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The Unfaithfulness of the Exiles

Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not (A)separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, (B)according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. For (C)they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that (D)the holy seed has (E)intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the officials have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.” When I heard about this matter, I (F)tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and (G)sat down in consternation. Then (H)everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until (I)the evening offering.

Ezra’s Confession

But at the evening offering I arose from my [a]affliction, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and (J)stretched out my [b]hands to Yahweh my God; and I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have multiplied above our heads and our (K)guilt has become great even to the heavens. (L)Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder and to [c](M)open shame, as it is this day. But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from Yahweh our God, (N)to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a (O)peg in His holy place, that our God may (P)enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our slavery. (Q)For we are slaves; yet in our slavery our God has not forsaken us, but (R)has extended lovingkindness to us before the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its waste places, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

10 “So now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments, 11 which You have commanded by the hand of Your slaves the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is an impure land with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end, and (S)with their uncleanness. 12 So now do not (T)give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and (U)never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and (V)leave it as a possession to your sons forever.’ 13 After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and (W)our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us (X)an escaped remnant as this, 14 (Y)shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples [d]who commit these abominations? (Z)Would You not be angry with us [e]to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape? 15 O Yahweh, the God of Israel, (AA)You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in (AB)our guilt, for (AC)no one can stand before You because of this.”


  1. Ezra 9:5 Or fasting
  2. Ezra 9:5 Lit palms
  3. Ezra 9:7 Lit shame of faces
  4. Ezra 9:14 Lit of these abominations
  5. Ezra 9:14 Lit to destroy