Ezra and His Company Come to Jerusalem
7 1 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4 the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest; 6 this Ezra went up from Babylon: and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which Yahweh, the God of Israel, had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of Yahweh his God on him. 7 There went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. 8 He came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9 For on the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon; and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God on him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of Yahweh, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances.
11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even the scribe of the words of the commandments of Yahweh, and of his statutes to Israel: 12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect and so forth. 13 I make a decree, that all those of the people of Israel, and their priests and the Levites, in my realm, who are minded of their own free will to go to Jerusalem, go with you. 14 Because you are sent of the king and his seven counselors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God which is in your hand, 15 and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, 16 and all the silver and gold that you shall find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem; 17 therefore you shall with all diligence buy with this money bulls, rams, lambs, with their meal offerings and their drink offerings, and shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18 Whatever shall seem good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do that after the will of your God. 19 The vessels that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver before the God of Jerusalem. 20 Whatever more shall be needful for the house of your God, which you shall have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house. 21 I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers who are beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done with all diligence, 22 to one hundred talents of silver, and to one hundred measures of wheat, and to one hundred baths of wine, and to one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done exactly for the house of the God of heaven; for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? 24 Also we inform you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, the singers, porters, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll, on them. 25 You, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God who is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people who are beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach him who doesn’t know them. 26 Whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed on him with all diligence, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
27 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem; 28 and has extended loving kindness to me before the king, and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. I was strengthened according to the hand of Yahweh my God on me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
8 1 Now these are the heads of their fathers’ houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king: 2 Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom. Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. Of the sons of David, Hattush. 3 Of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males one hundred fifty. 4 Of the sons of Pahathmoab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah; and with him two hundred males. 5 Of the sons of Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel; and with him three hundred males. 6 Of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan; and with him fifty males. 7 Of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah; and with him seventy males. 8 Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael; and with him eighty males. 9 Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel; and with him two hundred and eighteen males. 10 Of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah; and with him one hundred sixty males. 11 Of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai; and with him twenty-eight males. 12 Of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan; and with him one hundred ten males. 13 Of the sons of Adonikam, who were the last; and these are their names: Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them sixty males. 14 Of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud; and with them seventy males. 15 I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there we encamped three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi. 16 Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, who were teachers. 17 I sent them forth to Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia; and I told them what they should tell Iddo, and his brothers the Nethinim, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God. 18 According to the good hand of our God on us they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brothers, eighteen; 19 and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty; 20 and of the Nethinim, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim: all of them were mentioned by name.
21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. 22 For I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, The hand of our God is on all those who seek him, for good; but his power and his wrath is against all those who forsake him. 23 So we fasted and begged our God for this: and he was entreated of us.
24 Then I set apart twelve of the chiefs of the priests, even Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brothers with them, 25 and weighed to them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering for the house of our God, which the king, and his counselors, and his princes, and all Israel there present, had offered: 26 I weighed into their hand six hundred fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels one hundred talents; of gold one hundred talents; 27 and twenty bowls of gold, of one thousand darics; and two vessels of fine bright brass, precious as gold. 28 I said to them, You are holy to Yahweh, and the vessels are holy; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to Yahweh, the God of your fathers. 29 Watch, and keep them, until you weigh them before the chiefs of the priests and the Levites, and the princes of the fathers’ houses of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of Yahweh. 30 So the priests and the Levites received the weight of the silver and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.
31 Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the bandit by the way. 32 We came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days. 33 On the fourth day the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God into the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest; and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them was Jozabad the son of Jeshua, and Noadiah the son of Binnui, the Levite; 34 the whole by number and by weight: and all the weight was written at that time. 35 The children of the captivity, who had come out of exile, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and twelve male goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering to Yahweh. 36 They delivered the king’s commissions to the king’s satraps, and to the governors beyond the River: and they furthered the people and the house of God.
Ezra's Prayer of Confession
9 1 Now when these things were done, the princes drew near to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy seed have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands: yes, the hand of the princes and rulers has been chief in this trespass. 3 When I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down confounded. 4 Then were assembled to me everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the trespass of them of the captivity; and I sat confounded until the evening offering.
5 At the evening offering I arose up from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn; and I fell on my knees, and spread out my hands to Yahweh my God; 6 and I said, my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up to the heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers we have been exceeding guilty to this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. 8 Now for a little moment grace has been shown from Yahweh our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. 9 For we are bondservants; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. 10 Now, our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken your commandments, 11 which you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, The land, to which you go to possess it, is an unclean land through the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, through their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their filthiness: 12 now therefore don’t give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity forever; that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever. 13 After all that is come on us for our evil deeds, and for our great guilt, seeing that you our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such a remnant, 14 shall we again break your commandments, and join in affinity with the peoples that do these abominations? wouldn’t you be angry with us until you had consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape? 15 Yahweh, the God of Israel, you are righteous; for we are left a remnant that is escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before you in our guiltiness; for none can stand before you because of this.
Foreign Wives and Children Put Away
10 1 Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there was gathered together to him out of Israel a very great assembly of men and women and children; for the people wept very sore. 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 such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. 4 Arise; for the matter belongs to you, and we are with you: be of good courage, and do it. 5 Then arose Ezra, 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 the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came there, he ate no bread, nor drank water; for he mourned because of the trespass of them of the captivity. 7 They made 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 substance 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 broad place before the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for 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 Yahweh, 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: neither is this a work of one day or two; for we have greatly transgressed in this matter. 14 Let now 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 be turned from us, until this matter be dispatched.
15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah stood up against this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them. 16 The children of the captivity did so. Ezra the priest, with certain heads of fathers’ houses, 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 made an end with all the men who had married foreign women by the first day of the first month. 18 Among the sons of the priests there were found who had married foreign women: namely, 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 (the same is 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.