Israel Confesses Their SinsNow on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel gathered with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt upon them. 2 The seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they rose up in their place and read from the book of the law of Yahweh their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they were confessing and worshiping Yahweh their God. 4 Then Jeshua rose up on the Levites’ platform, along with Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and they cried out with a loud voice to Yahweh their God. 5 And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Rise up, bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting!
O may Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise! 6
You alone are Yahweh.
You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host,
The earth and all that is on it,
The seas and all that is in them.
You give life to all of them
And the heavenly host bows down to You. 7
You are Yahweh God,
Who chose Abram
And brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees,
And gave him the name Abraham. 8
You found his heart faithful before You,
And cut a covenant with him
To give him the land of the Canaanite,
Of the Hittite and the Amorite,
Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite—
To give it to his seed.
And You have established Your promise,
For You are righteous.
“You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt,
And heard their cry by the Red Sea. 10
Then You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,
Against all his servants and all the people of his land;
For You knew that they acted presumptuously toward them,
And made a name for Yourself as it is this day. 11
You split the sea before them,
So they passed through the midst of the sea on dry land;
And their pursuers You cast into the depths,
Like a stone into mighty waters. 12
And with a pillar of cloud You led them by day,
And with a pillar of fire by night
To light for them the way
In which they were to go. 13
Then You came down on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven;
You gave them upright judgments and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments. 14
So You made known to them Your holy sabbath,
And commanded to them commandments, statutes and law,
By the hand of Your servant Moses. 15
You gave bread from heaven for them for their hunger,
You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst,
And You said to them to enter in order to possess
The land which You swore to give them.
“But they, our fathers, acted presumptuously;
They became stiff‑necked and would not listen to Your commandments. 17
They refused to listen,
And did not remember Your wondrous deeds which You did among them;
So they became stiff‑necked and gave themselves a chief to return to their slavery in Egypt.
But You are a God of lavish forgiveness,
Gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness;
And You did not forsake them. 18
Even when they made for themselves
A molten calf
And said, ‘This is your God
Who brought you up from Egypt,’
And committed great blasphemies, 19
But You, in Your abundant compassion,
Did not forsake them in the wilderness;
The pillar of cloud did not depart from them by day,
To lead them on their way,
Nor the pillar of fire by night,
To light for them the way in which they were to go. 20
You gave Your good Spirit to give them insight,
Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth,
And You gave them water for their thirst. 21
Indeed, forty years You sustained them in the wilderness, and they did not lack;
Their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell. 22
You also gave them kingdoms and peoples,
And apportioned them to them as a boundary.
They took possession of the land of Sihon the king of Heshbon
And the land of Og the king of Bashan. 23
You made their sons numerous as the stars of heaven,
And You brought them into the land
Which You had said for their fathers to enter and possess. 24
So their sons entered and possessed the land.
And You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites,
And You gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land,
To do with them according to their desire. 25
They captured fortified cities and a rich land.
They took possession of houses full of every good thing,
Hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves,
Trees for food in abundance.
So they ate, were filled, and grew fat,
And reveled in Your great goodness.
“But they became disobedient and rebelled against You,
And cast Your law behind their backs
And killed Your prophets who had testified to them
So that they might return to You,
And they committed great blasphemies. 27
Therefore You gave them into the hand of the ones who distressed them, and they afflicted them with distress,
But at the time of their distress they cried to You,
And You listened from heaven, and according to Your abundant compassion
You gave them saviors and they saved them from the hand of the ones that distressed them. 28
But as soon as they had rest, they returned to do evil before You;
Therefore You forsook them in the hand of their enemies, so they had dominion over them.
Then they returned and cried to You. And You listened from heaven,
And many times You delivered them according to Your compassion, 29
And testified to them in order to turn them back to Your law.
Yet they acted presumptuously and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your judgments,
By which if a man does them, he shall live.
And they gave a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen. 30
However, You bore with them for many years,
And testified to them by Your Spirit by the hand of Your prophets,
Yet they would not give ear.
So You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31
Nevertheless, in Your abundant compassion You did not make a complete destruction of them or forsake them,
For You are a gracious and compassionate God.
“So now, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness,
Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You,
Which has found us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all Your people,
From the days of the kings of Assyria to this day. 33
However, You are righteous in all that has come upon us;
For You have dealt in truth, but we have acted wickedly. 34
Now our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers did not do Your law
Or pay attention to Your commandments and Your testimonies with which You testified against them. 35
But they, in their own kingdom,
With Your abundant goodness which You gave them,
With the broad and rich land which You set before them,
Did not serve You or turn from their evil deeds. 36
Behold, we are slaves today,
And as to the land which You gave to our fathers to eat of its fruit and its goodness,
Behold, we are slaves in it. 37
Its abundant produce is for the kings
Whom You have put over us because of our sins;
They also rule over our bodies
And over our cattle according to their desire,
So we are in great distress.
An Agreement Is Cut38
“Now because of all this
We are cutting an agreement in writing;
And on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.”
Signers of the DocumentNow on the sealed document were the following names:
Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah, 2
Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3
Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4
Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5
Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6
Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7
Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8
Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah. These were the priests. 9 And the Levites:
Jeshua the son of Azaniah,
Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10
also their brothers Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11
Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12
Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13
Hodiah, Bani, Beninu. 14 The heads of the people:
Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15
Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16
Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17
Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18
Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19
Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20
Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21
Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22
Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23
Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24
Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25
Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26
Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27
Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
The People Enter into an Oath28 Now the rest of the people—the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters—all those who had knowledge and understanding, 29 are joining with their relatives, their nobles, and are entering into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law, which was given by the hand of Moses, God’s servant, and to keep and to do all the commandments of Yahweh our Lord and His judgments and His statutes; 30 and that we will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons. 31 As for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, we will not receive from them on the sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt. 32 We also set ourselves under the commandments to give yearly one-third of a shekel for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the showbread, for the continual grain offering, for the continual burnt offering, the sabbaths, the new moon, for the appointed times, for the holy things and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God. 34 Likewise we cast lots for the supply of wood among the priests, the Levites, and the people, in order to bring it to the house of our God, according to our fathers’ households, at fixed times annually, to burn on the altar of Yahweh our God, as it is written in the law; 35 and to bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of Yahweh annually, 36 and to bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God. 37 We will also bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all the towns where we serve. 38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the storehouse. 39 For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of the grain, the new wine and the oil to the chambers; the utensils of the sanctuary are there, as well as the priests who are ministering and the gatekeepers and the singers. Thus we will not forsake the house of our God.