King James Version
9 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.
4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the Lord their God.
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
6 Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
7 Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;
10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.
11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.
12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.
13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,
17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;
19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.
20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.
23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.
27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.
31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:
34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.
36 Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:
37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
The People Confess Their Sin
9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the Israelites assembled with fasting and in sackcloth and with dirt [a]on their heads. 2 The [b]descendants of Israel (Jacob) separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the wrongdoings of their fathers. 3 While they stood in their places, they read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day and for another fourth [of it] they confessed [their sins] and worshiped the Lord their God. 4 On the platform of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and they called out with a loud voice to the Lord their God.
5 Then the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah—said, “Stand up and bless (praise, honor) the Lord your God from [c]everlasting to everlasting.
May Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise.”
[And Ezra said],
“You are the Lord, You alone;
You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host (the heavenly bodies),
The earth and everything that is on it,
The seas and everything that is in them.
You give life to all of them,
And the heavenly host is bowing down [in worship] to You.
“You are the Lord God,
Who chose Abram
And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees,
And gave him the name Abraham.
“You found his heart to be faithful [d]before You,
And You [e]made a covenant with him
To give him the land of the Canaanite,
Of the Hittite, of the Amorite,
Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite—
To give it to his descendants.
And You have fulfilled Your promise,
For You are righteous and just.
“You saw our fathers’ affliction in Egypt,
And You heard their cry by the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds).
“Then You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,
Against all his servants and all the people of his land;
For You knew that they behaved arrogantly toward them (the Israelites),
And You made a name for Yourself, as it is to this day.
“You divided the sea before them,
So that they passed through the midst of the sea on dry land;
You hurled their pursuers into the depths,
Like a stone into mighty and raging waters.
“And with a pillar of cloud You led them by day,
And with a pillar of fire by night
To light the way for them
In which they were to go.
“Then You came down on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven;
And You gave them fair ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.
“So You made known to them Your holy Sabbath,
And gave them commandments, statutes, and law,
[f]Through Your servant Moses.
“You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger,
And brought water for them out of a rock for their thirst,
And You told them to enter and take possession of
The land that You [g]swore to give them.(A)
“But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly;
They stiffened their necks and would not heed Your commandments.
“They refused to listen and obey,
And did not remember Your wondrous acts which You had performed among them;
So they stiffened their necks and [in their rebellion] appointed a leader in order to return them to slavery in Egypt.
But You are a God of forgiveness,
Gracious and merciful and compassionate,
[h]Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness;
And You did not abandon them.(B)
“Even when they had made for themselves
A [i]calf of cast metal
And said, ‘This is your god
Who brought you up from Egypt,’
And committed great [and contemptible] blasphemies,
You, in Your great mercy and compassion,
Did not abandon them in the wilderness;
The pillar of the cloud did not leave them by day,
To lead them in the way,
Nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way they should go.
“You [also] gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,
You did not withhold Your manna from their mouth,
And You gave them water for their thirst.
“Indeed, for forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing,
Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell.
“You also gave them kingdoms and peoples,
And You allotted the kingdoms to them as a boundary.
So they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon
And the land of Og king of Bashan.
“You made their children as numerous as the stars of heaven,
And You brought them into the land
Which You told their fathers to enter and possess.
“So their sons (descendants) went in and took possession of the land;
And You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites,
And You gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land,
To do with them as they pleased.
“They captured fortified cities and a fertile land.
They took possession of houses full of all good things,
Hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves,
And [j]fruit trees in abundance.
So they ate and were filled and became fat,
And they reveled and were delighted in Your great goodness.
“Yet they were disobedient and rebelled against You,
And cast Your law behind their backs
And killed Your prophets who warned them
To return to You;
And they committed great [and contemptible] blasphemies.
“Therefore You handed them over to their enemies who oppressed them.
But when they cried out to You in the time of their suffering and distress,
You heard them from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them [k]people to rescue them.
Who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.
“But as soon as they had rest, they again did evil before You;
Therefore You abandoned them into the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them.
Yet when they turned and cried out again to You, You heard them from heaven,
And You rescued them many times in accordance with Your compassion,
And You admonished them and warned them to turn them back to Your law.
Yet they acted presumptuously and arrogantly and did not heed Your commandments, but sinned against Your ordinances,
Which by keeping, a man will live.
But they turned a stubborn shoulder, stiffened their neck, and would not listen.
“Yet You were patient with them for many years,
And admonished them and warned them by Your Spirit through Your prophets;
Still they would not [l]listen.
Therefore You gave them into the hand (power) of the peoples of the lands.
“Yet in Your great compassion You did not utterly destroy them or abandon them,
For You are a gracious and merciful God.
“Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps the covenant and lovingkindness,
Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You,
Which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people,
Since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day.
“However, You are just and righteous in everything that has come upon us;
For You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly.
Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept Your law
Or paid attention to Your commandments and Your warnings which You have given them.
“But they, in their kingdom,
With Your great goodness which You gave them,
With the broad and rich land which You set before them,
Did not serve You or turn from their wicked deeds.
“Behold, we are slaves today,
And as for the land which You gave our fathers, to eat of its fruit and its goodness,
Behold, we are slaves in it.
“Its abundant produce is for the kings
Whom You have set over us because of our sins;
They also rule over our bodies
And over our cattle as they please,
So we are in great distress.
A Covenant Results
“[m]Now because of all this
We are making an agreement in writing;
And on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.”
- Nehemiah 9:1 Lit upon them.
- Nehemiah 9:2 Lit seed.
- Nehemiah 9:5 Lit from the eternity to the eternity.
- Nehemiah 9:8 Lit before Your face.
- Nehemiah 9:8 Lit cut.
- Nehemiah 9:14 Lit by the hand of.
- Nehemiah 9:15 Lit lifted up Your hand.
- Nehemiah 9:17 Lit with a long nose.
- Nehemiah 9:18 The selection of a calf-god was probably inspired by the Egyptian bull-god Apis (Hapis), believed to be a living manifestation of the Egyptian god, Ptah. In ancient Egypt, a bull-calf with specific markings was chosen from the herd and worshiped as Apis. The Apis was the most important of the sacred animals of Egypt. At the age of twenty-eight the Apis bull was sacrificed and buried in a highly structured ritual and a new bull-calf was selected to take his place. Numerous elaborate burial sites containing the Apis bulls have been discovered in Egypt. Both the Greeks and Romans adopted the cultic worship of Apis and it continued until about a.d. 400.
- Nehemiah 9:25 Lit food.
- Nehemiah 9:27 Lit deliverers.
- Nehemiah 9:30 Lit give ear.
- Nehemiah 9:38 Ch 10:1 in Hebrew.
Tree of Life Version
Levites Tell Israel’s Story
9 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this same month, Bnei-Yisrael gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. 2 The offspring of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, standing and confessing their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 They stood in their place and read in the scroll of the Torah of Adonai their God for a quarter of the day; and for another quarter they were confessing and prostrating themselves before Adonai their God.
4 Then the Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani—stood on the platform and cried out with a loud voice to Adonai their God. 5 The Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah—said: “Stand up! Bless Adonai your God, from everlasting to everlasting! May Your glorious Name be blessed; may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are Adonai. You made the heavens, even the highest heaven with all its array,[a] the earth and everything on it, the seas and everything in them. You give life to them all, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.
7 “You are Adonai, the God who chose Abram, brought him from Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful before You and made the covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, Hittite, Amorite, Perizzite, Jebusite and the Girgashite to his seed. You have fulfilled Your words, for You are righteous.
9 “You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry by the Sea of Reeds. 10 You gave signs and wonders against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all the people of his land, for You knew how insolently they treated them. You made a name for Yourself which remains to this day. 11 You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through the midst of the sea on dry land! But their pursuers You threw into the depths like a stone into mighty waters. 12 You led them with a pillar of cloud by day and with a pillar of fire by night to illuminate for them the way they were to go.
13 “You descended on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven. You gave them just judgments, reliable laws, and good statutes and mitzvot. 14 You made known to them Your holy Shabbat and ordained for them mitzvot, statutes and Torah by the hand of Your servant Moses. 15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought them water from the rock for their thirst. You told them to go in to possess the land that You had sworn to give them.[b]
16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant. They stiffened their neck and did not obey Your mitzvot. 17 They refused to obey and did not remember Your wonders that You did among them. Instead, they became stiff-necked and in their rebellion, appointed a leader in order to return to their bondage. But You are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love. Therefore You did not abandon them, 18 even when they made a cast image of a calf for themselves and said, ‘This is your god who brought you up from Egypt!’ or when they committed great blasphemies.
19 “Yet in Your great compassion You did not abandon them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud by day did not depart from above them, guiding them in the way, nor the pillar of fire by night, illuminating the way they should go. 20 You also gave Your good Ruach to teach them. You did not withhold Your manna from their mouth and You gave them water for their thirst. 21 For forty years You sustained them in the desert: they lacked nothing, their garments did not wear out and their feet did not swell.
22 “You gave them kingdoms and peoples and You allotted them their boundaries of the land. They possessed the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the country of Og king of Bashan. 23 You multiplied their descendants like the stars of heaven, and You brought them into the land that You told their ancestors to enter and inherit. 24 So the children went in and possessed the land. You subdued before them the Canaanites who were the inhabitants of the land. You delivered them into their hands, along with their kings and the peoples of the land to deal with them as they pleased. 25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land. They took possession of houses full of every good thing—hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves, and an abundance of fruit trees. They ate and were satisfied, and grew fat. They enjoyed Your great goodness.
26 “Nonetheless they became contentious and rebelled against You. They cast Your Torah behind their back. They killed Your prophets who warned them[c] to return to You; they committed appalling blasphemies. 27 Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies who oppressed them. But in the time of their distress, they cried out to You and You heard from heaven. According to Your great compassion, You gave them deliverers, who rescued them out of the hand of their enemies.
28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they returned to doing evil before You. Therefore You abandoned them into the hand of their enemies who ruled over them. When they repented and cried out to You, You heard from heaven, and according to Your compassion You delivered them many times.
29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to Your Torah, but they became insolent and disobeyed Your mitzvot. They sinned against Your ordinances—those by which if a man does them he will live. They turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen. 30 You bore with them for many years and admonished them by Your Ruach through the hand of Your prophets. Yet they would not listen, so You handed them over to the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, in Your great compassion, You did not put an end to them or abandon them, for You are a gracious and compassionate God.
32 “So now, our God—the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps covenant and mercy—do not let all the hardship that has befallen us seem insignificant to you—our kings, our leaders, our kohanim, our prophets, our ancestors and all Your people, from the time of the kings of Assyria to this day. 33 You are righteous in all that has come upon us. For You have acted faithfully while we have done wickedly. 34 Our kings, our leaders, our kohanim, and our ancestors have not kept Your Torah or paid attention to Your mitzvot or Your testimonies by which you have admonished them.
35 “Even in their own kingdom with the abundance of Your good things that You gave them, or with the spacious and fertile land that You set before them, they did not serve You or turn back from their evil deeds.
36 “But see, even today we are slaves! Slaves in the land that You gave to our ancestors to eat of its fruit and its bounty. We are slaves in it. 37 Its abundant produce goes to the kings You have set over us due to our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please. We are in great distress!
New Living Translation
The People Confess Their Sins
9 On October 31[a] the people assembled again, and this time they fasted and dressed in burlap and sprinkled dust on their heads. 2 Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3 They remained standing in place for three hours[b] while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. 4 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Kenani—stood on the stairway of the Levites and cried out to the Lord their God with loud voices.
5 Then the leaders of the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah—called out to the people: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, for he lives from everlasting to everlasting!” Then they prayed:
“May your glorious name be praised! May it be exalted above all blessing and praise!
6 “You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you.
7 “You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him from Ur of the Chaldeans and renamed him Abraham. 8 When he had proved himself faithful, you made a covenant with him to give him and his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites. And you have done what you promised, for you are always true to your word.
9 “You saw the misery of our ancestors in Egypt, and you heard their cries from beside the Red Sea.[c] 10 You displayed miraculous signs and wonders against Pharaoh, his officials, and all his people, for you knew how arrogantly they were treating our ancestors. You have a glorious reputation that has never been forgotten. 11 You divided the sea for your people so they could walk through on dry land! And then you hurled their enemies into the depths of the sea. They sank like stones beneath the mighty waters. 12 You led our ancestors by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night so that they could find their way.
13 “You came down at Mount Sinai and spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and instructions that were just, and decrees and commands that were good. 14 You instructed them concerning your holy Sabbath. And you commanded them, through Moses your servant, to obey all your commands, decrees, and instructions.
15 “You gave them bread from heaven when they were hungry and water from the rock when they were thirsty. You commanded them to go and take possession of the land you had sworn to give them.
16 “But our ancestors were proud and stubborn, and they paid no attention to your commands. 17 They refused to obey and did not remember the miracles you had done for them. Instead, they became stubborn and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt.[d] But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them, 18 even when they made an idol shaped like a calf and said, ‘This is your god who brought you out of Egypt!’ They committed terrible blasphemies.
19 “But in your great mercy you did not abandon them to die in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud still led them forward by day, and the pillar of fire showed them the way through the night. 20 You sent your good Spirit to instruct them, and you did not stop giving them manna from heaven or water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell!
22 “Then you helped our ancestors conquer kingdoms and nations, and you placed your people in every corner of the land.[e] They took over the land of King Sihon of Heshbon and the land of King Og of Bashan. 23 You made their descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and brought them into the land you had promised to their ancestors.
24 “They went in and took possession of the land. You subdued whole nations before them. Even the Canaanites, who inhabited the land, were powerless! Your people could deal with these nations and their kings as they pleased. 25 Our ancestors captured fortified cities and fertile land. They took over houses full of good things, with cisterns already dug and vineyards and olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate until they were full and grew fat and enjoyed themselves in all your blessings.
26 “But despite all this, they were disobedient and rebelled against you. They turned their backs on your Law, they killed your prophets who warned them to return to you, and they committed terrible blasphemies. 27 So you handed them over to their enemies, who made them suffer. But in their time of trouble they cried to you, and you heard them from heaven. In your great mercy, you sent them liberators who rescued them from their enemies.
28 “But as soon as they were at peace, your people again committed evil in your sight, and once more you let their enemies conquer them. Yet whenever your people turned and cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven. In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them many times!
29 “You warned them to return to your Law, but they became proud and obstinate and disobeyed your commands. They did not follow your regulations, by which people will find life if only they obey. They stubbornly turned their backs on you and refused to listen. 30 In your love, you were patient with them for many years. You sent your Spirit, who warned them through the prophets. But still they wouldn’t listen! So once again you allowed the peoples of the land to conquer them. 31 But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!
32 “And now, our God, the great and mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of unfailing love, do not let all the hardships we have suffered seem insignificant to you. Great trouble has come upon us and upon our kings and leaders and priests and prophets and ancestors—all of your people—from the days when the kings of Assyria first triumphed over us until now. 33 Every time you punished us you were being just. We have sinned greatly, and you gave us only what we deserved. 34 Our kings, leaders, priests, and ancestors did not obey your Law or listen to the warnings in your commands and laws. 35 Even while they had their own kingdom, they did not serve you, though you showered your goodness on them. You gave them a large, fertile land, but they refused to turn from their wickedness.
36 “So now today we are slaves in the land of plenty that you gave our ancestors for their enjoyment! We are slaves here in this good land. 37 The lush produce of this land piles up in the hands of the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They have power over us and our livestock. We serve them at their pleasure, and we are in great misery.”
The People Agree to Obey
- 9:1 Hebrew On the twenty-fourth day of that same month, the seventh month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was October 31, 445 B.c.; also see notes on 1:1 and 8:2.
- 9:3 Hebrew for a quarter of a day.
- 9:9 Hebrew sea of reeds.
- 9:17 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads in their rebellion.
- 9:22 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 9:38a Verse 9:38 is numbered 10:1 in Hebrew text.
- 9:38b Or In spite of all this.