Ezra 9:1-5

Facing a communal problem

1 When these tasks were finished, the officials approached me and said, "The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites haven't kept themselves separate from the peoples of the neighboring lands with their detestable practices; namely, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 They've taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and the holy descendants have become mixed with the neighboring peoples. Moreover, the officials and leaders have led the way in this unfaithfulness."
3 When I heard this, I tore my clothes and cloak, pulled out hair from my head and beard, and sat down in shock.
4 Then all those who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me on account of the transgression of the returned exiles while I remained sitting in shock until the evening sacrifice.

Ezra prays

5 At the time of the evening sacrifice, I ended my penitential acts. While still wearing my torn clothes and cloak, I fell upon my knees, spread out my hands to the LORD my God,
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