How to understand Ezra Chapter 10: Weep Fest and Proverbs 3:5
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While Ezra prays and weeps in front of the temple, a large number of other people (men, women, and children) come and weep. A guy named Shecaniah suggests that everyone make a covenant with God agreeing to send away their foreign wives. Ezra agrees and makes the priests, Levites, and all the people swear to it. He then goes to the chamber of Johanan son of Eliashib, where he fasts and mourns about the people’s faithlessness and bad choices in wives. Then they make a proclamation ordering everyone in Judah to gather in Jerusalem in the next three days. If they show up late, they’ll lose all their property, won’t be allowed back in the congregation of the people as a whole, and their “Levites Live” concert tickets will be confiscated. Everyone gets there on time. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin are all together. They sit in the heavy rain and tremble. Ezra explains their sin to them, telling the people to confess to God and then separate from their foreign wives. They agree to do so, but say that they’ll need time, since so many people have transgressed this way. You can’t do something like this overnight, y’know. Plus, it’s raining and everyone’s getting soaked. They ask that the people who’ve taken foreign wives have appointed times to come in and officially separate themselves. Only a few people oppose the plan. Ezra appoints men who are heads of families to gradually meet with each of the men who have taken foreign wives. There are so many that it takes months to figure it all out. The book ends with a list of the names of all the priests, Levites, and men of Israel who had taken foreign wives, before sending them away along with the children they had with them. The priests make guilt offerings to repent. They’re the worst offenders. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;