May 23 Reading – Ezra 7-10
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 Jehovah, the God of Israel, had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of Jehovah his God upon him.
7 And 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, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king.
8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.
9 For upon 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 upon him.
10 For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah, 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 unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even the scribe of the words of the commandments of Jehovah, and of his statutes to Israel:
12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect and so forth.
13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and their priests and the Levites, in my realm, that are minded of their own free will to go to Jerusalem, go with thee.
14 Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king and his seven counsellors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thy hand,
15 and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
16 and all the silver and gold that thou shalt 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 thou shalt with all diligence buy with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meal-offerings and their drink-offerings, and shalt offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
18 And whatsoever shall seem good to thee and to thy brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do ye after the will of your God.
19 And the vessels that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.
20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure-house.
21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers that are beyond the River, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done with all diligence,
22 unto a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred measures of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.
23 Whatsoever 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 certify 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, upon them.
25 And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God that is in thy hand, appoint magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people that are beyond the River, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye him that knoweth them not.
26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him with all diligence, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
27 Blessed be Jehovah, the God of our fathers, who hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of Jehovah which is in Jerusalem;
28 and hath extended lovingkindness unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened according to the hand of Jehovah my God upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
1 Now these are the heads of their fathers’ houses, and this is the genealogy of them that 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 a hundred and fifty.
4 Of the sons of Pahath-moab, 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 And of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan; and with him fifty males.
7 And of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah; and with him seventy males.
8 And of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael; and with him fourscore males.
9 Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel; and with him two hundred and eighteen males.
10 And of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah; and with him a hundred and threescore males.
11 And of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai; and with him twenty and eight males.
12 And of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan; and with him a hundred and ten males.
13 And of the sons of Adonikam, that were the last; and these are their names: Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them threescore males.
14 And of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud; and with them seventy males.
15 And I gathered them together to the river that runneth 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 And I sent them forth unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia; and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and his brethren the Nethinim, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.
18 And according to the good hand of our God upon 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 brethren, eighteen;
19 and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brethren 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 unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them that seek him, for good; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
23 So we fasted and besought 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 brethren with them,
25 and weighed unto them the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, even the offering for the house of our God, which the king, and his counsellors, and his princes, and all Israel there present, had offered:
26 I weighed into their hand six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and silver vessels a hundred talents; of gold a hundred talents;
27 and twenty bowls of gold, of a thousand darics; and two vessels of fine bright brass, precious as gold.
28 And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto Jehovah, and the vessels are holy; and the silver and the gold are a freewill-offering unto Jehovah, the God of your fathers.
29 Watch ye, and keep them, until ye 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 Jehovah.
30 So the priests and the Levites received the weight of the silver and the gold, and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem unto the house of our God.
31 Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth [day] of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the lier-in-wait by the way.
32 And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days.
33 And 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, that were come out of exile, offered burnt-offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he-goats for a sin-offering: all this was a burnt-offering unto Jehovah.
36 And they delivered the king’s commissions unto the king’s satraps, and to the governors beyond the River: and they furthered the people and the house of God.
1 Now when these things were done, the princes drew near unto 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 mingled themselves with the peoples of the lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
3 And when I heard this thing, I rent 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 unto me every one that 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 oblation.
5 And at the evening oblation I arose up from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe rent; and I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto Jehovah my God;
6 and I said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up unto the heavens.
7 Since the days of our fathers we have been exceeding guilty unto 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 And now for a little moment grace hath been showed from Jehovah 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 bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended lovingkindness unto 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 the ruins thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments,
11 which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye 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 give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity for ever; that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.
13 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great guilt, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such a remnant,
14 shall we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the peoples that do these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?
15 O Jehovah, the God of Israel, thou art righteous; for we are left a remnant that is escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our guiltiness; for none can stand before thee because of this.
1 Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there was gathered together unto him out of Israel a very great assembly of men and women and children; for the people wept very sore.
2 And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto 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 that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.
4 Arise; for the matter belongeth unto thee, and we are with thee: 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 sware.
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 thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water; for he mourned because of the trespass of them of the captivity.
7 And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem;
8 and that whosoever came not 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 unto 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 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have trespassed, and have married foreign women, to increase the guilt of Israel.
11 Now therefore make confession unto Jehovah, 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 and said with a loud voice, As thou hast 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 without: 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 them that are in our cities that have married foreign women come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God be turned from us, until this matter be despatched.
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 And the children of the captivity did so. And 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 And they made an end with all the men that had married foreign women by the first day of the first month.
18 And among the sons of the priests there were found that had married foreign women: namely, of the sons of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brethren, Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
19 And 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 And of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.
21 And of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah.
22 And of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
23 And of the Levites: Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah (the same is Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
24 And of the singers: Eliashib. And of the porters: Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.
25 And of Israel: Of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, and Izziah, and Malchijah, and Mijamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah.
26 And of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Elijah.
27 And of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza.
28 And of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, Athlai.
29 And of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, Jeremoth.
30 And of the sons of Pahath-moab: Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, and Binnui, and Manasseh.
31 And [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.