1 As Ezra was praying and confessing sins, weeping and falling down on his face before God's Temple, a very large crowd of Israelites, men, women, and children, gathered around him. The people were weeping bitterly as well.
2 Shecaniah, son of Jehiel, an Elamite, said to Ezra: “Yes, we have been unfaithful to our God because we have married foreign women from the people of the land. But even so there is still hope for Israel over this.
3 Let us make a solemn agreement right now before our God that we will send away all the foreign wives and their children. We will follow the directions given by you and those who respect the instructions of our God, carried out according to the Law.
4 Take action! It's your responsibility. We are with you. Be brave and do it!”
5 So Ezra stood up and made the leading priests, Levites, and all the Israelites present take an oath to act on what had just been said. They all took the oath.
6 Then Ezra left them in front of God's Temple, and went to the room of Jehohanan, son of Eliashib. During the time he stayed there, he didn't eat or drink anything, because he was still mourning the unfaithfulness of the exiles.
7 Then a proclamation was issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles should assemble in Jerusalem.
8 Anyone who did not come within three days would have all their property confiscated, and would be banned from the assembly of the exiles. This was the decision of the leaders and elders.
9 Within three days, everyone from Judah and Benjamin assembled in Jerusalem. On the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people sat in the square beside God's Temple, shivering because of this issue and also because of the heavy rain.
10 Ezra the priest stood up and told them, “You have committed sin by marrying foreign women, making Israel's guilt even worse.
11 Now you must confess your sin to the Lord, the God of your forefathers, and do what he requires. Sever your connections with the people of the land and your foreign wives.”
12 The whole assembly answered in a loud voice: “We agree, and we promise to do as you say!
13 But there are a lot of people here, and it's pouring with rain. We can't stay outside. More to the point, this isn't something that can be fixed in one or two days, for we have sinned extremely seriously in this.
14 Let our leaders act on behalf of the whole assembly. Then let every man in each of our towns who has married a foreign woman be given an appointment to come and meet, together with the elders and judges of that town, until our God is no longer angry with us over this.”
15 The only ones to oppose this were Jonathan, son of Asahel, and Jahzeiah, son of Tikvah, supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite.
16 So this what the exiles did, selecting Ezra the priest and family leaders, according to their family divisions, all of them specifically named. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to begin the inquiry,
17 and by the first day of the first month they had finished handling all the cases of men who had married foreign women.
18 Among the descendants of the priests, the following had married foreign women: from the sons of Jeshua son of Jozadak, and his brothers Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah.
19 They vowed to send their wives away, and they presented a ram from the flock as a guilt offering for their guilt.
20 From the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.
21 From the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah.
22 From the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
23 Among the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (or Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
24 Among the singers: Eliashib. Among the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri.
25 Among the Israelites: From the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malkijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Hashabiah, and Benaiah.
26 From the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah.
27 From the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza.
28 From the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.
29 From the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth.
30 From the sons of Pahath-moab: Adna, Kelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh.
31 From the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Ishijah, Malkijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,
32 Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah.
33 From the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei.
34 From the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel,
35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Keluhi,
36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,
37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu.
38 From the sons of Binnui: Shimei,
39 Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah,
40 Macnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,
41 Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah,
42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph.
43 From the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah.
44 All of these men listed had married foreign women. They divorced them and sent them away with their children.