Now whenEzra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and castinghimselfdownbefore the house of God, thereassembledunto him out of Israel a verygreatcongregation of men and women and children: for the peopleweptverysore.
And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and saiduntoEzra, We havetrespassedagainst our God, and havetakenstrangewives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israelconcerningthisthing.
Now therefore let us make a covenantwith our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of thosethattremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be doneaccording to the law.
ThenEzrarose up frombefore the house of God, and wentinto the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he camethither, he did eat no bread, nor drinkwater: for he mournedbecause of the transgression of themthat had beencarriedaway.
And thatwhosoeverwould not comewithinthreedays, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substanceshould be forfeited, and himselfseparatedfrom the congregation of thosethat had beencarriedaway.
Then all the men of Judah and BenjamingatheredthemselvestogetheruntoJerusalemwithinthreedays. It was the ninthmonth, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, tremblingbecause of thismatter, and for the greatrain.
Let now our rulers of all the congregationstand, and let all themwhichhavetakenstrangewives in our citiescome at appointedtimes, and withthem the elders of everycity, and the judgesthereof, until the fiercewrath of our God for thismatter be turnedfrom us.
And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, withcertainchief of the fathers, after the house of theirfathers, and all of them by theirnames, wereseparated, and sat down in the first day of the tenthmonth to examine the matter.