After a period of mourning over their great iniquities, Ezra made a proclamation that all the returned exiles should assemble in Jerusalem. Anybody who didn't come within two or three days would be expelled from the category of returned from captivity and his livestock be confiscated.
On the day of assembly, the weather was cold. Ezra told them, "Separate yourselves from your foreign wives." The multitude shouted their agreement with loud voices. But, they added that since it was winter, the cold would prevent them from doing all they were supposed to do. They asked that the leaders stay but that the rest of them who had foreign wives take care of the situation