Then Ezra went from the court of the Temple into the living quarters of Jehohanan son of Eliashib
and spent the night there grieving over the people's terrible violation of the Law. He did not eat or drink anything.
A message was sent throughout Jerusalem and Judah, calling all those who had returned from exile to meet in Jerusalem,
by order of the leaders of the people. If anyone failed to come within two or three days, his cattle would be confiscated, and he would lose his right to be a member of the community.
Within the three days, on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the men of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin came to Jerusalem
and assembled in the Temple square. Everyone was shivering from the cold because it was wintertime.
Then Ezra stood up and spoke to them, "You have broken the Law and brought guilt on Israel by marrying foreign women.
Now then, tell the truth and confess your sins to the Lord, the God of our ancestors,
and do what he requires. Separate yourselves from the foreigners living in our land and get rid of your foreign wives."
The people shouted in reply, "We will do whatever you say."
But they added, "The crowd is too big, and it's wintertime. We can't stand here in the open like this. This isn't something that can be settled in one or two days, since so many of us are involved in this sin.