The People Take Action
10 While Ezra was praying, confessing these sins, crying, and throwing himself down in front of God’s temple, a large crowd of Israelite men, women, and children gathered around him. They also began to cry bitterly. 2 Then Shecaniah, son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, interrupted by saying to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women who came from the people around us. However, there is still hope for Israel. 3 So we must now make a promise to our God to get rid of all foreign women and the children born from them, as my lord Ezra and the others who tremble at the commandments of our God have advised us to do. We must do what Moses’ Teachings tell us. 4 Get up! It’s your duty to take action. We are with you, so be strong and take action.”
5 Then Ezra got up and made the leaders, priests, Levites, and all the rest of Israel swear to do what they had said. So they took an oath. 6 Then Ezra left the front of God’s temple and went to the room of Jehohanan, son of Eliashib. Ezra didn’t eat any food or drink any water while he was there. He was mourning because these former exiles had been so unfaithful.
7 Then he sent a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the former exiles must gather in Jerusalem. 8 If any of them didn’t come within three days as the leaders and the older men had advised, then they would lose all their property and be excluded from the community of former exiles. 9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered within three days in Jerusalem. On the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people sat in the courtyard of God’s temple. They were trembling because of this matter and shivering because of the heavy rain.
10 Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful by marrying foreign women, and now you have added to Israel’s guilt. 11 Confess to the Lord God of your ancestors what you have done, and do what he wants. Separate yourselves from the people of this land and from your foreign wives.”
12 Then the whole assembly shouted in reply, “Yes! We will do as you say. 13 But the crowd is too large, and it’s the rainy season. We can’t take care of this outside. Besides, there are so many of us who are involved in this sin that it can’t be taken care of in a day or two. 14 Let our leaders represent the whole community. At a set time, everyone who has married a foreign woman must meet with the leaders and judges of each city until our God’s burning anger has turned away from us in this matter.”
15 (Only Jonathan, Asahel’s son, and Jahzeiah, Tikvah’s son, opposed this. Meshullam and Shabbethai, the Levite, supported Jonathan and Jahzeiah.)
16 The former exiles did this. Ezra the priest chose men who were heads of families. He chose one from each family division. (They were all listed by name.) They sat down on the first day of the tenth month to investigate the matter. 17 By the first day of the first month, they had finished dealing with all the men who had married foreign women.
18 Among the descendants of the priests, the following were married to foreign women: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah, a descendant of Jeshua (who was Jozadak’s son) and his brothers. 19 They shook hands as a pledge that they would get rid of their wives. They sacrificed a ram from their flock as an offering for guilt because they were guilty.
Those Who Were Guilty of Marrying Foreign Women
20 From the descendants of Immer:
Hanani and Zebadiah
21 From the descendants of Harim:
Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah
22 From the descendants of Pashhur:
Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah
23 From the Levites:
Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer
24 From the singers:
From the gatekeepers:
Shallum, Telem, and Uri
25 From the other Israelites:
From the descendants of Parosh:
Ramiah, Izziah, Malchiah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchiah, and Benaiah
26 From the descendants of Elam:
Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah
27 From the descendants of Zattu:
Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza
28 From the descendants of Bebai:
Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai
29 From the descendants of Bani:
Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth
30 From the descendants of Pahath Moab:
Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh
31 From the descendants of Harim:
Eliezer, Isshiah, Malchiah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, 32 Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah
33 From the descendants of Hashum:
Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei
34 From the descendants of Bani:
Maadai, Amram, Uel, 35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, 36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasau
38 From the descendants of Binnui:
Shimei, 39 Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, 40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41 Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph
43 From the descendants of Nebo:
Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah
44 All of these men had married foreign women. Some of these women had given birth to children.[a]
- Ezra 10:44 Hebrew meaning of this sentence uncertain.
1 Corinthians 6
Settling Disagreements between Christians
6 When one of you has a complaint against another, how dare you go to court to settle the matter in front of wicked people. Why don’t you settle it in front of God’s holy people? 2 Don’t you know that God’s people will judge the world? So if you’re going to judge the world, aren’t you capable of judging insignificant cases? 3 Don’t you know that we will judge angels, not to mention things in this life? 4 When you have cases dealing with this life, why do you allow people whom the church has a low opinion of to be your judges? 5 You should be ashamed of yourselves! Don’t you have at least one wise person who is able to settle disagreements between believers? 6 Instead, one believer goes to court against another believer, and this happens in front of unbelievers.
7 You are already totally defeated because you have lawsuits against each other. Why don’t you accept the fact that you have been wronged? Why don’t you accept that you have been cheated? 8 Instead, you do wrong and cheat, and you do this to other believers.
9 Don’t you know that wicked people won’t inherit God’s kingdom? Stop deceiving yourselves! People who continue to commit sexual sins, who worship false gods, those who commit adultery, homosexuals, 10 or thieves, those who are greedy or drunk, who use abusive language, or who rob people will not inherit God’s kingdom. 11 That’s what some of you were! But you have been washed and made holy, and you have received God’s approval in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Stay Away from Sexual Sins
12 Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but I won’t allow anything to gain control over my life. 13 Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food, but God will put an end to both of them. However, the body is not for sexual sin but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 God brought the Lord back to life, and by his power God will also bring us back to life.
15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are parts of Christ’s body? Should I take the parts of Christ’s body and make them parts of a prostitute’s body? That’s unthinkable! 16 Don’t you realize that the person who unites himself with a prostitute becomes one body with her? God says, “The two will be one.” 17 However, the person who unites himself with the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
18 Stay away from sexual sins. Other sins that people commit don’t affect their bodies the same way sexual sins do. People who sin sexually sin against their own bodies. 19 Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. 20 You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.
9 Have pity on me, O Lord, because I am in distress.
My eyes, my soul, and my body waste away from grief.
10 My life is exhausted from sorrow,
my years from groaning.
My strength staggers under the weight of my guilt,
and my bones waste away.
11 I have become a disgrace because of all my opponents.
I have become someone dreaded by my friends,
even by my neighbors.
Those who see me on the street run away from me.
12 I have faded from memory as if I were dead
and have become like a piece of broken pottery.
13 I have heard the whispering of many people—
terror on every side—
while they made plans together against me.
They were plotting to take my life.
14 I trust you, O Lord.
I said, “You are my God.”
15 My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from my enemies, from those who persecute me.
16 Smile on me.
Save me with your mercy.
17 O Lord, I have called on you, so do not let me be put to shame.
Let wicked people be put to shame.
Let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let their lying lips be speechless,
since they speak against righteous people with arrogance and contempt.
3 Doing what is right and fair
is more acceptable to the Lord than offering a sacrifice.