People Confessed Their Sin to God

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While Ezra was down on his knees in front of God’s temple, praying with tears in his eyes, and confessing the sins of the people of Israel, a large number of men, women, and children gathered around him and cried bitterly (v. 1). Shecaniah son of Jehiel from the family of Elam said: “Ezra, we have disobeyed God by marrying these foreign women (v. 2). But there is still hope for the people of Israel, if we follow your advice and the advice of others who truly respect the laws of God (v. 3). We must promise God that we will divorce our foreign wives and send them away, with their children. Ezra, it’s up to you to do something (v.4)! We will support whatever you do. So be brave!

Ezra stood up and made the chief priests, the Levites, and everyone else in Israel swear that they would follow the advice of Shecaniah (v. 5). Then Ezra left God’s temple and went to spend the night in the living quarters of Jehohanan son of Eliashib (v.6). He felt sorry for what the people had done, and he did not eat or drink a thing. The officials and leaders sent a message to all who had returned from Babylonia and were now living in Jerusalem and Judah (vv. 7-8). It told them to meet in Jerusalem within three days, or else they would lose everything they owned and would no longer be considered part of the people that had returned from Babylonia. Three days later, on the twentieth day of the ninth month, everyone from Judah and Benjamin came to Jerusalem and sat in the temple courtyard (v.9). It was a serious meeting, and they sat there, trembling in the rain.


I want to always be careful to seek the advice of God and not come to my own conclusions.

Ezra 10:1-9 (English Standard Version)

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