Ezra 9Expanded Bible (EXB)
9 After these things had been ·done [completed], the ·leaders [officials] came to me and said, “Ezra, the Israelites, including the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the people ·around us [L of the land]. Those neighbors ·do [practice] ·evil [detestable; abominable] things, as the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites did. 2 ·The Israelite men and their sons [L They] have ·married [L taken] these women. They have ·mixed [intermingled] the ·people who belong to God [L holy race] with the people ·around them [L of the land]. The leaders and ·officers of Israel [officials] have led the rest of the Israelites to do this unfaithful thing.”
3 When I heard this, I angrily tore my ·robe [tunic; clothes] and ·coat [cloak; mantle], pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down ·in shock [devastated; appalled; in horror]. 4 Everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of the unfaithfulness of the ·captives [exiles] who had returned. I sat there ·in shock [devastated; appalled; in horror] until the evening ·sacrifice [offering].
5 At the evening ·sacrifice [offering] I got up from ·where I had shown my shame [my humiliation/self-abasement]. My ·robe [tunic; clothes] and ·coat [cloak; mantle] were torn, and I fell on my knees with my hands ·spread [stretched] out to the Lord my God. 6 I prayed,
“My God, I am too ashamed and ·embarrassed [disgraced] to lift up my face to you, my God, because our ·sins [iniquities] are so many. They are higher than our heads. Our guilt even ·reaches up [extends] to the ·sky [heavens]. 7 From the days of our ·ancestors [fathers] until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our ·sins [iniquities], we, our kings, and our priests have been ·punished by [L given into the hands of the kings of the land, to] the sword and ·captivity [exile]. Foreign kings have ·taken away our things [plundered; pillaged] and ·shamed [humiliated] us, even as ·it [the case] is today.
8 “But now, for a short time, the Lord our God has been ·kind [gracious; merciful] to us. He has let ·some of us [a remnant] ·come back from [escape; or survive] ·captivity [exile] and has ·let us live in safety [L given us a peg; C a tent peg symbolizing pitching a tent after travel] in his holy place. And so our God ·gives us hope [L causes our eyes to shine; C that is, revives] and a little relief ·from [in] our ·slavery [bondage]. 9 Even though we ·are [were] slaves, our God in his ·unfailing love [loyalty] ·has not left [did not abandon/forsake] us. He caused the kings of Persia to ·be kind to [look kindly on] us and has ·given us new life [revived us]. We can rebuild the ·Temple [L house] of our God and ·repair [restore] its ruins. And he has given us a wall [C of protection] in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 “But now, our God, what can we say after you have done all this? We have ·disobeyed [abandoned; forsaken] your commands 11 that you ·gave [commanded] through your servants the prophets. You said, ‘The land you are entering to ·own [possess] is ·ruined [defiled; polluted; unclean]; the people living there have ·spoiled it [defiled it; polluted it; made it unclean] by ·the evil they do [their detestable/abominable practices]. Their evil filled the land with ·uncleanness [corruption; filth; impurity] from one end to the other. 12 So do not ·let your daughters marry [L give your daughters to] their sons, and do not ·let their daughters marry [L take their daughters for] your sons. Do not wish for their peace or ·success [prosperity; welfare]. Then you will be strong and eat the good things of the land. Then you can leave ·this land [L it as an inheritance] to your ·descendants [sons] forever.’
13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt. But you, our God, have punished us less than ·we [our sin/iniquities] deserve; you have left a ·few of us alive [remnant such as this]. 14 ·We should not [L Should we…?] again break your commands by ·allowing marriages [intermarrying] with these ·wicked [detestable; abominable] people. ·If we did, you would get angry [L Would not your anger be…?] enough to destroy us, ·and none of us would be left alive [without remnant or survivor]. 15 Lord, God of Israel, by your ·goodness [righteousness] a ·few of us [remnant] are left alive today. We ·admit that we are guilty [stand/come before you in our guilt] ·and [although] ·none of us should be allowed to [no one can truly] stand before you.”
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