1And when these matters had been done, the leaders came to me, saying, “The people of Yisra’ĕl and the priests and the Lĕwites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, as to their abominations, those of the Kena‛anites, the Ḥittites, the Perizzites, the Yeḇusites, the Ammonites, the Mo’aḇites, the Mitsrites, and the Amorites,
2for they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the set-apart seed is intermingled with the peoples of those lands. And the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass.”
3And when I heard this word, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished.
4Then all those who trembled at the words of the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl gathered to me, because of the trespass of the exiles, and I sat astonished until the evening offering.
5And at the evening offering I rose from my affliction. And having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to יהוה my Elohim,
6and said, “O my Elohim, I am too ashamed and wounded to lift up my face to You, my Elohim, for our crookednesses have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.
7“Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our crookednesses we, our sovereigns, and our priests have been given into the hand of the sovereigns of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder, and to shame of faces, as it is this day.
8“But now, for a short while, favour has been shown from יהוה our Elohim, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His set-apart place, that our Elohim might enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
9“For we were slaves, but in our bondage our Elohim did not forsake us, and extended loving-commitment to us in the presence of the sovereigns of Persia, to revive us, to raise up the House of our Elohim, to restore its ruins, and to give us a wall in Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim.
10“And now, O our Elohim, what do we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commands,
11which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are going in to possess is a land unclean through the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, by their abominations with which they have filled it, from one end to another, by their uncleanness.
12And now, do not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons. And do not seek their peace or wealth ever, so that you are strong, and shall eat the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.’
13“And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our Elohim have held back the rod upon our crookednesses, and have given us such deliverance as this,
14should we turn back, to break Your commands, and join in marriage with the people of these abominations? Would You not be enraged with us until You had consumed us, so that there would be no remnant or survivor?
15“O יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. See, we are before You, in our guilt, for there is no one to stand before You concerning this!”