Nehemiah 9:1-38

9  And on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel came together with fasting and in sackcloths and with earth on them, 2  and the descendants of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the guilts of their fathers. 3 * And they stood up in their places, and they read from the book of their God Jehovah’s code a quarter of the day, and a quarter they were confessing and doing reverence to their God Jehovah. 4 *** And Jeshuaʽ and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, Kanani, stood up on the Levites’ platform, and they cried out in a loud voice to their God Jehovah. 5 *** And the Levites Jeshuaʽ and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabnejah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, Pethahiah, said “Stand up, bless your God Jehovah, and let them bless your name, glorious and exalted above all blessing and praise! 6  “You it was, Jehovah, you alone, that made the sky, the sky of the sky, and all its legions, the earth and everything on it, the seas and everything in them, and you give life to them all, and the legions of the sky do reverence to you. 7  You it was, Jehovah God, that called Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham, 8  and found his heart loyal before you and made a covenant with him to give the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites and the Jebusites and the Girgashites to his descendants, and made good your words because you are a doer of right. 9  “And you saw the wretched state of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry at the Red Sea, 10  and dealt out tokens and miracles upon the Pharaoh and all his officers and all the people of his country because you knew they had been arrogant against them, and you made yourself famous as at this day. 11  And you split the sea apart before them, and took them across through the middle of the sea on dry land, and threw their pursuers into depths of ooze like a stone into a mighty water; 12  and you led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to light up for them the road they were to go on. 13  And on Mount Sinai you came down and spoke with them out of the sky and gave them correct laws and true rulings, good institutions and commandments, 14  and made known to them your holy sabbath, and enjoined on them commandments and institutions and rulings through your servant Moses, 15  and gave them bread out of the sky for their hunger and brought them out water from a crag for their thirst, and told them to go in to take possession of the country you had pledged yourself to give to them. 16  “But they, our fathers, were headstrong and stiffened up their necks and did not listen to your commandments; 17  and they refused to listen, and did not remember your wonders that you had done in their presence, but stiffened up their necks and elected a chief to go back to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God of forgiveness, kindly and tenderhearted, patient and very friendly, and did not abandon them, 18  even when they made themselves a metal calf and said ‘This is your God that brought you up out of Egypt’ and committed acts of great contumely; 19  you in your great tenderheartedness did not abandon them in the wilderness: the pillar of cloud never left its place over them by day, guiding them on the road, and the pillar of fire by night to light up for them the road they were to go on; 20  and you gave your good Spirit to enlighten them, and did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and gave them water for their thirst, 21  and for forty years you supported them in the wilderness: they were in want of nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. 22 * “And you gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted them for frontier, and they took possession of the country of King Sihon of Heshbon and the country of King ‘Og of the Bashan. 23  And you made their sons numerous as the stars in the sky, and brought them into the country you had told their fathers to go into to take possession. 24 * And the sons went in and took possession of the country, and you humbled before them the inhabitants of the country, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, and their kings and the peoples of the country, to do as they pleased with. 25 * And they took fortified cities and fat soil, and got possession of houses full of good things, rock-hewn cisterns, vineyards and olive-trees and fruit-trees in great numbers, and they ate and had their fill and grew fat and lived in luxury by your great goodness. 26  “But they were disobedient and rebelled against you and threw your code behind their backs, and killed your prophets who had testified to them to bring them back to you, and committed acts of great contumely; and you gave them into the hands of their foes and they distressed them. 27 * And in their distress they would cry out to you, and you in heaven would hear and, in accordance with your great tenderheartedness, would give them saviors who saved them out of the hands of their foes. 28 * But when they were at rest they would go back to doing bad things before you, and you left them in their enemies’ hands and they had them at their mercy; and they went back to crying out to you, and you in heaven would hear and, in accordance with your great tenderheartedness, would deliver them. 29  And you testified to them to bring them back to your code; but they were headstrong and did not listen to your commands and sinned against your laws, which men should conform to and have life by them, and turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened up their necks and did not listen. 30  And you kept on with them many years, and testified to them by your Spirit through your prophets, but they did not give ear, and you gave them into the hands of the peoples of the countries. 31  But in your great tenderness you did not finish them off nor abandon them, because you are a kindly and tenderhearted Deity. 32 * “And now, our God, great and invincible and terrible Deity, keeper of covenant and friendship, let all the hard experience we have had, we, our kings and our generals and our priests and our prophets and our fathers and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria to this day, not be a little thing before you. 33  And you are in the right as to all that has come upon us, because you have done loyally; and we are in the wrong. 34  And our kings, our generals, our priests, and our fathers did not live up to your code nor listen to your commandments and your testimonies that you gave them; 35  but they, in their independent sovereignty and in your abundant good things that you gave them and in the broad and fat country that you put before them, did not serve you nor turn back from their bad practices. 36 * Here we are in servitude today; and as to the country you gave to our fathers to eat the fruits of and the good things of, here we are in servitude in it, 37  and it is bearing its produce in great crops for the kings you have put over us for our sins, and they are ruling over our bodies and our cattle as they please, and we are in great distress.” 38 *** “And for all this we agree to a schedule and write it down; and on the sealed copy are our chiefs, our Levites, our priests.”


9:3 Lit. stood up on their standing
9:4 Or And the Levites Jeshuaʽ etc. stood up on a platform
9:4 Var. Jeshuaʽ and the sons of Kadmiel, Shekeniah, the son (var. sons) of Sherebiah, the sons of Kanani
9:4 (platform) Or stairs
9:5 Var. Bunni
9:5 Var. our God Jehovah
9:5 (last half) Susp.
9:22 Var. the country of Sihon and the country of the king of Heshbon
9:24 Var. to go into to take possession. And you humbled
9:25 Lit. olive-trees and food-trees
9:27 Lit. from heaven
9:28 Var. in accordance with your tenderheartedness, delivered them many times (ungrammatical in Hebrew)
9:32 Lit. we have had, our kings and
9:36 Lit. and the country . . . in servitude on it
9:38 Or with all this
9:38 (last half) Unc.
9:38 Conj. pact; and on the sealed copy are written our