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¶ NOW when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, prostrating himself and weeping before the house of the LORD, there assembled to him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children;
for the children wept bitterly.
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And Shechaniah the son of Nehael, one of the descendants of Elam, answered and said to Ezra the scribe, We have transgressed against our God, and have taken foreign wives of the people of the land;
now is there any hope for Israel concerning this thing?
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Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the alien wives and those who are born of them, according to the counsel of the LORD and of those who tremble at the law of our God and his commandment;
do it now and be strong.
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For this law is decreed for you;
for we are with you;
be strong and do it.
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Then Ezra the scribe arose and made the elders of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel to swear that they would do according to this command.
And they swore.
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Then Ezra the scribe rose up from before the house of God and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Elisha;
and he sat there, but he neither ate bread nor drank water;
for he was sorrowful because of the transgression of the people.
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And they made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the exiles that they should gather themselves together to Jerusalem;
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And that whosoever would not come within three days, it should be done to him according to the counsel of the elders and the chiefs, all his wealth could be forfeited and he himself separated from the people of Israel.
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Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within three days.
It was the ninth month, on the tenth day of the month;
and all the people of the LORD assembled in the street of the temple of the LORD, trembling and shuddering because of this matter.
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Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, You have transgressed against God, and have taken foreign wives, and thus increased the sins of Israel.
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Now therefore make confession to the LORD God of your fathers, and do his will;
separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the alien wives.
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Then all the people answered and said to Ezra with a loud voice, Your words concerning us are good, and we shall accept everything which you say concerning us, and do it truthfully.
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But now the people are many, and it is the rainy season, and we are not able to stand in the street, neither is this a work of one day or two;
for our sins are many in this matter.
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Let now our elders and all the people stand up, and let all who are in our cities, who have taken foreign wives, come at the time of prayer, and with them the elders of the cities and their judges, till the fierce wrath of our God for this matter is turned from us.
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Only Jonathan the son of Emmanuel and Nehaziah the son of Tikyah were opposed to this matter;
and Matai the Levite supported them.
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And the exiles did so.
And Ezra the priest selected ten men, chiefs of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them were called by their names;
and they sat down on the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
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And they finished examining all the men who had taken foreign wives by the first day of the first month.
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And among the descendants of the priests there were found some who had taken foreign wives, namely, of the sons of Joshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers, Maasiah and Eleazer and Jonadab and Gedaliah.
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And they also consented that they would put away their wives;
so they offered rams of the flock for their sins.
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And of the sons of Immer, Hanani and Zechariah.
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And of the sons of Haram, Maasiah and Elijah and Shemaiah and Henanael and Uzziah.
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And of the sons of Pashhur, Elian, Maasiah, Ishmael, Nathanael, Jozabar, and Elasah.
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Of the Levites, Jozabar, Shimei, Kelnah, Kelita, Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
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And of the ministers, Elishah;
and of the porters, Shallum, Etlam, and Udi.
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Moreover of Israel, of the sons of Parash, Jeremiah, Jezaniah, Malchiah, Benjamin, Eleazer, Malchiah, and Benaiah.
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And of the sons of Elam, Nethniah, Zechariah, Neiael, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Eliho.
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And of the sons of Zatiah, Elihnai, Elishah, Nethaniah, Jeremoth, Zabor, and Uzzia.
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Of the sons of Bebai, Johanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.
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Of the sons of Bachi, of Tashlom, Malluch, Uzziah, Jashub, Saul, and Jeremoth.
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And of the sons of Shultan-moab, Gedaliah, Celal, Benaniah, Maasiah, Mattaniah, Bezaliel, and his sons, descendants of Manasseh.
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And of the sons of Haram, Eliezer, Malchiah, Anshua, Shemaiah, Simeon,
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Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemaiah.
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Of the sons of Hashum, Mahnai, Mattathah, Zachar, Eliphelet, Carmi, Manasseh, and Shimai.
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Of the sons of Bachi, Maadai, Amram, Joel,
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Benaiah, the son of Chelluh,
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Nehaiel, Meremoth, Eliashib,
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Mattaniah.
Mattenai, and Aoti.
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And of the sons of Shimei
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And Shelemiah, Nathan, and Azariah,
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Makizab, Shishai, Sharai,
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Ardaei, Memariah, Shemariah, Shallum,
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Amariah, and Joseph.
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Of the sons of Nebo, Neboael, Matitha, Zachor, Zebina, Joel, and Benaiah.
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All these had taken foreign wives;
and some of them had wives by whom they had children.