1 While Ezra, weeping and prostrating himself in front of the Temple of God, was praying and making confession, a very large crowd of men, women and children of Israel gathered round him, the people weeping bitterly.
2 Then Shechaniah son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, spoke up and said to Ezra, 'We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the people of the country. But, in spite of this, there is still some hope for Israel.
3 We will make a covenant with our God to send away all the foreign wives and their children in obedience to the advice of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. Let us act in accordance with the Law.
6 Ezra then left his place in front of the Temple of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, where he spent the night without eating food or drinking water, because he was still mourning over the exiles' infidelity.
7 A proclamation was issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles were to assemble in Jerusalem,
9 As a result, all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled in Jerusalem within the three days; it was the twentieth day of the ninth month. All the people sat down in the square in front of the Temple of God, trembling because of the matter in hand and because of the heavy rain.
12 In ringing tones, the whole assembly answered, 'Yes, our duty is to do as you say.
13 But there are many people here and it is the rainy season; we cannot stay out in the open; besides, this is not something that can be dealt with in one or two days, since many of us have been unfaithful over this.
14 Let our officials deputise for the whole community, and all the people in our towns who have married foreign wives can come at stated times, accompanied by elders and judges from each town, until our God's fierce anger over this is turned away from us.'
15 Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite, were opposed to this.
16 The exiles did as had been proposed. And the priest Ezra selected the family heads of the various families, all of them by name, who began their sittings on the first day of the tenth month to look into the matter.
39 Shelemiah, Nathan and Adaiah;
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The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.