New International Version
“I am too ashamed(C) and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.(D) 7 From the days of our ancestors(E) until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword(F) and captivity,(G) to pillage and humiliation(H) at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today.
8 “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious(I) in leaving us a remnant(J) and giving us a firm place[a](K) in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes(L) and a little relief in our bondage. 9 Though we are slaves,(M) our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness(N) in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins,(O) and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 “But now, our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken the commands(P) 11 you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: ‘The land you are entering(Q) to possess is a land polluted(R) by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices(S) they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. 12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them(T) at any time, that you may be strong(U) and eat the good things(V) of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’(W)
13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil(X) deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved(Y) and have given us a remnant like this. 14 Shall we then break your commands again and intermarry(Z) with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us,(AA) leaving us no remnant(AB) or survivor? 15 Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous!(AC) We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand(AD) in your presence.(AE)”
The People’s Confession of Sin
10 While Ezra was praying and confessing,(AF) weeping(AG) and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. 2 Then Shekaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam,(AH) said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful(AI) to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel.(AJ) 3 Now let us make a covenant(AK) before our God to send away(AL) all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. 4 Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
- Ezra 9:8 Or a foothold