9 On the twenty-fourth day of that same month [October 31], the people of Israel ·gathered [assembled]. They fasted, and they wore ·rough cloth [sackcloth] and put dust on their heads [C signs of grief or repentance]. 2 ·Those people whose ancestors were from Israel [L The seed of Israel] had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood and confessed their sins and their ancestors’ ·sins [iniquities]. 3 For a fourth of the day [C three hours] they stood where they were and read from the ·Book [scroll] of the ·Teachings [Laws; Instructions; L Torah] of the Lord their God. For another fourth of the day they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. 4 These Levites were standing on the stairs: Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Kenani. They called out to the Lord their God with loud voices. 5 Then these Levites spoke: Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah. They said, “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who lives ·forever and ever [from age to age/everlasting to everlasting].”
“Blessed be your ·wonderful [glorious] name. ·It is more wonderful than [May it be exalted above] all blessing and praise. 6 You ·are the only [alone are the]Lord. You made the ·heavens [sky], even the ·highest [L heavens of the] heavens, with all ·the stars [L their hosts]. You made the earth and everything on it, the seas and everything in them; you give life to everything. The heavenly ·army [host] worships you.
7 “You are the ·Lord, the God [orLord God,] who chose Abram and brought him ·out of [forth from] Ur ·in Babylonia [L of the Chaldeans; Gen. 12:1–3] and named [C renamed] him Abraham [Gen. 17:5]. 8 You found ·him [L his heart] faithful to you, so you made an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with him to give his ·descendants [L seed] the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites. You have ·kept [fulfilled] your ·promise [word], because you ·do what is right [are righteous].
9 “You saw our ·ancestors [fathers] ·suffering [miserable; afflicted; in distress] in Egypt and heard them cry out ·at [beside] the ·Red Sea [L Sea of Reeds; Ex. 14–15]. 10 You ·did [performed; displayed] signs and ·miracles [wonders] against ·the king of Egypt [L Pharaoh], and against all his ·officers [officials; servants] and all the people of his land, because you knew how ·proud [arrogant; insolent] they were to them [C Israel’s ancestors]. You ·became as famous [L made a name for yourself] ·as you are today [which remains to this day]. 11 You ·divided [split; opened] the sea in front of ·our ancestors [L them]; they ·walked [passed] through the sea on dry ground [Ex. 14–15]. But you threw ·the people chasing them into the deep water [their pursuers into the depths], like a stone thrown into ·mighty [raging; surging] waters. 12 You ·led [guided] ·our ancestors [L them] with a ·pillar [column] of cloud by day and with a ·pillar [column] of fire at night [Ex. 13:21]. It lit the way they were supposed to go. 13 You came down ·to [on; at] Mount Sinai and spoke from heaven to ·our ancestors [L them]. You gave them ·fair [just] ·rules [judgments] and true ·teachings [laws; instructions; L Torah], good ·orders [statutes; ordinances; requirements] and commands. 14 You ·told [revealed; made known to] them about your holy Sabbath [Ex. 20:8–11; Deut. 5:12–15] and gave them commands, ·orders [statutes; ordinances; requirements], and ·teachings [laws; instructions; L Torah] through your servant Moses. 15 When they were hungry, you gave them bread from heaven [C the manna; Ex. 16:31]. When they were thirsty, you brought them water from ·the [a] rock [Ex. 17:1–7; Num. 20:1–13]. You told them to enter and ·take over [possess] the land you had ·promised [sworn; L raised your hand] to give them.
16 “But ·our ancestors [L they, our fathers,] were ·proud [arrogant; insolent] and ·stubborn [rebellious; L stiff-necked] and did not ·obey [listen/pay attention to] your commands. 17 They refused to ·listen [obey]; they ·forgot [L did not remember/recall] the ·miracles [wonders] you ·did [performed] ·for [among] them. So they became ·stubborn [rebellious; L stiff-necked], ·choosing [appointing] a leader to take them back to slavery in Egypt.[a] But you are a forgiving God. You are ·kind [gracious] and ·full of mercy [compassionate]. You ·do not become angry quickly [T are slow to anger], and ·you have great [abounding in unfailing/steadfast] love [compare Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:18; Ps. 86:15, 145:8; Joel 2:13] So you did not ·leave [abandon; desert; forsake] them. 18 ·Our ancestors [L They] even ·made [cast] a calf [C as an idol] for themselves. They said, ‘This is your god who brought you up out of Egypt [Ex. 32].’ They ·spoke against you [L committed great blasphemies].
19 “You have great ·mercy [compassion], so you did not ·leave [abandon; desert; forsake] them in the ·desert [wilderness]. The pillar of cloud ·guided them by day [L did not turn from them by day in guiding them in the path], ·and the pillar of fire led them at night, lighting the way they were to go [nor did the pillar of fire stop illuminating for them by night the path on which they should travel]. 20 You ·gave [sent; imparted] your good Spirit to ·teach [instruct] them. You ·gave them manna to eat [L did not withhold manna from their mouth] and gave them water when they were thirsty. 21 You ·took care of [sustained; provided for] them for forty years in the ·desert [wilderness]; they ·needed [lacked] nothing. Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell.
22 “You gave them kingdoms and ·nations [peoples; C to conquer]; you ·gave them more land [put them in every corner; L allotted/allocated to them every corner/frontier]. They ·took over [took possession of; inherited] the country of Sihon king of Heshbon and the country of Og king of Bashan [Num. 21:21–33]. 23 You made their ·children [descendants; sons] as ·many [numerous] as the stars ·in the sky [of heaven; Gen. 15:5; 22:17; 26:4], and you brought them into the land that you told their ·ancestors [fathers] to enter and ·take over [possess]. 24 So their ·children [descendants; sons] went into the land and took ·over [possession]. The Canaanites lived there, but you ·defeated them for [subdued them before] our ancestors. You handed over to them the Canaanites, their kings, and the ·people [peoples] of the land. ·Our ancestors [L They] could ·do what they wanted with them [deal with them as they pleased]. 25 They captured ·strong, walled [fortified] cities and fertile land. They took over houses full of good things, ·wells [cisterns] that were already dug, vineyards, olive ·trees [groves], and ·many [abundant] fruit trees. They ate until they were full and grew fat; they ·enjoyed [reveled; delighted themselves in] your great goodness.
26 “But they were disobedient and ·turned [rebelled] against you and ·ignored [turned their backs on] your ·teachings [laws; instructions; L Torah]. Your prophets ·warned [admonished] them to come back to you, but they killed those prophets and ·spoke against you [L committed great blasphemies]. 27 So you handed them over to their ·enemies [oppressors], and their ·enemies treated them badly [oppressors oppressed them]. But in this time of ·trouble [distress; suffering; misery] ·our ancestors [L they] cried out to you, and you heard from heaven. You had great ·mercy [compassion] and gave them ·saviors [liberators; T deliverers] who ·saved [rescued] them from the ·power [hand] of their ·enemies [oppressors]. 28 But as soon as they had ·rest [peace], they again ·did what was [committed] evil. So you ·left [abandoned; deserted; forsook] them to [L the hand of] their ·enemies [oppressors] who ·ruled over [conquered; oppressed] them. When they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven. Because of your ·mercy [compassion], you ·saved them again [rescued them time] and again. 29 You ·warned [admonished] them to return to your ·teachings [laws; instructions; L Torah], but they were ·proud [arrogant; insolent] and did not ·obey [listen to] your commands. If someone ·obeys [observes] your ·laws [judgments], he will live, but they sinned against ·your laws [L them]. They ·were stubborn [L turned a stubborn shoulder], ·unwilling [rebellious; L stiff-necked], and ·disobedient [rebellious]. 30 You ·were patient [T bore] with them for many years and ·warned [admonished] them by your Spirit through ·the [your] prophets, but they did not ·pay attention [L give ear]. So you handed them over to ·other countries [L the peoples of the lands]. 31 But because your ·mercy [compassion] is great, you did not ·kill [destroy; L make an end of] them all or ·leave [abandon; desert; forsake] them. You are a ·kind [gracious] and ·merciful [compassionate] God.
32 “And so, our God, you are the great and ·mighty [powerful] and ·wonderful [awesome] God. You keep your ·agreement [covenant/treaty] of ·love [faithful/steadfast/unfailing love; lovingkindness]. Do not let all our ·trouble [hardship] seem ·unimportant [inconsequential; L small] ·to you [L in your sight]. This trouble has come to us, to our kings and our ·leaders [officials], to our priests and prophets, to our ·ancestors [fathers] and all your people from the days of the kings of Assyria ·until today [to this very day]. 33 You have been ·fair [just; righteous] in everything that has happened to us; you have ·been loyal [been faithful; L done truth], but we have ·been wicked [acted wickedly/wrongly]. 34 Our kings, ·leaders [officials], priests, and ·ancestors [fathers] did not obey your ·teachings [laws; instructions; L Torah]; they did not pay attention to the commands and ·warnings [decrees; testimonies] you gave them. 35 Even when ·our ancestors [L they] were living in their kingdom, ·enjoying [benefiting from] all the good things you ·had given [lavished/bestowed on] them, ·enjoying [benefiting from] the land that was ·fertile and full of room [rich and spacious], they did not ·stop [serve you and turn from] their evil ·ways [deeds; practices].
36 “·Look [T Behold], we are slaves today in the land you gave our ·ancestors [fathers]. ·They were to enjoy [L …to eat] its fruit and its good things, but ·look [T behold], we are slaves here. 37 The land’s ·great [abundant] ·harvest [produce] belongs to the kings you have ·put [set; placed] over us because of our sins. Those kings rule over ·us [L our bodies] and our cattle as they please, so we are in ·much trouble [great distress/misery].
The People’s Covenant
38 “Because of all this, we are making an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] in writing, and our ·leaders [officials], Levites, and priests are putting their seals on it.”
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