Now therefore, make confession to the LORD God of your fathers and do His will; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.'
Then all the assembly replied with a loud voice, 'It is our duty to do exactly as you have said!
However, there are many people, it is the rainy season, and we are not able to stand in the open. Nor can
the task be done
in one or two days, because we have done a great wrong in this matter.
Please let our leaders represent all the assembly and have all those in our cities who have married foreign wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of each city, until the fierce anger of our God on account of this matter is turned away from us.'
Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, with Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supporting them.
But the exiles did so. And Ezra the priest selected men who were
the heads of fathers’ households
for each of
their father’s households, all of them by name. So they convened on the first day of the tenth month to investigate the matter.