9 After these things had been done, the leaders approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselvesx from the surrounding peoples whose detestable practicesy are like those of the Canaanites, Hethites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites.a 2 Indeed, the Israelite menA have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seedb has become mixed with the surrounding peoples.c The leadersB and officials have taken the lead in this unfaithfulness!”d 3 When I heard this report, I tore my tunic and robe, pulled out some of the hair from my head and beard, and sat down devastated.e
4 Everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israelf gathered around me, because of the unfaithfulness of the exiles,g while I sat devastated until the evening offering.h 5 At the evening offering, I got up from my time of humiliation, with my tunic and robe torn. Then I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God.i 6 And I said:j
My God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face toward you, my God, because our iniquities are higher than our heads and our guilt is as high as the heavens.k 7 Our guilt has been terrible from the days of our ancestors until the present. Because of our iniquities we have been handed over, along with our kings and priests, to the surrounding kings, and to the sword, captivity, plundering, and open shame,l as it is today. 8 But now, for a brief moment, grace has come from the Lord our God to preserve a remnantm for us and give us a staken in his holy place. Even in our slavery, God has given us a little relief and light to our eyes.o 9 Though we are slaves,p our God has not abandoned us in our slavery. He has extended grace to us in the presence of the Persian kings,q giving us relief, so that we can rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins,r to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 Now, our God, what can we say in light ofC this? For we have abandoned the commands 11 you gave through your servants the prophets, saying, “The land you are entering to possess is an impure land. The surrounding peoples have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness by their impurity and detestable practices.s 12 So do not give your daughters to their sons in marriage or take their daughters for your sons.t Never pursue their welfare or prosperity,u so that you will be strong, eat the good things of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.” 13 After all that has happened to us because of our evil deeds and terrible guilt—though you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserve and have allowed us to surviveD,v—14 should we break your commands again and intermarry with the peoples who commit these detestable practices?w Wouldn’t you become so angry with us that you would destroy us, leaving neither remnant nor survivor?x 15 Lord God of Israel, you are righteous, for we survive as a remnanty today. Here we are before you with our guilt, though no one can stand in your presence because of this.z
About Christian Standard Bible
The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.
The CSB is an original translation: more than 100 scholars from 17 denominations translated directly from the best available Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic source texts into English. Its source texts are the standard used by scholars and seminaries today.
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The CSB is clear: it is as literal a translation of the ancient source texts as possible, but, in the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, it uses a more dynamic translation. In all cases, the intent is to convey the original meaning of God’s Word as faithfully and as clearly as possible.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2020 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.