1. While Ezra bowed before the House of God, weeping, praying and making this confession, a great crowd of men, women and children of Israel were gathered around him; and these people wept bitterly.

2. Then Shecaniah, son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, "We have treated our God badly, by marrying foreign women taken from the peoples of this land, but Israel is not without hope because of this.

3. Let us make a covenant with our God, and send these women away with their children according to the statement of my lord and all of us who respect the commandment of our God.

4. Let the Law be obeyed. You command and we are with you. Have courage and command."

5. So Ezra arose and made the leaders of the priests, the Levites and of all Israel swear that they would do what had just been said, and so they swore.

6. Then, Ezra withdrew from where he stood, in front of the House of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan, son of Eliashib, but he did not eat bread or drink water there, for he was much afflicted by the sin of those who had returned from exile.

7. A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all who had returned from exile should assemble in Jerusalem,

8. and if anyone would not come within three days, according to the decision of the leaders and of the local elders, all his prop-erty would be confiscated and he himself banned from the assembly of those who had returned from exile.

9. All the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled in Jerusalem within the three days. It was the twentieth day of the ninth month, and all the people were in the open square of the House of God, trembling because of this matter and because it was raining.

10. Then the priest Ezra stood up and said, "You have been rebels in marrying foreign women, and have increased the offense of Israel.

11. Now then, acknowledge your sin before Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and carry out his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of this land and from your foreign wives."

12. The whole assembly answered with a loud voice, "Yes, we shall do as you say.

13. But the people are so numerous and we are now in the rainy season; we cannot endure the inclement weather, and besides, this matter cannot be settled in a day or two, for we are many who have committed this sin.

14. Our leaders can represent the whole assembly: those in our cities who have married foreign women shall come at appointed times, accompanied by the local leaders and judges of every city, until we have turned aside from us the anger of our God because of this matter."

15. The only ones who opposed this option were Jonathan, son of Asahel, and Jahzeiah, son of Tikvah, who were supported by the Levites Meshullam and Shabbethai.

16. But those who had returned from exile complied. In accordance with what the priest Ezra ordered, they selected a family head for every family group, each of them designated in a personal way, and they sat down to resolve the matter on the first day of the tenth month.

17. On the first day of the first month, they finished attending to all the cases of Jews who had been married to foreign women.

18. In the clan of the priestly clans, these are the names of those who were found to have married foreign women: among the clan of Jeshua, son of Jozadak, and among his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib and Gedaliah;

19. they pledged their word to put their wives away and, for their sin, offered a ram as a sacrifice of reparation;

20. In the clan of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah;

21. In the clan of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel and Uzziah;

22. In the clan of Pashhur: Elioenia, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad and Elasah.

23. Among the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah - that is, Kelita - Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.

24. Among the Temple musicians: Eliashib and Zaccur. Among the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem and Uri.

25. And among the Israelites: of the clan of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Malchijah and Benaiah;

26. of the clan of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Meremoth and Elijah;

27. of the clan of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad and Aziza;

28. of the clan of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, Athlai;

29. of the clan of Bigvai: Meshullam, Malluch, Jedaiah, Jashub, Sheal, Jeremoth;

30. of the clan of Pahath-moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui and Manasseh;

31. of the clan of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,

32. Benjamin, Malluch, Shemariah;

33. of the clan of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, Shimei;

34. of the clan of Bani: Maadai, Amran, Uel,

35. Benaiah, Bediah, Cheluhi,

36. Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,

37. Mattaniah, Matenai and Jaasau;

38. of the clan Binnui; Shimei;

39. Shelemiah, Nathan and Adaiah.

40. of the clan Zaccai: Sharai; Shashai, Sharai

41. Azarel, Shelemiah Shemariah,

42. Shallum, Amariah, Joseph;

43. of the clan of Nebo; Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, Benaiah.

44. All these had married of foreign wives; they put them away, both women and children.

“Subamos sem nos cansarmos, sob a celeste vista do Salvador. Distanciemo-nos das afeições terrenas. Despojemo-nos do homem velho e vistamo-nos do homem novo. Aspiremos à felicidade que nos está reservada.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina