Ezra 10

1 Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before God’s house, there was gathered together to him out of Israel a very great assembly of men and women and children; for the people wept very bitterly. 2 Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered Ezra, “We have trespassed against our God, and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land. Yet now there is hope for Israel concerning this thing. 3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and those who as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. Let it be done according to the law. 4 Arise; for the matter belongs to you, and we are with you. Be courageous, and do it.” 5 Then Ezra arose, and made the chiefs of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they would do according to this word. So they swore. 6 Then Ezra rose up from before God’s house, and went into the room of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib. When he came there, he ate no bread, nor drank water; for he mourned because of their trespass of the captivity. 7 They made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together to Jerusalem; 8 and that whoever didn’t come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his possessions should be forfeited, and himself separated from the assembly of the captivity. 9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the wide place in front of God’s house, trembling because of this matter, and because of the great rain. 10 Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have trespassed, and have married foreign women, to increase the guilt of Israel. 11 Now therefore make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his pleasure; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women.” 12 Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “As you have said concerning us, so must we do. 13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand outside. This is not a work of one day or two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter. 14 Now let our princes be appointed for all the assembly, and let all those who are in our cities who have married foreign women come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and its judges, until the fierce wrath of our God is turned from us, until this matter is resolved.” 15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah stood up against this; and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them. 16 The children of the captivity did so. Ezra the priest, with certain heads of fathers’ households, after their fathers’ houses, and all of them by their names, were set apart; and they sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. 17 They finished with all the men who had married foreign women by the first day of the first month. 18 Amongst the sons of the priests there were found who had married foreign women: of the sons of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brothers, Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah. 19 They gave their hand that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their guilt. 20 Of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah. 21 Of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah. 22 Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah. 23 Of the Levites: Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah (also called Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer. 24 Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the porters: Shallum, and Telem, and Uri. 25 Of Israel: Of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, and Izziah, and Malchijah, and Mijamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah. 26 Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Elijah. 27 Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza. 28 Of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, Athlai. 29 Of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, Jeremoth. 30 Of the sons of Pahathmoab: Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, and 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, and Uel, 35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, 36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu, 38 and Bani, and Binnui, Shimei, 39 and Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah, 40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41 Azarel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42 Shallum, Amariah, Joseph. 43 Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Iddo, and Joel, Benaiah. 44 All these had taken foreign wives; and some of them had wives by whom they had children.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–5

Shechaniah owned the national guilt. The case is sad, but it is not desperate; the disease threatening, but not incurable. Now that the people begin to lament, a spirit of repentance seems to be poured out; now there is hope that God will forgive, and have mercy. The sin that rightly troubles us, shall not ruin us. In melancholy times we must observe what makes for us, as well as against us. And there may be good hopes through grace, even where there is the sense of great guilt before God. The case is plain; what has been done amiss, must be undone again as far as possible; nothing less than this is true repentance. Sin must be put away, with a resolution never to have any thing more to do with it. What has been unjustly got, must be restored. Arise, be of good courage. Weeping, in this case, is good, but reforming is better. As to being unequally yoked with unbelievers, such marriages, it is certain, are sinful, and ought not to be made; but now they are not null, as they were before the gospel did away the separation between Jews and Gentiles.

Verses 6–14

There is hope concerning people, when they are convinced, not only that it is good to part with their sins, but that it is necessary; we must do it, or we are undone. So rich is the mercy, and so plenteous the redemption of God, that there is hope for the vilest who hear the gospel, and are willing to accept of free salvation. When sinners mourn for their sins, and tremble at the word of God, there is hope that they will forsake them. To affect others with godly sorrow or love to God, we must ourselves be affected. It was carefully agreed how this affair should be carried on. That which is hastily resolved on seldom proves lasting.

Verses 15–44

The best reformers can but do their endeavour; when the Redeemer himself shall come to Zion, he shall effectually turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And when sin is repented of and forsaken, God will forgive it; but the blood of Christ, our Sin-offering, is the only atonement which takes away our guilt. No seeming repentance or amendment will benefit those who reject Him, for self-dependence proves them still unhumbled. All the names written in the book of life, are those of penitent sinners, not of self-righteous persons, who think they have no need of repentance.

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