URGENT: Get Through the Storms of Life - Free eBook

Ezra 9; Ezra 10; Acts 1

1 After these things had been done, the leaders approached me and said: "The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the surrounding peoples whose detestable practices are like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. 2 Indeed, they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy people has become mixed with the surrounding peoples. The leaders and officials have taken the lead in this unfaithfulness!" 3 When I heard this report, I tore my tunic and robe, pulled out some of the hair from my head and beard, and sat down devastated. 4 Everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me, because of the unfaithfulness of the exiles, while I sat devastated until the evening offering. 5 At the evening offering, I got up from my humiliation, with my tunic and robe torn. Then I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God. 6 And I said: My God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face toward You, my God, because our iniquities are higher than [our] heads and our guilt is as high as the heavens. 7 Our guilt has been terrible from the days of our fathers until the present. Because of our iniquities we have been handed over, along with our kings and priests, to the surrounding kings, and to the sword, captivity, plundering, and open shame, as it is today. 8 But now, for a brief moment, grace has come from the Lord our God to preserve a remnant for us and give us a stake in His holy place. Even in our slavery, God has given us new life and light to our eyes. 9 Though we are slaves, our God has not abandoned us in our slavery. He has extended grace to us in the presence of the Persian kings, giving us new life, so that we can rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem. 10 Now, our God, what can we say in light of this? For we have abandoned the commandments 11 You gave through Your servants the prophets, saying: "The land you are entering to possess is an impure land. The surrounding peoples have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness by their impurity and detestable practices. 12 So do not give your daughters to their sons in marriage or take their daughters for your sons. Never seek their peace or prosperity, so that you will be strong, eat the good things of the land, and leave [it] as an inheritance to your sons forever." 13 After all that has happened to us because of our evil deeds and terrible guilt-though You, our God, have punished [us] less than our sins [deserve] and have allowed us to survive- 14 should we break Your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who commit these detestable practices? Wouldn't You become [so] angry with us that You would destroy us, leaving no survivors? 15 Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we survive as a remnant today. Here we are before You with our guilt, though no one can stand in Your presence because of this.
1 While Ezra prayed and confessed, weeping and falling facedown before the house of God, an extremely large assembly of Israelite men, women, and children gathered around him. The people also wept bitterly. 2 Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, an Elamite, responded to Ezra: "We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the surrounding peoples, but there is still hope for Israel in spite of this. 3 Let us therefore make a covenant before our God to send away all the [foreign] wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God. Let it be done according to the law. 4 Get up, for this matter is your responsibility, and we support you. Be strong and take action!" 5 Then Ezra got up and made the leading priests, Levites, and all Israel take an oath to do what had been said; so they took the oath. 6 Ezra then went from the house of God, walked to the chamber of Jehohanan son of Eliashib, where he spent the night. He did not eat food or drink water, because he was mourning over the unfaithfulness of the exiles. 7 They circulated a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles should gather at Jerusalem. 8 Whoever did not come within three days would forfeit all his possessions, according to the decision of the leaders and elders, and would be excluded from the assembly of the exiles. 9 So all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered in Jerusalem within the three days. On the twentieth [day] of the ninth month, all the people sat in the square at the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain. 10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, "You have been unfaithful by marrying foreign women, adding to Israel's guilt. 11 Therefore, make a confession to the Lord God of your fathers and do His will. Separate yourselves from the surrounding peoples and [your] foreign wives." 12 Then all the assembly responded with a loud voice: "Yes, we will do as you say! 13 But there are many people, and it is the rainy season. We don't have the stamina to stay out in the open. This isn't something that can be done in a day or two, for we have rebelled terribly in this matter. 14 Let our leaders represent the entire assembly. Then let all those in our towns who have married foreign women come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of each town, in order to avert the fierce anger of our God concerning this matter." 15 Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah opposed this, with Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supporting them. 16 The exiles did what had been proposed. Ezra the priest selected men who were family leaders, all [identified] by name, to represent their ancestral houses. They convened on the first day of the tenth month to investigate the matter, 17 and by the first day of the first month they had dealt with all the men who had married foreign women. 18 [The following] were found to have married foreign women from the descendants of the priests: from the descendants of Jeshua son of Jozadak and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah. 19 They pledged to send their wives away, and being guilty, [they offered] a ram from the flock for their guilt; 20 Hanani and Zebadiah from Immer's descendants; 21 Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah from Harim's descendants; 22 Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah from Pashhur's descendants. 23 The Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer. 24 The singers: Eliashib. The gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri. 25 The Israelites: Parosh's descendants: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchijah, and Benaiah; 26 Elam's descendants: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah; 27 Zattu's descendants: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza; 28 Bebai's descendants: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai; 29 Bani's descendants: Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth; 30 Pahath-moab's descendants: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh; 31 Harim's descendants: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, 32 Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah; 33 Hashum's descendants: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei; 34 Bani's descendants: Maadai, Amram, Uel, 35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, 36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasu, 38 Bani, Binnui, Shimei, 39 Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, 40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41 Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph; 43 Nebo's descendants: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah. 44 All of these had married foreign women, and some of the wives had borne children.
1 I wrote the first narrative, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day He was taken up, after He had given orders through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father's promise. "This," [He said, "is what ] you heard from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6 So when they had come together, they asked Him, "Lord, at this time are You restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven." 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olive Grove, which is near Jerusalem-a Sabbath day's journey away. 13 When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 All these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers. 15 During these days Peter stood up among the brothers-the number of people who were together was about 120-and said: 16 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David spoke in advance about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was one of our number and was allotted a share in this ministry." 18 Now this man acquired a field with his unrighteous wages; and falling headfirst, he burst open in the middle, and all his insides spilled out. 19 This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that in their own language that field is called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood. 20 "For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let his dwelling become desolate; let no one live in it; and Let someone else take his position. 21 "Therefore, from among the men who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us- 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day He was taken up from us-from among these, it is necessary that one become a witness with us of His resurrection." 23 So they proposed two: Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, "You, Lord, know the hearts of all; show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take the place in this apostolic service that Judas left to go to his own place." 26 Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias. So he was numbered with the 11 apostles.
California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice