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Ezra 9

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 1 Now when these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, "The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

 2 For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the leading men and rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness."

 3 Now when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my cloak, and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled.

 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered to me, because of the transgression of those returned exiles, and I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.

 5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose from my heaviness with my garment and my cloak torn, and I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God,

 6 And said, "O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.

 7 Since the days of our forefathers to this day our guilt has been great. And because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to shame, as it is this day.

 8 And now, for a brief moment, grace has been shown us from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape and to give us a peg [a secure hold] in his holy place, so that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

 9 For we were bondmen; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving to set up the temple of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

 10 And now, O our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken your commands,

 11 Which you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land that you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their impurity.

 12  Now therefore, do not give your daughters as wives to their sons or take their daughters for your sons; and never seek their peace or prosperity or friendship, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.'

 13 And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such an escaped remnant as this,

 14 Shall we again break your commands and join in marriage with the peoples of these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you had consumed us, so that there whould be no remnant nor any who escape?

 15 O LORD God of Israel, you are righteous, for we are left this day as a remnant who has escaped. Behold, we are before you in our guilt, though because of it none can stand before you."


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