The People Confess Their Sins
1Now on the twenty-fourth day of #Neh. 8:2this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, #Josh. 7:6; 1 Sam. 4:12; 2 Sam. 1:2; Job 2:12and with dust on their heads. 2Then #Ezra 10:11; Neh. 13:3, 30those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and #Neh. 1:6confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3And they stood up in their place and #Neh. 8:7, 8read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one–fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.
4Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said:
“Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever!
“Blessed be #1 Chr. 29:13Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
6#Deut. 6:4; 2 Kin. 19:15, 19; (Ps. 86:10); Is. 37:16, 20You alone are the Lord;
#Gen. 1:1; Ex. 20:11; Rev. 14:7You have made heaven,
#(Deut. 10:14); 1 Kin. 8:27The heaven of heavens, with #Gen. 2:1all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You #(Ps. 36:6)preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You.
7“You are the Lord God,
Who chose #Gen. 11:31Abram,
And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans,
And gave him the name #Gen. 17:5Abraham;
8You found his heart #Gen. 15:6; 22:1–3; (James 2:21–23)faithful before You,
And made a #Gen. 15:18covenant with him
To give the land of the Canaanites,
The Hittites, the Amorites,
The Perizzites, the Jebusites,
And the Girgashites—
To give it to his descendants.
You #Josh. 23:14have performed Your words,
For You are righteous.
9“You#Ex. 2:25; 3:7 saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt,
And #Ex. 14:10heard their cry by the Red Sea.
10You #Ex. 7—14showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,
Against all his servants,
And against all the people of his land.
For You knew that they #Ex. 18:11acted proudly against them.
So You #Jer. 32:20made a name for Yourself, as it is this day.
11#Ex. 14:20–28And You divided the sea before them,
So that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land;
And their persecutors You threw into the deep,
#Ex. 15:1, 5As a stone into the mighty waters.
12Moreover You #Ex. 13:21, 22led them by day with a cloudy pillar,
And by night with a pillar of fire,
To give them light on the road
Which they should travel.
13“You#Ex. 20:1–18 came down also on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven,
And gave them #(Rom. 7:12)just ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.
14You made known to them Your #Gen. 2:3; Ex. 16:23; 20:8; 23:12holy Sabbath,
And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws,
By the hand of Moses Your servant.
15You #Ex. 16:14–17; John 6:31gave them bread from heaven for their hunger,
And #Ex. 17:6; Num. 20:8; (1 Cor. 10:4)brought them water out of the rock for their thirst,
And told them to #Deut. 1:8go in to possess the land
Which You had sworn to give them.
16“But#Ps. 106:6 they and our fathers acted proudly,
#Deut. 1:26–33; 31:27; Neh. 9:29Hardened their necks,
And did not heed Your commandments.
17They refused to obey,
And #Ps. 78:11, 42–45they were not mindful of Your wonders
That You did among them.
But they hardened their necks,
And in their rebellion
They appointed #Num. 14:4; Acts 7:39a leader
To return to their bondage.
But You are God,
Ready to pardon,
#Joel 2:13Gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did not forsake them.
18“Even #Ex. 32:4–8, 31when they made a molded calf for themselves,
And said, ‘This is your god
That brought you up out of Egypt,’
And worked great provocations,
19Yet in Your #Ps. 106:45manifold mercies
You did not forsake them in the wilderness.
The #Ex. 13:20–22; 1 Cor. 10:1pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day,
To lead them on the road;
Nor the pillar of fire by night,
To show them light,
And the way they should go.
20You also gave Your #Num. 11:17good Spirit to instruct them,
And did not withhold Your #Ex. 16:14–16manna from their mouth,
And gave them #Ex. 17:6water for their thirst.
21#Deut. 2:7Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness;
They lacked nothing;
Their #Deut. 8:4; 29:5clothes did not wear out
And their feet did not swell.
22“Moreover You gave them kingdoms and nations,
And divided them into districts.
So they took possession of the land of #Num. 21:21–35Sihon,
The land of the king of Heshbon,
And the land of Og king of Bashan.
23You also multiplied #Gen. 15:5; 22:17; Heb. 11:12their children as the stars of heaven,
And brought them into the land
Which You had told their fathers
To go in and possess.
24So #Josh. 1:2–4the people went in
And possessed the land;
#Josh. 18:1; (Ps. 44:2, 3)You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land,
And gave them into their hands,
With their kings
And the people of the land,
That they might do with them as they wished.
25And they took strong cities and a #Num. 13:27rich land,
And possessed #Deut. 6:11; Josh. 24:13houses full of all goods,
Cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves,
And fruit trees in abundance.
So they ate and were filled and #(Deut. 32:15)grew fat,
And delighted themselves in Your great #Hos. 3:5goodness.
26“Nevertheless they #Judg. 2:11were disobedient
And rebelled against You,
#1 Kin. 14:9; Ps. 50:17Cast Your law behind their backs
And killed Your #1 Kin. 18:4; 19:10; Matt. 23:37; Acts 7:52prophets, who testified against them
To turn them to Yourself;
And they worked great provocations.
27#Judg. 2:14; Ps. 106:41Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies,
Who oppressed them;
And in the time of their trouble,
When they cried to You,
You #Ps. 106:44heard from heaven;
And according to Your abundant mercies
#Judg. 2:18You gave them deliverers who saved them
From the hand of their enemies.
28“But after they had rest,
#Judg. 3:12They again did evil before You.
Therefore You left them in the hand of their enemies,
So that they had dominion over them;
Yet when they returned and cried out to You,
You heard from heaven;
And #Ps. 106:43many times You delivered them according to Your mercies,
29And testified against them,
That You might bring them back to Your law.
Yet they acted proudly,
And did not heed Your commandments,
But sinned against Your judgments,
#Lev. 18:5; Rom. 10:5; (Gal. 3:12)‘Which if a man does, he shall live by them.’
And they shrugged their shoulders,
Stiffened their necks,
And would not hear.
30Yet for many years You had patience with them,
And testified #2 Kin. 17:13–18; 2 Chr. 36:11–20; Jer. 7:25against them by Your Spirit #(Acts 7:51); 1 Pet. 1:11in Your prophets.
Yet they would not listen;
#Is. 5:5Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
31Nevertheless in Your great mercy
#Jer. 4:27; (Rom. 11:2–5)You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them;
For You are God, gracious and merciful.
32“Now therefore, our God,
The great, the #(Ex. 34:6, 7)mighty, and awesome God,
Who keeps covenant and mercy:
Do not let all the trouble seem small before You
That has come upon us,
Our kings and our princes,
Our priests and our prophets,
Our fathers and on all Your people,
#2 Kin. 15:19; 17:3–6; Ezra 4:2, 10From the days of the kings of Assyria until this day.
33However #Ps. 119:137; (Dan. 9:14)You are just in all that has befallen us;
For You have dealt faithfully,
But #Ps. 106:6; (Dan. 9:5, 6, 8)we have done wickedly.
34Neither our kings nor our princes,
Our priests nor our fathers,
Have kept Your law,
Nor heeded Your commandments and Your testimonies,
With which You testified against them.
35For they have #Deut. 28:47not served You in their kingdom,
Or in the many good things that You gave them,
Or in the large and rich land which You set before them;
Nor did they turn from their wicked works.
36“Here #Deut. 28:48; Ezra 9:9we are, servants today!
And the land that You gave to our fathers,
To eat its fruit and its bounty,
Here we are, servants in it!
37And #Deut. 28:33, 51it yields much increase to the kings
You have set over us,
Because of our sins;
Also they have #Deut. 28:48dominion over our bodies and our cattle
At their pleasure;
And we are in great distress.
38“And because of all this,
We #2 Kin. 23:3; 2 Chr. 29:10; Ezra 10:3make a sure covenant and write it;
Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests #Neh. 10:1seal it.”
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