The People Confess Their Sins

Now on the twenty-fourth day of (A)this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, (B)and with [a]dust on their heads. Then (C)those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and (D)confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and (E)read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the [b]stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said:

“Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever!

“Blessed be (F)Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
(G)You alone are the Lord;
(H)You have made heaven,
(I)The heaven of heavens, with (J)all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You (K)preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You.

“You are the Lord God,
Who chose (L)Abram,
And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans,
And gave him the name (M)Abraham;
You found his heart (N)faithful before You,
And made a (O)covenant with him
To give the land of the Canaanites,
The Hittites, the Amorites,
The Perizzites, the Jebusites,
And the Girgashites—
To give it to his descendants.
You (P)have performed Your words,
For You are righteous.

“You(Q) saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt,
And (R)heard their cry by the Red Sea.
10 You (S)showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,
Against all his servants,
And against all the people of his land.
For You knew that they (T)acted [c]proudly against them.
So You (U)made a name for Yourself, as it is this day.
11 (V)And You divided the sea before them,
So that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land;
And their persecutors You threw into the deep,
(W)As a stone into the mighty waters.
12 Moreover You (X)led them by day with a cloudy pillar,
And by night with a pillar of fire,
To give them light on the road
Which they should travel.

13 “You(Y) came down also on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven,
And gave them (Z)just ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.
14 You made known to them Your (AA)holy Sabbath,
And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws,
By the hand of Moses Your servant.
15 You (AB)gave them bread from heaven for their hunger,
And (AC)brought them water out of the rock for their thirst,
And told them to (AD)go in to possess the land
Which You had [d]sworn to give them.

16 “But(AE) they and our fathers acted [e]proudly,
(AF)Hardened[f] their necks,
And did not heed Your commandments.
17 They refused to obey,
And (AG)they were not mindful of Your wonders
That You did among them.
But they hardened their necks,
And [g]in their rebellion
They appointed (AH)a leader
To return to their bondage.
But You are God,
Ready to pardon,
(AI)Gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did not forsake them.

18 “Even (AJ)when they made a molded calf for themselves,
And said, ‘This is your god
That brought you up out of Egypt,’
And worked great provocations,
19 Yet in Your (AK)manifold mercies
You did not forsake them in the wilderness.
The (AL)pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day,
To lead them on the road;
Nor the pillar of fire by night,
To show them light,
And the way they should go.
20 You also gave Your (AM)good Spirit to instruct them,
And did not withhold Your (AN)manna from their mouth,
And gave them (AO)water for their thirst.
21 (AP)Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness;
They lacked nothing;
Their (AQ)clothes did not wear out
And their feet did not swell.

22 “Moreover You gave them kingdoms and nations,
And divided them into [h]districts.
So they took possession of the land of (AR)Sihon,
[i]The land of the king of Heshbon,
And the land of Og king of Bashan.
23 You also multiplied (AS)their children as the stars of heaven,
And brought them into the land
Which You had told their fathers
To go in and possess.
24 So (AT)the [j]people went in
And possessed the land;
(AU)You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land,
The Canaanites,
And gave them into their hands,
With their kings
And the people of the land,
That they might do with them as they wished.
25 And they took strong cities and a (AV)rich land,
And possessed (AW)houses full of all goods,
Cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves,
And [k]fruit trees in abundance.
So they ate and were filled and (AX)grew fat,
And delighted themselves in Your great (AY)goodness.

26 “Nevertheless they (AZ)were disobedient
And rebelled against You,
(BA)Cast Your law behind their backs
And killed Your (BB)prophets, who [l]testified against them
To turn them to Yourself;
And they worked great provocations.
27 (BC)Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies,
Who oppressed them;
And in the time of their trouble,
When they cried to You,
You (BD)heard from heaven;
And according to Your abundant mercies
(BE)You gave them deliverers who saved them
From the hand of their enemies.

28 “But after they had rest,
(BF)They again did evil before You.
Therefore You left them in the hand of their enemies,
So that they had dominion over them;
Yet when they returned and cried out to You,
You heard from heaven;
And (BG)many times You delivered them according to Your mercies,
29 And [m]testified against them,
That You might bring them back to Your law.
Yet they acted [n]proudly,
And did not heed Your commandments,
But sinned against Your judgments,
(BH)‘Which if a man does, he shall live by them.’
And they shrugged their shoulders,
[o]Stiffened their necks,
And would not hear.
30 Yet for many years You had patience with them,
And [p]testified (BI)against them by Your Spirit (BJ)in Your prophets.
Yet they would not listen;
(BK)Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
31 Nevertheless in Your great mercy
(BL)You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them;
For You are God, gracious and merciful.

32 “Now therefore, our God,
The great, the (BM)mighty, and awesome God,
Who keeps covenant and mercy:
Do not let all the [q]trouble seem small before You
That has come upon us,
Our kings and our princes,
Our priests and our prophets,
Our fathers and on all Your people,
(BN)From the days of the kings of Assyria until this day.
33 However (BO)You are just in all that has befallen us;
For You have dealt faithfully,
But (BP)we have done wickedly.
34 Neither our kings nor our princes,
Our priests nor our fathers,
Have kept Your law,
Nor heeded Your commandments and Your testimonies,
With which You testified against them.
35 For they have (BQ)not served You in their kingdom,
Or in the many good things that You gave them,
Or in the large and rich land which You set before them;
Nor did they turn from their wicked works.

36 “Here (BR)we are, servants today!
And the land that You gave to our fathers,
To eat its fruit and its bounty,
Here we are, servants in it!
37 And (BS)it yields much increase to the kings
You have set over us,
Because of our sins;
Also they have (BT)dominion over our bodies and our cattle
At their pleasure;
And we are in great distress.

38 “And because of all this,
We (BU)make a sure covenant and write it;
Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests (BV)seal it.


  1. Nehemiah 9:1 Lit. earth on them
  2. Nehemiah 9:4 Lit. ascent
  3. Nehemiah 9:10 presumptuously or insolently
  4. Nehemiah 9:15 Lit. raised Your hand to
  5. Nehemiah 9:16 presumptuously
  6. Nehemiah 9:16 Stiffened their necks, became stubborn
  7. Nehemiah 9:17 So with MT, Vg.; LXX in Egypt
  8. Nehemiah 9:22 Lit. corners
  9. Nehemiah 9:22 So with MT, Vg.; LXX omits The land of
  10. Nehemiah 9:24 Lit. sons
  11. Nehemiah 9:25 Lit. trees for eating
  12. Nehemiah 9:26 admonished or warned them
  13. Nehemiah 9:29 admonished them
  14. Nehemiah 9:29 presumptuously
  15. Nehemiah 9:29 Became stubborn
  16. Nehemiah 9:30 admonished or warned them
  17. Nehemiah 9:32 hardship

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