Bible: Ezra 9:5-15

9:5 At the time of the evening offering I got up from my self-abasement, 1  with my tunic and robe torn, and then dropped to my knees and spread my hands to the Lord my God. 9:6 I prayed, 2 

“O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God! For our iniquities have climbed higher than our heads, and our guilt extends to the heavens. 9:7 From the days of our fathers until this very day our guilt has been great. Because of our iniquities we, along with our kings and 3  priests, have been delivered over by the local kings 4  to sword, captivity, plunder, and embarrassment – right up to the present time.

9:8But now briefly 5  we have received mercy from the Lord our God, in that he has left us a remnant and has given us a secure position 6  in his holy place. Thus our God has enlightened our eyes 7  and has given us a little relief in our time of servitude. 9:9 Although we are slaves, our God has not abandoned us in our servitude. He has extended kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, in that he has revived us 8  to restore the temple of our God and to raise 9  up its ruins and to give us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem. 10 

9:10And now what are we able to say after this, our God? For we have forsaken your commandments 9:11 which you commanded us through your servants the prophets with these words: 11  ‘The land that you are entering to possess is a land defiled by the impurities of the local residents! 12  With their abominations they have filled it from one end to the other with their filthiness. 9:12 Therefore do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons, and do not take their daughters in marriage for your sons. Do not ever seek their peace or welfare, so that you may be strong and may eat the good of the land and may leave it as an inheritance for your children 13  forever.’

9:13Everything that has happened to us has come about because of our wicked actions and our great guilt. Even so, our God, you have exercised restraint 14  toward our iniquities and have given us a remnant such as this. 9:14 Shall we once again break your commandments and intermarry with these abominable peoples? Would you not be so angered by us that you would wipe us out, with no survivor or remnant? 9:15 O Lord God of Israel, you are righteous, for we are left as a remnant this day. Indeed, we stand before you in our guilt. However, because of this guilt 15  no one can really stand before you.”

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