The Plan for Ending Mixed Marriages
10 While Ezra was bowing in prayer in front of the Temple, weeping and confessing these sins, a large group of Israelites—men, women, and children—gathered around him, weeping bitterly. 2 Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, of the clan of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have broken faith with God by marrying foreign women, but even so there is still hope for Israel. 3 Now we must make a solemn promise to our God that we will send these women and their children away. We will do what you and the others who honor God's commands advise us to do. We will do what God's Law demands. 4 It is your responsibility to act. We are behind you, so go ahead and get it done.”
5 So Ezra began by making the leaders of the priests, of the Levites, and of the rest of the people take an oath that they would do what Shecaniah had proposed. 6 Then he went from in front of the Temple into the living quarters of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, and spent the night[a] there grieving over the unfaithfulness of the exiles. He did not eat or drink anything.
7 A message was sent throughout Jerusalem and Judah that all those who had returned from exile were to meet in Jerusalem 8 by order of the leaders of the people. If any failed to come within three days, all their property would be confiscated, and they would lose their right to be members of the community. 9 Within the three days, on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the men living in the territory of Judah and Benjamin came to Jerusalem and assembled in the Temple square. It was raining hard, and because of the weather and the importance of the meeting everyone was trembling.
10 Ezra the priest stood up and spoke to them. He said, “You have been faithless and have brought guilt on Israel by marrying foreign women. 11 Now then, confess your sins to the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and do what pleases him. Separate yourselves from the foreigners living in our land and get rid of your foreign wives.”
12 The people shouted in answer, “We will do whatever you say.” 13 But they added, “The crowd is too big, and it's raining hard. We can't stand here in the open like this. This isn't something that can be done in one or two days, because so many of us are involved in this sin. 14 Let our officials stay in Jerusalem and take charge of the matter. Then let anyone who has a foreign wife come at a set time, together with the leaders and the judges of his city. In this way God's anger over this situation will be turned away.” 15 No one was opposed to the plan except Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, who had the support of Meshullam and of Shabbethai, a Levite.
16 The returned exiles accepted the plan, so Ezra the priest appointed[b] men from among the heads of the clans and recorded their names. On the first day of the tenth month they began their investigation, 17 and within the next three months they investigated all the cases of men with foreign wives.
The Men Who Had Foreign Wives
18 This is the list of the men who had foreign wives:
Priests, listed by clans:
Clan of Joshua and his brothers, sons of Jehozadak: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah. 19 They promised to divorce their wives, and they offered a ram as a sacrifice for their sins.
20 Clan of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah
21 Clan of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah
22 Clan of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah
23 Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (also called Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer
Shallum, Telem, and Uri
25 Clan of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchijah, and Benaiah
26 Clan of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah
27 Clan of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza
28 Clan of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai
29 Clan of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth
30 Clan of Pahath Moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh
31-32 Clan of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah
33 Clan of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei
34-37 Clan of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel, Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu
38-42 Clan of Binnui: Shimei, Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph
43 Clan of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah
44 All these men had foreign wives. They divorced them and sent them and their children away.[c]
1 Corinthians 6
Lawsuits against Fellow Christians
6 If any of you have a dispute with another Christian, how dare you go before heathen judges instead of letting God's people settle the matter? 2 Don't you know that God's people will judge the world? Well, then, if you are to judge the world, aren't you capable of judging small matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge the angels? How much more, then, the things of this life! 4 If such matters come up, are you going to take them to be settled by people who have no standing in the church? 5 Shame on you! Surely there is at least one wise person in your fellowship who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians. 6 Instead, one Christian goes to court against another and lets unbelievers judge the case!
7 The very fact that you have legal disputes among yourselves shows that you have failed completely. Would it not be better for you to be wronged? Would it not be better for you to be robbed? 8 Instead, you yourselves wrong one another and rob one another, even other believers! 9 Surely you know that the wicked will not possess God's Kingdom. Do not fool yourselves; people who are immoral or who worship idols or are adulterers or homosexual perverts 10 or who steal or are greedy or are drunkards or who slander others or are thieves—none of these will possess God's Kingdom. 11 Some of you were like that. But you have been purified from sin; you have been dedicated to God; you have been put right with God by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Use Your Bodies for God's Glory
12 (A)Someone will say, “I am allowed to do anything.” Yes; but not everything is good for you. I could say that I am allowed to do anything, but I am not going to let anything make me its slave. 13 Someone else will say, “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food.” Yes; but God will put an end to both. The body is not to be used for sexual immorality, but to serve the Lord; and the Lord provides for the body. 14 God raised the Lord from death, and he will also raise us by his power.
15 You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ. Shall I take a part of Christ's body and make it part of the body of a prostitute? Impossible! 16 (B)Or perhaps you don't know that the man who joins his body to a prostitute becomes physically one with her? The scripture says quite plainly, “The two will become one body.” 17 But he who joins himself to the Lord becomes spiritually one with him.
18 Avoid immorality. Any other sin a man commits does not affect his body; but the man who is guilty of sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 (C)Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; 20 he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God's glory.
9 Be merciful to me, Lord,
for I am in trouble;
my eyes are tired from so much crying;
I am completely worn out.
10 I am exhausted by sorrow,
and weeping has shortened my life.
I am weak from all my troubles;[a]
even my bones are wasting away.
11 All my enemies, and especially my neighbors,
treat me with contempt.
Those who know me are afraid of me;
when they see me in the street, they run away.
12 Everyone has forgotten me, as though I were dead;
I am like something thrown away.
13 I hear many enemies whispering;
terror is all around me.
They are making plans against me,
plotting to kill me.
14 But my trust is in you, O Lord;
you are my God.
15 I am always in your care;
save me from my enemies,
from those who persecute me.
16 Look on your servant with kindness;
save me in your constant love.
17 I call to you, Lord;
don't let me be disgraced.
May the wicked be disgraced;
may they go silently down to the world of the dead.
18 Silence those liars—
all the proud and arrogant
who speak with contempt about the righteous.
- Psalm 31:10 Some ancient translations troubles; Hebrew iniquity.
3 Do what is right and fair; that pleases the Lord more than bringing him sacrifices.