Ezra 9
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Ezra’s Reaction to Foreign Marriages

(Nehemiah 13:23)

1After these things occurred, certaina officials approached me and said “The people of Israel, the priests, and the descendants of Levi have not separated themselves from the people of the lands or from the detestable behavior of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites, 2because they and their sons have married foreign women.b As a result, the holy peoplec have mingled themselves among the peoples of these lands. As a matter of fact, the senior officials and the rulers have been foremost in this sin.”

3When I heard this, I tore both my garment and robe, plucked hair from both my head and my beard, and collapsed in shock! 4Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered together as a group because of the sin committed by those who had been led astray. As for me, I remained seated, in shock, until the evening sacrifice.

Ezra’s Prayer of Repentance

5At the time of the evening sacrifice, I arose from my discouragement. Still in my torn garment and robe, I fell to my knees with my hands outstretched to the LORD my God, 6and said,

“My God, I am too ashamed and hurt to turn to you, because we’re in our iniquities over our heads. Furthermore, my God, our sins have grown as high as the heavens. 7We have lived in great sin from the days of our ancestors even until today, and because of those iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered over to foreign kings, for execution, for captivity, for plunder, and for humiliation, as is the cased today. 8Though now, for a moment, grace has been showne from the LORD our God, leaving a few survivors to escape, and providing us a secure hold in his Holy Place, so that our God might enlighten us and give us relief from our servitude. 9Even though we are slaves, our God has not abandoned us in our slavery. Instead, he has extended gracious love to us in the presence of the kings of Persia, to grant us revival, to set up the Temple of our God, to repair its damage, and to give us a protective wall for Judah and Jerusalem.

10Now, our God, what can we say besides this? Because we have abandoned your commandments 11that you gave in the writingsf of your servants, the prophets:

‘The land you are entering to possess is a morally unclean land due to the moral uncleanness of the peoples of the lands—along with their abominations—that has filled it from one end to the other with their impurities. 12So, therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor marry their daughters to your sons, and under no circumstances are you to seek their well-being or their wealth, so that you may remain strong, enjoying the best things the land has to give, and so that you may establish an inheritance for your children forever.’g

13“After all that has happened to us because of our evil behavior, and because of our great sin—considering that you our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserveh and have given us this deliverance— 14should we violate your commandments by intermarrying with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you had consumed us, with not even a remnant survivingi to escape?

15LORD God of Israel, you are just: As a result, we remain here today delivered. Look at us! Because of our sin, we cannot stand in your presence as a result of everything that has happened.”

a 9:1 The Heb. lacks certain
b 9:2 Lit. married some of their daughters
c 9:2 Lit. seed
d 9:7 The Heb. lacks is the case
e 9:8 The Heb. lacks shown
f 9:11 Lit. you ordered by the hand
g 9:12 This quotation from the prophets is not contained in MT
h 9:13 The Heb. lacks deserve
i 9:14 The Heb. lacks surviving

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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