Nehemiah 9

Chapter 9

The People Confess Their Sin

1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of athis month the sons of Israel assembled bwith fasting, in sackcloth and with cdirt upon them.

2 The 1adescendants of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and bconfessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.

3 While athey stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

4 aNow on the Levites’ platform stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Chenani, and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God.

5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever!

O may Your glorious name be blessed

And exalted above all blessing and praise!

6 aYou alone are the Lord.

bYou have made the heavens,

The heaven of heavens with all their host,

The earth and all that is on it,

The seas and all that is in them.

cYou give life to all of them

And the heavenly host bows down before You.

7 “You are the Lord God,

aWho chose Abram

And brought him out from bUr of the Chaldees,

And cgave him the name Abraham.

8 “You found ahis heart faithful before You,

And made a covenant with him

To give him the land of the Canaanite,

Of the Hittite and the Amorite,

Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite and the Girgashite—

To give it to his 1descendants.

And You bhave fulfilled Your promise,

For You are righteous.

9 aYou saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt,

And bheard their cry by the 1Red Sea.

10 “Then You performed asigns and wonders against Pharaoh,

Against all his servants and all the people of his land;

For You knew that bthey acted arrogantly toward them,

And cmade a name for Yourself as it is this day.

11 aYou divided the sea before them,

So they passed through the midst of the sea on dry ground;

And btheir pursuers You hurled into the depths,

Like a stone into 1raging waters.

12 “And with a pillar of cloud aYou led them by day,

And with a pillar of fire by night

To light for them the way

In which they were to go.

13 “Then aYou came down on Mount Sinai,

And bspoke with them from heaven;

You gave them cjust ordinances and true laws,

Good statutes and commandments.

14 “So You made known to them aYour holy sabbath,

And laid down for them commandments, statutes and law,

Through Your servant Moses.

15 “You aprovided bread from heaven for them for their hunger,

You bbrought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst,

And You ctold them to enter in order to possess

The land which You 1swore to give them.

16 “But they, our fathers, aacted arrogantly;

They 1bbecame stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.

17 “They refused to listen,

And adid not remember Your wondrous deeds which You had performed among them;

So they became stubborn and bappointed a leader to return to their slavery 1in Egypt.

But You are a God cof forgiveness,

Gracious and compassionate,

Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness;

And You did not forsake them.

18 “Even when they amade for themselves

A calf of molten metal

And said, ‘This is your God

Who brought you up from Egypt,’

And committed great 1blasphemies,

19 aYou, in Your great compassion,

Did not forsake them in the wilderness;

bThe pillar of cloud did not leave them by day,

To guide them on their way,

Nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go.

20 aYou gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,

Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth,

And You gave them water for their thirst.

21 “Indeed, aforty years You provided for them in the wilderness and they were not in want;

Their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell.

22 “You also gave them kingdoms and peoples,

And allotted them to them as a 1boundary.

aThey took possession of the land of Sihon 2the king of Heshbon

And the land of Og the king of Bashan.

23 “You made their sons numerous as athe stars of heaven,

And You brought them into the land

Which You had told their fathers to enter and possess.

24 aSo their sons entered and possessed the land.

And bYou subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites,

And You gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land,

To do with them 1as they desired.

25 aThey captured fortified cities and a 1bfertile land.

They took possession of chouses full of every good thing,

Hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves,

Fruit trees in abundance.

So they ate, were filled and dgrew fat,

And ereveled in Your great goodness.

26 aBut they became disobedient and rebelled against You,

And bcast Your law behind their backs

And ckilled Your prophets who had dadmonished them

So that they might return to You,

And ethey committed great 1blasphemies.

27 “Therefore You adelivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them,

But when they cried to You bin the time of their distress,

You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion

You cgave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors.

28 “But aas soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You;

Therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them.

When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven,

And bmany times You rescued them according to Your compassion,

29 And aadmonished them in order to turn them back to Your law.

Yet bthey acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your ordinances,

By cwhich if a man observes them he shall live.

And they 1dturned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen.

30 aHowever, You bore with them for many years,

And badmonished them by cYour Spirit through Your prophets,

Yet they would not give ear.

Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.

31 “Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You adid not make an end of them or forsake them,

For You are ba gracious and compassionate God.

32 “Now therefore, our God, athe great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness,

Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You,

Which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people,

bFrom the days of the kings of Assyria to this day.

33 “However, aYou are just in all that has come upon us;

For You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly.

34 “For our kings, our leaders, our priests and our fathers have not kept Your law

Or paid attention to Your commandments and Your 1admonitions with which You have 2admonished them.

35 “But athey, in their own kingdom,

bWith Your great goodness which You gave them,

With the broad and rich land which You set before them,

Did not serve You or turn from their evil deeds.

36 “Behold, awe are slaves today,

And as to the land which You gave to our fathers to eat of its fruit and its bounty,

Behold, we are slaves in it.

37 aIts abundant produce is for the kings

Whom You have set over us because of our sins;

They also rule over our bodies

And over our cattle as they please,

So we are in great distress.

A Covenant Results

38 1Now because of all this

aWe are making an agreement in writing;

And on the bsealed document are the names of our leaders, our Levites and our priests.”

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