1Now when these things were done, the princes drew near to me,
saying, The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not
separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, doing according
to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites,
the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their
sons, so that the holy seed have mixed themselves with the peoples of the
lands: yes, the hand of the princes and rulers has been chief in this
3When I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and
plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down confounded.
4Then were assembled to me everyone who trembled at the words of the God
of Israel, because of the trespass of them of the captivity; and I sat
confounded until the evening offering.
5At the evening offering I arose
up from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn; and I fell on
my knees, and spread out my hands to Yahweh my God;
6and I said, my God,
I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God; for our iniquities
are increased over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up to the heavens.
7Since the days of our fathers we have been exceeding guilty to this day;
and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered
into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to
plunder, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
8Now for a little
moment grace has been shown from Yahweh our God, to leave us a remnant to
escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our
eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
9For we are
bondservants; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has
extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give
us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the ruins of it,
and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10Now, our God, what
shall we say after this? for we have forsaken your commandments,
you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, The land, to which
you go to possess it, is an unclean land through the uncleanness of the
peoples of the lands, through their abominations, which have filled it from
one end to another with their filthiness:
12now therefore don’t give your
daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters to your sons, nor seek
their peace or their prosperity forever; that you may be strong, and eat
the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children
13After all that is come on us for our evil deeds, and for our
great guilt, seeing that you our God have punished us less than our
iniquities deserve, and have given us such a remnant,
14shall we again
break your commandments, and join in affinity with the peoples that do these
abominations? would not you be angry with us until you had consumed us, so
that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?
God of Israel, you are righteous; for we are left a remnant that is escaped,
as it is this day: behold, we are before you in our guiltiness; for none can
stand before you because of this.