1. While Ezra, weeping and prostrating himself in front of the Temple of God, was praying and making confession, a very large crowd of men, women and children of Israel gathered round him, the people weeping bitterly.
2. Then Shechaniah son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, spoke up and said to Ezra, 'We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the people of the country. But, in spite of this, there is still some hope for Israel.
3. We will make a covenant with our God to send away all the foreign wives and their children in obedience to the advice of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. Let us act in accordance with the Law.
4. Go ahead, do your duty; we support you. Be brave, take action!'
5. Then Ezra stood up and put the leading priests and Levites and all Israel on oath to do what had been said. They took the oath.
6. Ezra then left his place in front of the Temple of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, where he spent the night without eating food or drinking water, because he was still mourning over the exiles' infidelity.
7. A proclamation was issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles were to assemble in Jerusalem,
8. and that anyone who failed within three days to answer the summons of the officials and elders was to forfeit all his possessions and himself be excluded from the community of the exiles.
9. As a result, all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled in Jerusalem within the three days; it was the twentieth day of the ninth month. All the people sat down in the square in front of the Temple of God, trembling because of the matter in hand and because of the heavy rain.
10. The priest Ezra then stood up and said to them, 'You have been unfaithful and have married foreign wives, thus adding to Israel's guilt.
11. So now give thanks to Yahweh, God of your ancestors, and do his will by holding aloof from the people of the country and from foreign wives.'
12. In ringing tones, the whole assembly answered, 'Yes, our duty is to do as you say.
13. But there are many people here and it is the rainy season; we cannot stay out in the open; besides, this is not something that can be dealt with in one or two days, since many of us have been unfaithful over this.
14. Let our officials deputise for the whole community, and all the people in our towns who have married foreign wives can come at stated times, accompanied by elders and judges from each town, until our God's fierce anger over this is turned away from us.'
15. Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite, were opposed to this.
16. The exiles did as had been proposed. And the priest Ezra selected the family heads of the various families, all of them by name, who began their sittings on the first day of the tenth month to look into the matter.
17. And by the first day of the first month they had dealt with all the men who had married foreign women.
18. Among the priests who were found to have married foreign wives were: of the sons of Jeshua son of Jozadak and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib and Gedaliah,
19. who agreed to send their wives away; their guilt offering was a ram from the flock for their guilt;
20. of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah;
21. of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel and Uzziah;
22. of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad and Elasah;
23. of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah -- that is, Kelita-Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer;
24. of the singers: Eliashib and Zaccur; of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem and Uri;
25. and of the Israelites: of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchijah and Benaiah;
26. of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth and Elijah;
27. of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad and Aziza;
28. of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, Atlai;
29. of the sons of Bigvai: Meshullam, Malluch, Jedaiah, Jashub, Sheal, Jeremoth;
30. of the sons of Pahath-Moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui and Manasseh;
31. of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,
32. Benjamin, Malluch, Shemariah;
33. of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, Shimei;
34. of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel,
35. Benaiah, Bediah, Jeluhi,
36. Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,
37. Mattaniah, Mattenai and Jaasau;
38. of the sons of Binnui: Shimei,
39. Shelemiah, Nathan and Adaiah;
40. of the sons of Zaccai: Shashai, Sharai,
41. Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah,
42. Shallum, Amariah, Joseph;
43. of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, Benaiah.
44. All these had married foreign wives but sent them away with their children.