The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“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, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.

And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.

Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.

And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God,

And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, 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.

And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto 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 the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments,

Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, 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 uncleanness.

Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.

And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this;

Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?

O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.”  – Ezra 9 (KJV)

One Comment

  1. 1 Now when these things had been completed, the leaders approached me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, who live according to their detestable practices—the practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. 2 They have taken wives from their daughters for themselves and for their sons. They have thereby mixed the holy seed with the peoples of the lands, and the leaders and officials have taken the lead in this unfaithfulness!”

    3 Then when I heard about this situation, I tore my clothing and my robe, and I pulled out some of the hair on my head and my beard and sat down appalled. 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the unfaithfulness of the exiles, was gathered around me as I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice. 5 At the time of the evening sacrifice, I arose from my self-humiliation, and with my clothing and my robe torn, I got down on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God.

    Ezra’s Prayer
    6 I said:

    My God, I am ashamed and too embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, because our sinful deeds[a] have risen above our heads, and our guilt is so great that it reaches to the heavens. 7 From the days of our ancestors until today, we have been extremely guilty. Because of our sinful deeds, we, our kings, and our priests have been turned over to the kings of the lands—by sword, by captivity, by plunder, and today by humiliation.

    8 Now, for a short time, mercy has been shown to us from the Lord our God, in order to leave us a remnant that has escaped and to give us a stake in his Holy Place, so that our God may give light to our eyes and give us a little relief in our slavery, 9 because we are slaves. However, even in our slavery our God has not abandoned us but has extended favor to us before the kings of Persia in order to give us relief, to raise up the house of our God and to restore its ruins, and to give us a protective wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

    10 Now, what can we say after this, our God? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11 which you commanded through your servants the prophets when you said, “The land which you are entering to possess is a land polluted with the filth of the peoples of the lands and with their detestable practices that fill it from end to end with their impurity. 12 So now, do not give your daughters to their sons, and do not take their daughters as wives for your sons. Never seek their welfare or their prosperity, so that you may be strong and may eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance for your children forever.”

    13 After everything that has come upon us because of our evil acts and our extreme guilt, nevertheless you, our God, have punished us less than we deserved and have given us a remnant that has escaped like this. 14 Should we break your commandments again by intermarrying with the peoples who commit these detestable practices? Wouldn’t you remain angry with us until you completely destroyed us and left us without a survivor or a remnant that has escaped?

    15 Lord, God of Israel, it is because you are righteous that we are left with a remnant today. Here we are before you in our guilt, but no one can stand before you because of this. – Ezra 9 (EHV)

    [a] Ezra 9:6 The Hebrew uses two different words for guilt in this prayer. One is rendered sinful deeds.

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