Now 1while Ezra was praying and makingconfession, weeping and prostrating himself 2before the house of God, a verylargeassembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the peopleweptbitterly .
2Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, "3We have beenunfaithful to our God and have amarriedforeignwomen from the peoples of the land; yet nowthere is hope for Israel in spite of this.
"So now4let us make a covenant with our God to putawayall the wives and b5their children, according to the counsel of cmy lord and of 6those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done7according to the law.
4"Arise! For this matter is dyour responsibility, but we will be with you; 8be courageous and act."