2 Ezra 8:31-10:44
31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road. 32 So we came to Jerusalem and stayed there three days.
33 Now on the fourth day, the silver and the gold and the articles were weighed in the house of our God by the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui, 34 with the number and weight of everything. All the weight was written down at that time. 35 The children of those who had been carried away captive, who had come from the captivity, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel: twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats as a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord.
36 And they delivered the king’s orders to the king’s satraps and the governors in the region beyond the River. So they gave support to the people and the house of God.
Intermarriage with Foreigners
1 When these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the people of the lands with respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Moserites, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass.” 3 So when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished. 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice.
5 At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment, I trembled and bowed down on my knees and spread out my hands unto the Lord God, 6 and I said, “O Lord, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, for our iniquities have multiplied above our heads, and our guilt has grown up to heaven. 7 Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day. 8 And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage. 9 For we are slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem. 10 And now, O our God, what shall we say in response to this? For we have forsaken Your commandments, 11 which You gave us by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to inherit for yourself is a changing land in the removal of the people of the lands for their abominations with which they filled it from one end to the other with their impurity. 12 Now therefore, do not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons; and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.’
13 “And after all of this which has come against us for our evil deeds and our great trespasses, there is not anyone such as our God, for You have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this, 14 even though we kept breaking Your commandments and intermarried with the people of the land. Do not be greatly upset with us to our utter destruction, to the point that there not be a remnant or survivor. 15 O Lord the God of Israel, You are righteous, for we remain, being preserved to this day. Behold, we are in Your presence in our trespasses, though it is not possible to stand in Your presence because of this!”
Confession of Sin for Intermarriage
1 And as Ezra prayed, and as he confessed, weeping and praying before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly. 2 Shechaniah son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, spoke up and said to Ezra, “We have broken the covenant with our God and have taken pagan wives from the peoples of the land, yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. 3 Now therefore, let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and those who have been born to them, as you advise. Arise and alarm them with the commands of our God, and let it be done according to the law. 4 Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. We also are with you. Be of good courage, and do it.”
5 Then Ezra arose, and made the leaders of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel swear an oath that they would do according to this word. So they swore an oath. 6 Then Ezra rose up from in front of the house of God and went over to the treasury of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib and entered there. He ate no bread and drank no water when he arrived, for he mourned because of the unfaithfulness of those of the exile. 7 And they issued a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the descendants of the captivity that they must gather at Jerusalem, 8 and that whoever would not come within three days, according to the instructions of the leaders and elders, all his property would be confiscated, and he himself would be separated from the assembly of those from the captivity.
9 So all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered at Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month; and all the people sat in the open square of the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the weather. 10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have broken the covenant and taken pagan wives, adding to the guilt of Israel. 11 Now therefore, give praise to the Lord God of your fathers, and do His will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the pagan wives.” 12 And all the assembly answered and said, “This word of yours is powerful upon us to do it. 13 But there are many people; it is the season for heavy rain, and we are not able to stand outside. Nor is this the work of one or two days, for there are many of us who have transgressed in this matter. 14 Please, let the leaders of our entire assembly stand; and let all those in our cities who have taken pagan wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of their cities, until the fierce wrath of our God is turned away from us in this matter.” 15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite gave them support.
16 Then the descendants of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain heads of the fathers’ households, were set apart by the fathers’ households, each of them by name; and they sat down on the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. 17 By the first day of the first month they finished questioning all the men who had taken pagan wives.
Intermarriages Are Ended
18 And among the sons of the priests who had taken pagan wives, the following were found of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah. 19 And they gave their promise that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they presented a ram of the flock as their trespass offering. 20 Also 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 Also of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (the same is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer. 24 Also of the singers: Eliashib; and of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri. 25 And others of Israel: of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Jeziah, Malchiah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Asabia, and Benaiah; 26 of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Eliah; 27 of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza; 28 of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai; 29 of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Ramoth; 30 of the sons of Pahath-Moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh; 31 of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, 32 Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah; 33 of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei; 34 of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel, 35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluh, 36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasai, 38 Bani, Binnui, Shimei, 39 Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, 40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41 Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph; 43 of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zebed, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah. 44 All these had taken pagan wives, and some of them had wives by whom they had children.
1 For the End; a psalm by David.
2 Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man, Rescue me from the unjust man,
3 Who devised wrongdoing in their heart; They arrayed themselves for war all day long;
4 They sharpened their tongue like a serpent; The venom of asps was under their lips. (Pause)
5 Keep me, O Lord, from the hand of the sinner; Deliver me from unjust men Who plotted to trip up my steps;
6 The arrogant hid a trap for me, And they stretched out ropes as snares for my feet; They set a stumbling block for me near my path. (Pause)
7 I said to the Lord, “You are my God; Give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplication.
8 O Lord, O Lord, the power of my salvation, You overshadowed my head in the day of war.
9 Because of my desire, O Lord, do not hand me over to the sinner; They plotted against me; do not forsake me, lest they be exalted. (Pause)
10 “As for the head of those who encircle me, The toil of their lips shall cover them.
11 Coals shall fall upon them; You shall overthrow them with fire; Do not let them withstand hardships.”
12 A talkative man shall not prosper on earth; Evils shall hunt the unjust man to destruction.
13 I know the Lord will maintain the cause of the poor man And the justice of the needy.
14 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name, And the upright shall dwell in Your presence.
Proverbs of Solomon 30
6 Do not add to His words, That He might not reprove you, and you become a liar.
7 Two things I ask from You: Do not take away grace from me before I die;
8 Make a vain word and a lie be far from me; But give me neither riches nor poverty, And appoint what is necessary and sufficient for me;
9 Lest being full, I become a liar and say, “Who sees me?” Or being poor, I steal, and swear by the name of God.
10 Do not deliver a servant into the hands of his master, Lest he curse you, and you be destroyed.
Prayer and Power
23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.
24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,
25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things?
26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’
27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together
28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,
30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Giving for the Common Good
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,
35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,
37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.