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1Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly.2Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.3“So now let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives and their children, 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 this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act.”
5Then Ezra rose and made the leading priests, the Levites and all Israel, take oath that they would do according to this proposal; so they took the oath.6Then Ezra rose from before the house of God and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib. Although he went there, he did not eat bread nor drink water, for he was mourning over the unfaithfulness of the exiles.7They made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the exiles, that they should assemble at Jerusalem,8and that whoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the leaders and the elders, all his possessions should be forfeited and he himself excluded from the assembly of the exiles.
9So all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month on the twentieth of the month, and all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and the heavy rain.10Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful and have married foreign wives adding to the guilt of Israel.11“Now therefore, make confession to the LORD God of your fathers and do His will; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.”12Then all the assembly replied with a loud voice, “That’s right! As you have said, so it is our duty to do.13“But there are many people; it is the rainy season and we are not able to stand in the open. Nor can the task be done in one or two days, for we have transgressed greatly in this matter.14“Let our leaders represent the whole assembly and let all those in our cities who have married foreign wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of each city, until the fierce anger of our God on account of this matter is turned away from us.”15Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, with Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supporting them.
16But the exiles did so. And Ezra the priest selected men who were heads of fathers’ households for each of their father’s households, all of them by name. So they convened on the first day of the tenth month to investigate the matter.17They finished investigating all the men who had married foreign wives by the first day of the first month.
18Among the sons of the priests who had married foreign wives were found of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib and Gedaliah.19They pledged to put away their wives, and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their offense.20Of the sons of Immer there were Hanani and Zebadiah;21and of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel and Uzziah;22and of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad and Elasah.
23Of Levites there were Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah and Eliezer.
24Of the singers there was Eliashib; and of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem and Uri.
25Of Israel, of the sons of Parosh there were Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchijah and Benaiah;26and of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth and Elijah;27and of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad and Aziza;28and of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai and Athlai;29and of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch and Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal and Jeremoth;30and of the sons of Pahath-moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui and Manasseh;31and of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,32Benjamin, Malluch and Shemariah;33of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh and Shimei;34of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel,35Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi,36Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,37Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasu,38Bani, Binnui, Shimei,39Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah,40Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,41Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah,42Shallum, Amariah and Joseph.43Of the sons of Nebo there were Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel and Benaiah.44All these had married foreign wives, and some of them had wives by whom they had children.
1Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?2Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent toconstitute the smallest law courts?3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?4So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?5I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,6but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?
7Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?8On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.
9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
12All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.13Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.14Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!16Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”17But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.18Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
3To do righteousness and justice
Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.