EZRA CHAPTER NINE

EZRA CHAPTER NINE

1 When these things had been done, the

   leaders came

To me and said, “The Israelites and priests

And Levites have not set themselves apart

From peoples of the lands around here, with

Respect to the abominations of

The Canaanites and Hittites, Perizzites

And Jebusites, the Ammonites, Egyptians

          And Moabites and Amorites. 2 For they

Have taken some of their own daughters as

Wives for themselves and their own sons, so that

The holy seed is mixed with peoples of

Those lands. Indeed, the hand of leaders and

Rulers has led this trespass.” 3 When I heard

This thing, I tore my garment and my robe,

Plucked some hair from my head and

   beard, and sat

Down stunned. 4 Then everyone who trembled at

Words of the God of Israel assembled

Around me, due to the misdeeds of those

Who had been taken captive, and I sat

Amazed until the evening sacrifice,

5 And at the evening sacrifice I got

Ezra in Prayer

Up from my fasting; having torn my robe

And garment, I fell on my knees and spread

My hands out to the Lord my God. 6 And I

Said: “O my God, I’m too ashamed and too

Humiliated to lift up my face

To You, my God; for our iniquities

Have risen higher than our heads; our guilt

Has grown up to the heavens. 7 Since the days

Our fathers lived, down to this day we have

Been guilty, and for our iniquities

We and our kings and priests have been delivered

Into the hand of kings who rule the lands,

And to the sword, and to captivity,

To plunder and humiliation, as

It is this day; 8 now for a little while

The Lord our God has shown us grace, to leave

For us a remnant to escape, and to

Give us a peg inside His holy place,

So our God may illuminate our eyes

          And give us some revival in our bondage,

9 For we were slaves, but in our bondage our

Own God did not forsake us, but instead

He has extended mercy to us in

The sight of Persia’s kings, to energize

Us, to repair our God’s house and rebuild

Its ruins, and to give a wall to us

In Judah and Jerusalem. 10 Now, O

Our God, what shall we utter after this?

For we’ve forsaken Your commandments, 11 which

You ordered by Your prophet-servants, saying,

‘The land which you are going in to own

          Is unclean, with the dirtiness of peoples

Of lands, with their abominations which

Have filled it up from one end to another

With their impurity. 12 Now therefore, do

Not give your daughters to be wives for their

Own sons, nor take their daughters to your sons;

And never seek their peace or riches, that

You may be strong and eat the land’s

    good fruit,

And you’ll leave it as an inheritance

Forever to your children.’ 13 After all

That has come on us for our evil deeds

And for our guilt, since You our God have punished

Us less than our misdeeds deserve, and have

Given us such deliverance as this,

14 Should we break Your commandments

   once more; join

In marriage with the people who commit

These horrors? Would You not be

   angry with

Us ‘til You had consumed us, so that there

Would be no remnant or survivor? 15 O

Lord God of Israel, You’re righteous, for

We’re left, a remnant, as it is this day.

Here we are in front of You, in our guilt,

Though none can stand before You due

   to this!”

Ezra Kneels in Prayer