Nehemiah 9
Berean Study Bible Par ▾ 

The People Confess Their Sins

1On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth, with dust on their heads. 2Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all the foreigners, and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.

3While they stood in their places, they read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day, and they spent another quarter of the day in confession and worship of the LORD their God.

4And the Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani—stood on the raised platform and cried out in a loud voice to the LORD their God. 5Then the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah—said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting:

‘Blessed be Your glorious name,

and may it be exalted

above all blessing and praise.

6You alone are the LORD.

You created the heavens,

the highest heavens with all their host,

the earth and all that is on it,

the seas and all that is in them.

You give life to all things,

and the host of heaven worships You.

7You are the LORD,

the God who chose Abram,

who brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans

and gave him the name Abraham.

8You found his heart faithful before You,

and made a covenant with him

to give the land

of the Canaanites and Hittites,

of the Amorites and Perizzites,

of the Jebusites and Girgashites,

to give it to his descendants.

You have kept Your promise,

because You are righteous.

9You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt;

You heard their cry at the Red Sea.a

10You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,

all his officials, and all the people of his land,

for You knew they had acted with arrogance

against our fathers.

You made a name for Yourself

that endures to this day.

11You divided the sea before them,

and they crossed through it on dry ground.

You hurled their pursuers into the depths

like a stone into raging waters.

12You led them with a pillar of cloud by day,

and a pillar of fire by night,

to light for them the way

which they should travel.

13You came down on Mount Sinai,

and spoke to them from heaven.

You gave them just ordinances, true laws,

and good statutes and commandments.

14You revealed to them Your holy Sabbath,

and gave them commandments

and statutes and laws

through Your servant Moses.

15In their hunger You gave them bread from heaven;

in their thirst You brought them water from the rock.

You told them to go in and possess the land

which You had sworn to give them.

16But they and our fathers became arrogant and stiff-necked

and did not obey Your commandments.

17They refused to listen and failed to remember

the wonders You performed among them.

They stiffened their necks and appointed a leader

to return them to their bondage.

But You are a forgiving God,

gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in loving devotion,

and You did not forsake them.

18Even after they had cast for themselves

an image of a calf and said,

“This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,”

and they had committed terrible blasphemies,

19You in Your great compassion

did not forsake them in the wilderness.

By day the pillar of cloud never turned away

from guiding them on their path;

and by the night the pillar of fire

illuminated the way they should go.

20You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them.

You did not withhold Your manna from their mouths,

and You gave them water for their thirst.

21For forty years You sustained them in the wilderness,

so that they lacked nothing.

Their clothes did not wear out,

and their feet did not swell.

22You gave them kingdoms and peoples

and allotted to them every corner of the land.

So they took the land of Sihonb king of Heshbon

and of Og king of Bashan.

23You multiplied their descendants

like the stars of heaven

and brought them to the land

You had told their fathers to enter and possess.

24So their descendants went in and possessed the land;

You subdued before them the Canaanites dwelling in the land.

You delivered into their hands the kings and peoples of the land,

to do with them as they wished.

25They captured fortified cities and fertile land

and took houses full of all goods,

wells already dug,

vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance.

So they ate and were filled;

they grew fat and delighted in Your great goodness.

26But they were disobedient and rebelled against You;

they flung Your law behind their backs.

They killed Your prophets who had admonished them to return to You.

They committed terrible blasphemies.

27So You delivered them into the hands of enemies who oppressed them,

and in their time of distress they cried out to You.

From heaven You heard them,

and in Your great compassion You gave them deliverers

who rescued them from the hands of their enemies.

28But as soon as they had rest,

they again did evil in Your sight.

So You abandoned them to the hands of their enemies,

who had dominion over them.

When they cried out to You again,

You heard from heaven,

and You delivered them many times

in Your compassion.

29You admonished them to turn back to Your law,

but they were arrogant and disobeyed Your commandments.

They sinned against Your ordinances,

by which a man will live if he practices them.

They stubbornly shrugged their shoulders;

they stiffened their necks and would not obey.

30Yet You were patient with them for many years,

and Your Spirit admonished them through Your prophets,

but they would not listen;

so You gave them into the hands of the people of the land.

31But in Your great compassion,

You did not put an end to them;

nor did You forsake them,

for You are a gracious and compassionate God.

32So now, our God, the great and mighty and awesome God

who keeps His gracious covenant,

do not view lightly all the hardship

that has come upon us,

and upon our kings and leaders,

our priests and prophets,

our ancestors and all Your people,

from the days of the kings of Assyria until today.

33You are just in all that has befallen us,

because You have acted faithfully,

while we have acted wickedly.

34Our kings and leaders and priests and fathers

did not obey Your law

or listen to Your commandments

and warnings that You gave them.

35For even while they were in their kingdom,

with the abundant goodness You had given them,

and in the spacious and fertile land You set before them,

they would not serve You or turn from their wicked ways.

36So here we are today,

slaves in the land You gave our fathers

to enjoy its fruit and its goodness.

And here we are as slaves!

37Its abundant harvest goes to the kings

You have set over us because of our sins.

And they rule over our bodies and our livestock as they please.

We are in great distress.’

38In view of all this, we make a binding agreement, putting it in writing and sealing it with the names ofc our leaders, Levites, and priests.”

Footnotes:

9 a Or the Sea of Reeds
22 b One Hebrew manuscript and LXX; most Hebrew manuscripts Sihon, the country of the
38 c Hebrew does not include the names of

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