Nehemiah Chapter 9  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Neh 9
National Confession of Sin

1Now in the 24th day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting and with sackcloth and dirt on them.
  2The seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
  3They stood up in their place and read in the book of the law of Yahweh their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they confessed and worshiped Yahweh their God.
  4Then Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani of the Levites stood up on the stairs and cried out with a loud voice to Yahweh their God.
  5Then the Levites, Jeshua and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah said, “Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting!

 “Blessed be your glorious name,

 which is exalted above all blessing and praise!

 6 You are Yahweh, even you alone.

 You have made heaven,

 the heaven of heavens with all their army,

 the earth and all things that are on it,

 the seas and all that is in them,

 and you preserve them all.

 The army of heaven worships you.

 7 You are Yahweh,

 the God who chose Abram

 and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees,

 and gave him the name of Abraham

 8 and found his heart faithful before you,

 and cut a covenant with him

 to give the land of the Canaanite,

 the Hittite, the Amorite and the Perizzite,

 and the Jebusite and the Girgashite,

 to give it to his seed,

 and have performed your words;

 for you are righteous.

“You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt

 and heard their cry by the Red Sea,

 10 and showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh

 and against all his servants and against all the people of his land;

 for you knew that they dealt proudly against them

 and made a name for yourself,

 as it is this day.

 11 You divided the sea before them

 so that they went through the middle of the sea on the dry land,

 and you cast their pursuers into the depths

 as a stone into the mighty waters.

 12 Moreover, in a pillar of cloud you led them by day,

 and in a pillar of fire by night,

 to give them light in the way in which they should go.

 13 You came down also on Mount Sinai

 and spoke with them from heaven

 and gave them right ordinances and true laws,

 good statutes and commandments,

 14 and made known to them your holy Sabbath,

 and commanded them commandments and statutes

 and a law by Moses your servant,

 15 and gave them bread from heaven for their hunger

 and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst,

 and commanded them that they should go in to possess the land

 that you had sworn to give them.

“But they and our fathers dealt proudly

 and hardened their necks, and did not listen to your commands,

 17 and refused to obey;

 nor did they keep in mind your wonders

 that you did among them,

 but they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader

 to return to their slavery in Egypt.

 But you are a God ready to pardon,

 gracious and merciful,

 slow to anger and abundant in covenant faithfulness,

 and did not forsake them.

 18 Yes, when they had made themselves a cast metal calf and said,

 ‘This is your god who brought you up out of Egypt,’

 and had committed awful blasphemies,

 19 yet you in your manifold mercies

 didn’t forsake them in the wilderness;

 the pillar of cloud

 didn’t depart from over them by day,

 to lead them in the way,

 neither the pillar of fire by night,

 to show them light and the way in which they should go.

 20 You also gave your good spirit to instruct them

 and didn’t withhold your manna from their mouth,

 and gave them water for their thirst.

 21 Yes, forty years you sustained them in the wilderness.

 They lacked nothing.

 Their clothes didn’t grow old

 and their feet didn’t swell.

“Moreover you gave them kingdoms and peoples

 that you allotted according to their portions.

 So they possessed the land of Sihon,

 even the land of the king of Heshbon,

 and the land of Og king of Bashan.

 23 You also multiplied their children

 as the stars of heaven

 and brought them into the land

 concerning which you said to their fathers that they should go in to possess it.

 24 So the children went in and possessed the land,

 and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites,

 and gave them into their hands,

 with their kings and the peoples of the land,

 that they might do with them as they pleased.

 25 They took fortified cities and a rich land,

 and possessed houses full of all good things,

 cisterns dug out, vineyards

 and olive groves and fruit trees in abundance.

 So they ate, were filled,

 became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.

“Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against you

 and cast your law behind their back,

 and killed your prophets

 that testified against them

 to turn them again to you,

 and they committed awful blasphemies.

 27 Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries

 who distressed them.

 In the time of their trouble, when they cried out to you,

 you heard from heaven;

 and according to your manifold mercies

 you gave them saviors who saved them

 out of the hand of their adversaries.

 28 But after they had rest,

 they did evil again before you;

 therefore left you them in the hand of their enemies

 so that they had the dominion over them;

 yet when they returned and cried out to you,

 you heard from heaven,

 and many times you delivered them according to your mercies

 29 and testified against them, that you might bring them again to your law.

 Yet they dealt proudly

 and did not listen to your commandments,

 but sinned against your ordinances,

 (which if a man does, he will live by them)

 turned their backs,

 stiffened their necks, and would not hear.

 30 Yet many years you put up with them

 and testified against them by your spirit through the hand of your prophets.

 Yet they would not give ear.

 Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.

 31 Nevertheless in your manifold mercies

 you did not make a full end of them, nor forsake them;

 for you are a gracious and merciful God.

“Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty,

 and the awesome God who keeps covenant and covenant faithfulness,

 do not let all the travail that has come on us seem little to you,

 on our kings, on our leaders

 and on our priests, and on our prophets,

 and on our fathers, and on all your people

 since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day.

 33 However you are righteous in all that has come on us

 because you have dealt truly,

 but we have done wickedly,

 34 nor have our kings, our leaders, our priests,

 nor our fathers kept your law,

 nor listened to your commandments

 and your testimonies with which you testified against them.

 35 For they have not served you in their kingdom,

 and in your great goodness that you gave them

 and in the large and rich land that you gave before them,

 neither did they turn from their wicked works.

“Behold, we are servants this day,

 and as for the land that you gave to our fathers

 to eat its fruit and its good,

 behold, we are servants in it.

 37 It yields much increase to the kings

 whom you have set over us

 because of our sins:

 also they have power over our bodies

 and over our livestock at their pleasure,

 and we are in great distress.”

Israel’s Vow of Faithfulness

38Now because of all this, we cut a firm covenant, and write it, and our officials, our Levites, and our priests seal it.

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