Ezra 10:5 MEANING

Ezra 10:5
Verse 5. - Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests... to swear. Rather, "made the princes, the priests, etc. to swear" LXX.). That they would do according to this word. That they would act in the matter as Shechaniah had recommended, and put away the idolatrous wives. EZRA'S FAST (ver. 6). Matters having reached this point, the covenant having been made, and the only question remaining for consideration being how the decision come to should be carried out, Ezra "rose up," and withdrew himself for a time from the people, entering into one of the side chambers of the temple, and secluding himself there. The guilt of his brethren still pressed heavily on his spirit, and he continued the mourning which he had commenced as soon as it came to his ears. To this mourning he now joined a fast of the strictest kind, an entire abstinence both from eating and drinking, like that of Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28). Natural piety seems to have taught men generally (Jonah 3:5-7), and the Jews among them, that such abstinence was a fitting accompaniment of penitential prayer, and might be counted on to lend it additional force with Almighty God. Compare the private and personal fasts of David (2 Samuel 12:16), Ahab (1 Kings 21:27), Daniel (Daniel 9:3), and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4).

10:1-5 Shechaniah owned the national guilt. The case is sad, but it is not desperate; the disease threatening, but not incurable. Now that the people begin to lament, a spirit of repentance seems to be poured out; now there is hope that God will forgive, and have mercy. The sin that rightly troubles us, shall not ruin us. In melancholy times we must observe what makes for us, as well as against us. And there may be good hopes through grace, even where there is the sense of great guilt before God. The case is plain; what has been done amiss, must be undone again as far as possible; nothing less than this is true repentance. Sin must be put away, with a resolution never to have any thing more to do with it. What has been unjustly got, must be restored. Arise, be of good courage. Weeping, in this case, is good, but reforming is better. As to being unequally yoked with unbelievers, such marriages, it is certain, are sinful, and ought not to be made; but now they are not null, as they were before the gospel did away the separation between Jews and Gentiles.Then arose Ezra,.... From the ground where he lay:

and made the chief priests, and the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word: he took an oath of all that were present to do what was proposed, namely, to put away strange wives and their children:

and they sware; by means of which they were kept to their word of promise, an oath being a solemn, sacred, thing.

Courtesy of Open Bible