Read the Bible | June 15th
Genealogy of Those Who Returned with Ezra
 These are the heads of their fathers' houses, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylonia, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king:  Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom. Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. Of the sons of David, Hattush.  Of the sons of Shecaniah, who was of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah, with whom were registered 150 men.  Of the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him 200 men.  Of the sons of Zattu, Shecaniah the son of Jahaziel, and with him 300 men.  Of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him 50 men.  Of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him 70 men.  Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him 80 men.  Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him 218 men.  Of the sons of Bani, Shelomith the son of Josiphiah, and with him 160 men.  Of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah, the son of Bebai, and with him 28 men.  Of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him 110 men.  Of the sons of Adonikam, those who came later, their names being Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah, and with them 60 men.  Of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zaccur, and with them 70 men.
Ezra Sends for Levites
 I gathered them to the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there none of the sons of Levi.  Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, leading men, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of insight,  and sent them to Iddo, the leading man at the place Casiphia, telling them what to say to Iddo and his brothers and the temple servants at the place Casiphia, namely, to send us ministers for the house of our God.  And by the good hand of our God on us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, son of Israel, namely Sherebiah with his sons and kinsmen, 18;  also Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, with his kinsmen and their sons, 20;  besides 220 of the temple servants, whom David and his officials had set apart to attend the Levites. These were all mentioned by name.
Fasting and Prayer for Protection
 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.  For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”  So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.
Priests to Guard Offerings
 Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their kinsmen with them.  And I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God that the king and his counselors and his lords and all Israel there present had offered.  I weighed out into their hand 650 talents of silver, and silver vessels worth 200 talents, and 100 talents of gold,  20 bowls of gold worth 1,000 darics, and two vessels of fine bright bronze as precious as gold.  And I said to them, “You are holy to the LORD, and the vessels are holy, and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the LORD, the God of your fathers.  Guard them and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests and the Levites and the heads of fathers' houses in Israel at Jerusalem, within the chambers of the house of the LORD.”  So the priests and the Levites took over the weight of the silver and the gold and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem, to the house of our God.
 Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way.  We came to Jerusalem, and there we remained three days.  On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed into the hands of Meremoth the priest, son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui.  The whole was counted and weighed, and the weight of everything was recorded.
 At that time those who had come from captivity, the returned exiles, offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, and as a sin offering twelve male goats. All this was a burnt offering to the LORD.  They also delivered the king's commissions to the king's satraps and to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and they aided the people and the house of God. (ESV)
Ezra Prays About Intermarriage
 After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.  For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.”  As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and my cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled.  Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.  And at the evening sacrifice I rose from my fasting, with my garment and my cloak torn, and fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God,  saying:
“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.  From the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt. And for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as it is today.  But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery.  For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem.
 “And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments,  which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness.  Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’  And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this,  shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?  O LORD, the God of Israel, you are just, for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is today. Behold, we are before you in our guilt, for none can stand before you because of this.” (ESV)
The People Confess Their Sin
 While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly.  And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.  Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God, and let it be done according to the Law.  Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.”  Then Ezra arose and made the leading priests and Levites and all Israel take an oath that they would do as had been said. So they took the oath.
 Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.  And a proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem,  and that if anyone did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all his property should be forfeited, and he himself banned from the congregation of the exiles.
 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. And all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain.  And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have broken faith and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel.  Now then make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.”  Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “It is so; we must do as you have said.  But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand in the open. Nor is this a task for one day or for two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter.  Let our officials stand for the whole assembly. Let all in our cities who have taken foreign wives come at appointed times, and with them the elders and judges of every city, until the fierce wrath of our God over this matter is turned away from us.”  Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supported them.
 Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected men, heads of fathers' houses, according to their fathers' houses, each of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter;  and by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women.
Those Guilty of Intermarriage
 Now there were found some of the sons of the priests who had married foreign women: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah, some of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers.  They pledged themselves to put away their wives, and their guilt offering was a ram of the flock for their guilt.  Of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.  Of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah.  Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
 Of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.  Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri.
 And of Israel: of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Hashabiah, and Benaiah.  Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah.  Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza.  Of the sons of Bebai were Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.  Of the sons of Bani were Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth.  Of the sons of Pahath-moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh.  Of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,  Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah.  Of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei.  Of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel,  Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi,  Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,  Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasu.  Of the sons of Binnui: Shimei,  Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah,  Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,  Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah,  Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph.  Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah.  All these had married foreign women, and some of the women had even borne children. (ESV)
Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas
 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.  And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.  All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,  “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.  For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”  (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.  And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)  “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,
“‘May his camp become desolate,
and let there be no one to dwell in it’;
“‘Let another take his office.’
 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”  And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen  to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”  And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (ESV)
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.  And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.  And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?  Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,  both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”  And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”  But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” (ESV)