10:1 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had a confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.
(a) He confessed his sins, and the sins of the people. 10:2 And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, [one] of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is b hope in Israel concerning this thing.
(b) Meaning, that God would receive them in mercy. 10:3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away c all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.
(c) Who are strangers and married contrary to the law of God. 10:4 Arise; for [this] matter d [belongeth] unto thee: we also [will be] with thee: be of good courage, and do [it].
(d) Because God has given you authority and learning to persuade the people in this and to command them. 10:9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It [was] the e ninth month, on the twentieth [day] of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of [this] matter, and for the great f rain.
(e) Which contained part of November and part of December. 10:10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to g increase the trespass of Israel.
(f) For the season was given to rain and so the weather was more sharp and cold and also their conscience touched them.
(g) You have laid one sin on another. 10:11 Now therefore h make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.
10:14 Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, i and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us.
(h) Read ( Joshua 7:19 ).
(i) Let them be appointed to examine this matter. 10:16 And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, [with] certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by [their] names, k were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.
(k) They went to the chief cities to sit on this matter which took three months to finish. 10:19 And they gave l their hands that they would put away their wives; and [being] guilty, [they offered] a ram of the flock for their trespass.
(l) As a token that they would keep their promise and do it. 10:25 Moreover of m Israel: of the sons of Parosh; Ramiah, and Jeziah, and Malchiah, and Miamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah.
(m) Meaning of the common people: for before he spoke of the priests and Levites. 10:44 All these had taken strange wives: and [some] of them had wives by whom they had n children.
(n) Who also were made illegitimate because the marriage was unlawful.