1. Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, “The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands. But they are doing according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites,
2. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so the holy seed is mixed with the people of those lands. Yea, the hand of the princes and rulers has been chief in this sin.”
3. And when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down appalled.
4. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel was gathered to me because of the faithlessness of those who had been exiled. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.
5. And at the evening sacrifice I rose up from my fasting, even with my garment and my mantle torn, and I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God.
6. And I said, “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have increased over our heads, and our guiltiness has grown up to the heavens.
7. Since the days of our fathers we have been in great guilt to this day. And for our iniquities we, our kings, our priests, have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
8. And now for a little moment, grace has been shown from the LORD our God to leave us a remnant to escape and to give us a strong peg 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 slaves, 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 house of our God, and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10. And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,
11. Which You commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land into which you go to possess it, is an unclean land through the filthiness of the people of the lands, through their abominations which have filled it from one end to the other with their impurity.
12. And now therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity forever, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’
13. And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such a remnant as this,
14. Should we again break Your commandments and make marriages with the people that do these abominations? Would You not be angry with us until You had crushed us, so that there should be no remnant or survivor?
15. O LORD, God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is this day. Behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this.”
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