power, made them to cease their work. 24The building of the house of God at Jerusalem, then ceased until the second year of the reign of king Darius of Persia. (NOTE: the rebuilding ceased for 16 years, until approximately 520bc).
1Now the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, prophesied to the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel. 2Then Zerubbabel and Jeshua took the initiative upon themselves and began to build the house of God at Jerusalem and along with them were the prophets of God, (Haggai and Zechariah) helping them. 3At the same time the governor on this side of the river and His assistants came to them asking them, who gave you permission to build this house and rebuild the wall?
4So in reply we told them the manes of the men working on the building. 5But God's protection was upon the elders of the Jews and work did not cease until the matter came to the king of Persian and an answer was returned by letter. concerning this matter. 6The copy of the letter that the governor on this side the river, sent to the king of Persia, read as follows;
7to Darius the king, peace be with you,
8May it be known unto the king, that when we were in the province of Judea, the house of the great God, is being built with great stones and timbers for the walls. This work goes on goes on with diligence in all haste. 9When we asked the elders; Who authorized you to build this house and to rebuild these walls? 10We also asked their names, that we might know who was in charge of this act. 11And the answer they gave us was; that they are the servants of the God of heaven and earth and are rebuilding the house of God that was built many years ago by a great king of Israel. 12For when our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, He gave them over to the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, who destroyed this house and carried the people away into Babylon. 13Now in the first year of Cyrus the king of Babylon, he gave a decree to rebuild this house of God. 14Also the vessels of gold and silver, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the house that was in Jerusalem and brought them into the temple of Babylon, Cyrus the king took them out of the temple of Babylon and delivered them to the governor of Judah. 15Telling him to take the vessels and to return them to the rebuilt house of God in Jerusalem. 16This same governor, Sheshbazzar, has laid the foundation of the house of God, in Jerusalem and has from that time until now has been building, but the temple is not yet complete.
17Therefore, if it seems good to the king, let there be a search made in the king's treasure house at Babylon. Whether king Cyrus really gave a decree to build the house of God at Jerusalem and may the king send us his decision concerning this matter.
1Then King Darius ordered a search of the records. 2And in the province of the Medes, a scroll was found, that read: 3In the first year of king Cyrus, he gave a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem. Saying;
Let the house of God be built, in the same place where they offered sacrifices before, may the foundations be firmly laid, where the height is 90 feet by 90 feet wide. 4having three rows of great stones and a row of new timber and let the expenses be paid out of the king's treasury. 5Also let the golden and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple, that was at Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be brought back to the temple at Jerusalem and they shall be placed in the house of God.
6Now let, Tatnai, governor beyond the river and his associates, stay far away from them. 7Let the work of this house of God be done by the governor of the Jews and the elders, built on its site by the Jews. 8Also I gave my decree to these men and to the elders of the Jews for the building of the house of God. That expenses of these men come from the king's treasury, that their work not be hindered. 9Even that of which they have need of, young bullocks, rams and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail. 10That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and of his sons.
11I have also made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let him be hung on the same timbers that are in this house and let his house be made into a dunghill because of this. 12And may the God who put His Name on this house wipe out any king or people who dares to defy this decree or destroy The Temple of God at Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued an official decree. It shall be carried out accurately and promptly.
13Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river and his associates did according as the letter stated. 14So the elders of the Jews were able to build the temple and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai and Zechariah the prophets. Thus the House of God was finished according to the commandment of the God of Israel and according to the commandment of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes kings of Persia. 15The house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of king Darius, (NOTE: the temple was finished in the year 516bc). 16All of Israel, the priests, the Levites and all the people who had returned from the captivity, celebrated the dedication of the house of God with great joy. 17And at the dedication they offered up one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according the number of the tribes of Israel. 18As it was before and written in the book of Moses, they assigned the priests in their groupings for duties and the Levites in their services unto God.
19Thus the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month. 20For the priests and the Levites all had purified themselves, thus all were pure. Therefore, they killed the Passover lamb for all the children of the captivity, for their fellow priests and for themselves. 21all the children of Israel which had come again out of captivity, along with all the people who had returned with them having separated themselves from the uncleanness of the nations to seek the LORD God of Israel, ate the Passover. 22They joyfully kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days, for the LORD had made them joyful and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
1After these things, during the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the scribe, 2-5having a lineage that traces back sixteen generations to the chief priest Aaron.
6Ezra came up from Babylon, (NOTE: after 80 years of captivity, in the second grouping of a three part return from exile).. He came up as a skilled scribe of the law of Moses, that the LORD God of Israel had given. And the king granted him all he requested, for the hand of the LORD God with Ezra. 7Also with him were some of the children of Israel, priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers and the temple servants, from Babylon to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. 8-9This journey took the people four months, for they left Babylon on the first day of the first month and according to the good hand of God, arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 10Now Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, to do it and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. 11And king Artaxerxes gave this letter to Ezra the priest and scribe occupied, having the words and commandments of the LORD for the people of Israel.
12Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. 13This decree I make, that all the people of Israel, the priests and Levites, within my kingdom, which wish, of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you. 14You are being sent of the king and his seven counselors, to inquire of Judah and Jerusalem, concerning the law of God that is in your hand, 15To carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose Tabernacle is in Jerusalem, 16Together with whatever silver and gold offer in Babylon, of the people or priests, to give willingly for the house of their God, which is in Jerusalem: 17Therefore you shall with all haste and care use this money to buy bulls, rams, lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, offering them on the altar in the house of your God, which is in Jerusalem. 18And after you do the will of your God, if there be a remainder of gold and silver, do whatever seem good to you. 19The vessels that I have given you, for service in the house of your God, deliver them before the God of Jerusalem. 20And if any more is needed for the house of your God, provide for it out of the king's treasury. 21I, king Artaxerxes, make this decree; that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of God, requires of the treasuries beyond the river, shall be done for him at once. 22Of up to one hundred talents of silver, six hundred fifty bushels of wheat, six hundred gallons of wine and six hundred gallons of oil, with the amount of salt being un-limitless. 23Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently and honorably done for this house, least God's wrath be against the king's kingdom and his sons. 24We also make it known that the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, or ministers of the house of God, shall not have any toll, tribute, or custom, imposed on them. 25And Ezra having the wisdom of God, shall set up an administration and judges, for all the people beyond the river, whom know the laws of their God and shall teach the people that do not know them. 26Whosoever refuses to do the law of God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, banishment, confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
27Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which has put such a thing in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem: 28For He has extended mercy to me, Ezra, before the king, his counselors and all of his mighty princes. For I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me and I gathered together chief men of Israel to go up with me.
1These are the heads of the families and the genealogy of the people whom came from Babylon and went to Jerusalem, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.
|2-14 From the families of Phinehas, Gershom, Ithamar, Daniel, David and Hattush.|
|Shechaniah: Jahaziel = 300||Pahath-moab: Elihoenai of Zerahiah = 200||Shechaniah: Pharosh, Zechariah = 150|
|Adin: Ebed of Jonathan = 50||Elam: Jeshaiah of Athaliah = 70||Shephatiah: Zebadiah of Michael = 80|
|Joab: Obadiah of Jehiel = 218||Shelomith: Josiphiah = 160||Bebai: Zechariah of Bebai = 28|
|Bigvai: Uthai, Zabbud = 70||Adonikam: Eliphelet, Jeiel, Shemaiah =60||Azgad: Johanan of Hakkatan = 110|
|1,496 males went up to Jerusalem, plus 258 Levites and temple servants.|
15I then, Ezra gathered the people together, we made camp by the river for three days and I surveyed all the people and priests and found there to be none from the tribe of Levi. 16Then I sent for chief men and the men of understanding. 17I sent an order to Iddo, a leader of the Jews living at Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God. 18By God's favor being upon us, they brought to us men of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel and Sherebiah, together with his son and brethren were eighteen in all. 19And Hashabiah and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, together with his sons and brethren were twenty in all. 20Also the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, were two hundred twenty.
21I then called for a fast there, at the camp site by the river, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek the path for us that we and our little ones should go, for all our substance. 22For I was ashamed to ask of the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against enemies that might come against our journey to Jerusalem. Because we had spoken unto the king, saying; the good hand of our God is upon all them that seek Him but His power and His wrath is against all those that forsake Him. 23So we fasted and sought our God for this and He was pleased to hear our petitions.
24I then set apart twelve of the chief priests and ten of their brethren with them. 25And divided the silver and gold vessels that the king with his counselors and lords had given us for the house of our God, while all of Israel had witnessed. 26I also placed unto their hand six hundred fifty talents of silver, silver vessels valued at one hundred talents and one hundred talents of gold. 27Twenty golden bowls, one thousand coins and two vessels of fine copper. 28Then I said to them, you are holy unto the LORD, also are the vessels holy and the silver and the gold is a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers. 29Therefore guard these, until you deliver them to the chief priests, the Levites and the chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD. 30So the priests and Levites received the silver and the gold and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem and deliver them to the house of our God.
31Then on the twelfth day of the first month, we departed for Jerusalem and God was with us. For He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and of they whom lay in wait. 32When we arrived at Jerusalem, we stayed there three days.
33Now on the fourth day, the silver, gold and the vessels were delivered and weighed in the house of our God by the priests, Meremoth, Eleazar, Jozabad and Noadiah. 34Every piece was accounted for and recorded, both by number and weight.
35At that time, the children of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering and all as a burnt offering unto the LORD.
36And they delivered the king's orders and laws to the king's lieutenants and to the governors on this side of the river and they helped the people and the house of God.
1After all these things, the officials came to me and said; The people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the nations, for they are committing the same abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. 2The men have inter-married in the land, also taking wives of the nations for their sons, so that the holy seed has been mixed together with the people of those lands. And indeed, the officials and chief men have set the example of this wickedness, which is a direct violation of God's will. 3When I heard this, I tore my clothes and my mantle and pulled the hair out of my head and beard and sat down in amassment. 4Then everyone who revered and trembled at the words of the God of Israel, gathered together with me. Because of their sin. And I remained speechless until the evening sacrifice.
5Now at the evening sacrifice, I rose up from my heaviness and having torn my garment and my mantle. I fell on my knees and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God. 6Saying; I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to You, my God. For our iniquities is now over our heads and our guilt has risen to the heavens. 7Since the days of our fathers we have been in great trespass, even until this very day and for this iniquity, our kings and priests, were delivered into the hands of the nations. Taken by the sword into captivity, having been pillaged and given over to utter shame, as it is to this day. 8For a brief moment God has shown us grace and given us a remnant of people to escape out of captivity and to be given us a secure hold in His holy place, so that our eyes may be enlightening, giving us a little incentive in our servitude; 9For though we are servants, yet our God has not forsaken us, but He extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia. He gave us treasure, to repair and set up the house of our God, also to rebuild the wall in Judah and Jerusalem. 10Now, O God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments. 11For You have commanded us through the prophets, saying, The land, unto which you go to possess, is an unclean land defiled by the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from border to border with their uncleanness. 12Therefore, do not give your daughters to them in marriage, neither take their daughters as your wives. Do not seek their peace or wealth, that you might be strong, but eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.
13And now after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our trespass, seeing that Thou our God has punished us less than our iniquities deserved, even giving us deliverance. 14Yet again we return to break your commandments and intermarry with the people who practice these abominations? Would You not be angry with us until You had crushed us, until there is no remnant nor survivor? 15O LORD God of Israel, you are just and righteous, today, the remnant that has escaped, is before You in our trespasses and we cannot stand before You because of this.
1When Ezra had prayed and confessed, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God. A great congregation of Israelites gathered, both men, women and children and they wept bitterly. 2Shechaniah, a leader of the Israelites, said to Ezra. We have trespassed against our God and have married foreign women of this land, yet even now, there is still hope in Israel concerning this thing.
3Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the foreign wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God, may it be done according to the law. 4Now arise Ezra, for it is your duty, for this matter belongs to you and we are with you, so be of good courage and let's take care of this matter.
5Ezra then rose up and had the chief priests, the Levites and all Israel, swear that they would do according to this word and the people agreed. 6He then went into a temple chamber and did not either eat or drink, but he mourned over their transgression. 7And it was spoken throughout all Judah and Jerusalem, to all the children of the captivity, that they would gather themselves together unto Jerusalem; 8And whosoever would not come within three days to this gathering, all his property would be forfeited and he would be banned from the assembly of his people.
9On the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the men of the exile gathered together at Jerusalem. And all the people sat in the open area before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the great rains. 10Ezra the priest then stood up and said; you have transgressed and have taken foreign wives, increasing the trespasses of Israel. 11Therefore, now make confession to the LORD God of your fathers and do His good pleasure, separating yourselves from the people of the land and from the foreign wives.
12The whole congregation then answered and said with a loud voice, just as you have said, we must we do. 13But we are many and they who have sinned are many and we are not able to stand outside for this is a time of much rain, besides this work requires more than one or two days. 14Let now our rulers of the congregation stand and those who have taken foreign women in our cities, come at a set time and be judged by the elders and judges of every city, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter has turned from us. 15Only two men opposed this, (Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah) and they were actually supported by two of the Levites. 16But the rest of the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain heads of the households documented all of their names. They then separated themselves and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
17And by the first day of the first month, they came to a decision with all the men that had taken foreign wives.
|18-19 6: Priests had taken foreign wives.|
|And they gave their solemn promise to put away their foreign wives and being guilty they offered a ram for their trespass.|
|20-24 23: Israelites from the second return, had taken foreign wives.|
|25-43 85: Israelites from the first return, had taken foreign wives.|
|44 114: men had taken foreign wives and some also had children with them.|