Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ezra Chapter 10

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezra
Date Penned: (450 BC)
Overview: The Return of the Jewish Exiles (c 1-10)
Theme: The Return Led By Ezra (c 7-10)
Message: The People Confess Their Sin (1-44)

Ezra 10 Commentary 

(10:1) True Leadership - Ezra set the standard of repentance by his own behavior. His weeping brought others to the point of sorrow. Some may respond when we tell them what to do, but more will follow if we show them what to do and participate ourselves. In this case, Ezra's actions actually motivated a leader to make a significant stand. You can never predict who will follow or benefit from your example.

(10:2) True Repentance - Following Ezra's earnest prayer, the people confessed their sin to God. Then they asked for direction in restoring their relationship with God. True repentance does not end with words of confession--that would be mere lip service. It must lead to changed attitudes and corrected behavior. When you sin and are truly sorry, confess this to God, ask for his forgiveness, and accept his grace and mercy. Then, as an act of thankfulness for your forgiveness, make the needed corrections.

(10:3) Ungodly Marriages - Why were the men commanded to send away their wives and children? Although the measure was extreme, intermarriage to pagans was strictly forbidden (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). One idolatrous person can affect hundreds more. Even the priests and Levites had intermarried, which could be compared today to a Christian minister marrying someone who follows another religion. Although a severe solution, this only involved 111 of the approximately 29,000 families. In cases of divorce in the ancient world, mothers were the ones who retained custody of their children. Ezra's strong act, though very difficult for some, was necessary to preserve Israel as a nation committed to God. Some of the exiles of the northern kingdom of Israel had lost both their spiritual and genealogical identity through intermarriage. Their pagan spouses had caused them to worship idols. Ezra did not want this to happen to the exiles of the southern kingdom of Judah.

(10:8) Disinherited - To forfeit one's property meant to be disinherited, to lose one's legal right to own land, and to forfeit one's place in the Israelite community. This was to ensure that no pagan children would inherit Israel's land. In addition, anyone who refused to come to Jerusalem would be expelled from the assembly of the exiles and not be allowed to worship in the temple. The Jews considered this a horrible punishment.

(10:9) Repentance - How fitting that this time of confession and repentance took place in the cold and rain. The people trembled because of the chill, but also because these matters were serious. Idols allowed into Jewish homes would have diluted the people's faithfulness to God. Although breaking up these families was very painful and difficult, pagan worship would have rapidly infected and crippled this new struggling community. Today, God does not command couples to break up if one becomes a Christian; rather, the believing spouse is to seek the other's coming to faith (see the notes on 1 Corinthians 7:12-16).

(10:11) A Need To Confess - As believers in Christ, all our sins are forgiven. His death cleansed us from all sin. Why do we then still confess our sins? Through the confession of our sins, we appropriate Christ's forgiveness for what we have done wrong. When we confess, we are agreeing with God that our thoughts, words, and actions were wrong and contrary to his will. We are committing to do his will and renouncing any acts of disobedience. Regular confession helps to keep us accountable. Along with confessing, we must separate ourselves from the sin and ask God for renewed strength to live for him.

(10:44) The Book of Ezra - The book of Ezra opens with God's temple in ruins and the people of Judah captive in Babylon. Ezra tells of the return of God's people, the rebuilding of the temple, and the restoration of the sacrificial worship system. Similarly, God is able to restore and rebuild the lives of people today. No one is so far away from God that he or she cannot be restored. Repentance is all that is required. No matter how far we have strayed or how long it has been since we have worshiped God, he is able to restore our relationships with him and rebuild our lives.



Dave Burnette's Life Application

Value in the House of God

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Ezra with Chapter 10 and we see the people confess their sins as Ezra cast down himself in the Temple. An example of the need to build the House of God, Gather at the House of God, Worship at the House of God, Then Repent at the House of God. In making application we see the need to follow the pattern Ezra gave. We too should, Gather, Worship, and Repent at the House of God, How about You? Do you value the House of God with Your Attendance? Let us learn from our text today and the example Ezra gave us in the Bible to remember to Value the House of God. 


Ezra 10

Ezra 10

 1Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.

 2And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.

 3Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

 4Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of good courage, and do it.

 5Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word. And they sware.

 6Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.

 7And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem;

 8And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.

 9Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain.

 10And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.

 11Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.

 12Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.

 13But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.

 14Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us.

 15Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah were employed about this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.

 16And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.

 17And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.

 18And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.

 19And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.

 20And of the sons of Immer; Hanani, and Zebadiah.

 21And of the sons of Harim; Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah.

 22And of the sons of Pashur; Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah.

 23Also of the Levites; Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah, (the same is Kelita,) Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.

 24Of the singers also; Eliashib: and of the porters; Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.

 25Moreover of Israel: of the sons of Parosh; Ramiah, and Jeziah, and Malchiah, and Miamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah.

 26And of the sons of Elam; Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Eliah.

 27And of the sons of Zattu; Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza.

 28Of the sons also of Bebai; Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.

 29And of the sons of Bani; Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, and Ramoth.

 30And of the sons of Pahathmoab; Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezaleel, and Binnui, and Manasseh.

 31And of the sons of Harim; Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchiah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,

 32Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah.

 33Of the sons of Hashum; Mattenai, Mattathah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei.

 34Of the sons of Bani; Maadai, Amram, and Uel,

 35Benaiah, Bedeiah, Chelluh,

 36Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,

 37Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasau,

 38And Bani, and Binnui, Shimei,

 39And Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah,

 40Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,

 41Azareel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah,

 42Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph.

 43Of the sons of Nebo; Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jadau, and Joel, Benaiah.

 44All these had taken strange wives: and some of them had wives by whom they had children.