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Nehemiah 9 New King James Version (NKJV)

The People Confess Their Sins

Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with [a]dust on their heads. Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the [b]stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said:

“Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever!

“Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You.

“You are the Lord God,
Who chose Abram,
And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans,
And gave him the name Abraham;
You found his heart faithful before You,
And made a covenant with him
To give the land of the Canaanites,
The Hittites, the Amorites,
The Perizzites, the Jebusites,
And the Girgashites—
To give it to his descendants.
You have performed Your words,
For You are righteous.

“You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt,
And heard their cry by the Red Sea.
10 You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,
Against all his servants,
And against all the people of his land.
For You knew that they acted [c]proudly against them.
So You made a name for Yourself, as it is this day.
11 And You divided the sea before them,
So that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land;
And their persecutors You threw into the deep,
As a stone into the mighty waters.
12 Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar,
And by night with a pillar of fire,
To give them light on the road
Which they should travel.

13 “You came down also on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven,
And gave them just ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.
14 You made known to them Your holy Sabbath,
And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws,
By the hand of Moses Your servant.
15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger,
And brought them water out of the rock for their thirst,
And told them to go in to possess the land
Which You had [d]sworn to give them.

16 “But they and our fathers acted [e]proudly,
Hardened[f] their necks,
And did not heed Your commandments.
17 They refused to obey,
And they were not mindful of Your wonders
That You did among them.
But they hardened their necks,
And [g]in their rebellion
They appointed a leader
To return to their bondage.
But You are God,
Ready to pardon,
Gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did not forsake them.

18 “Even when they made a molded calf for themselves,
And said, ‘This is your god
That brought you up out of Egypt,’
And worked great provocations,
19 Yet in Your manifold mercies
You did not forsake them in the wilderness.
The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day,
To lead them on the road;
Nor the pillar of fire by night,
To show them light,
And the way they should go.
20 You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,
And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth,
And gave them water for their thirst.
21 Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness;
They lacked nothing;
Their clothes did not wear out
And their feet did not swell.

22 “Moreover You gave them kingdoms and nations,
And divided them into [h]districts.
So they took possession of the land of Sihon,
[i]The land of the king of Heshbon,
And the land of Og king of Bashan.
23 You also multiplied their children as the stars of heaven,
And brought them into the land
Which You had told their fathers
To go in and possess.
24 So the [j]people went in
And possessed the land;
You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land,
The Canaanites,
And gave them into their hands,
With their kings
And the people of the land,
That they might do with them as they wished.
25 And they took strong cities and a rich land,
And possessed houses full of all goods,
Cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves,
And [k]fruit trees in abundance.
So they ate and were filled and grew fat,
And delighted themselves in Your great goodness.

26 “Nevertheless they were disobedient
And rebelled against You,
Cast Your law behind their backs
And killed Your prophets, who [l]testified against them
To turn them to Yourself;
And they worked great provocations.
27 Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies,
Who oppressed them;
And in the time of their trouble,
When they cried to You,
You heard from heaven;
And according to Your abundant mercies
You gave them deliverers who saved them
From the hand of their enemies.

28 “But after they had rest,
They again did evil before You.
Therefore You left them in the hand of their enemies,
So that they had dominion over them;
Yet when they returned and cried out to You,
You heard from heaven;
And many times You delivered them according to Your mercies,
29 And [m]testified against them,
That You might bring them back to Your law.
Yet they acted [n]proudly,
And did not heed Your commandments,
But sinned against Your judgments,
‘Which if a man does, he shall live by them.’
And they shrugged their shoulders,
[o]Stiffened their necks,
And would not hear.
30 Yet for many years You had patience with them,
And [p]testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets.
Yet they would not listen;
Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
31 Nevertheless in Your great mercy
You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them;
For You are God, gracious and merciful.

32 “Now therefore, our God,
The great, the mighty, and awesome God,
Who keeps covenant and mercy:
Do not let all the [q]trouble seem small before You
That has come upon us,
Our kings and our princes,
Our priests and our prophets,
Our fathers and on all Your people,
From the days of the kings of Assyria until this day.
33 However You are just in all that has befallen us;
For You have dealt faithfully,
But we have done wickedly.
34 Neither our kings nor our princes,
Our priests nor our fathers,
Have kept Your law,
Nor heeded Your commandments and Your testimonies,
With which You testified against them.
35 For they have not served You in their kingdom,
Or in the many good things that You gave them,
Or in the large and rich land which You set before them;
Nor did they turn from their wicked works.

36 “Here we are, servants today!
And the land that You gave to our fathers,
To eat its fruit and its bounty,
Here we are, servants in it!
37 And it yields much increase to the kings
You have set over us,
Because of our sins;
Also they have dominion over our bodies and our cattle
At their pleasure;
And we are in great distress.

38 “And because of all this,
We make a sure covenant and write it;
Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it.

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 9:1 Lit. earth on them
  2. Nehemiah 9:4 Lit. ascent
  3. Nehemiah 9:10 presumptuously or insolently
  4. Nehemiah 9:15 Lit. raised Your hand to
  5. Nehemiah 9:16 presumptuously
  6. Nehemiah 9:16 Stiffened their necks, became stubborn
  7. Nehemiah 9:17 So with MT, Vg.; LXX in Egypt
  8. Nehemiah 9:22 Lit. corners
  9. Nehemiah 9:22 So with MT, Vg.; LXX omits The land of
  10. Nehemiah 9:24 Lit. sons
  11. Nehemiah 9:25 Lit. trees for eating
  12. Nehemiah 9:26 admonished or warned them
  13. Nehemiah 9:29 admonished them
  14. Nehemiah 9:29 presumptuously
  15. Nehemiah 9:29 Became stubborn
  16. Nehemiah 9:30 admonished or warned them
  17. Nehemiah 9:32 hardship
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Nehemiah 9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The People Confess Their Sin

Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel assembled with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt upon them. The [a]descendants of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. While they stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. Now on the Levites’ platform stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Chenani, and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God.

Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever!

O may Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord.
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 before You.
“You are the Lord God,
Who chose Abram
And brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees,
And gave him the name Abraham.
“You found his heart faithful before You,
And made 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 [b]descendants.
And You have fulfilled Your promise,
For You are righteous.

You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt,
And heard their cry by the [c]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 arrogantly toward them,
And made a name for Yourself as it is this day.
11 You divided the sea before them,
So they passed through the midst of the sea on dry ground;
And their pursuers You hurled into the depths,
Like a stone into [d]raging 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 just ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.
14 “So You made known to them Your holy sabbath,
And laid down for them commandments, statutes and law,
Through Your servant Moses.
15 “You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger,
You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst,
And You told them to enter in order to possess
The land which You [e]swore to give them.

16 “But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly;
They [f]became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.
17 “They refused to listen,
And did not remember Your wondrous deeds which You had performed among them;
So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery [g]in Egypt.
But You are a God of 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 calf of molten metal
And said, ‘This is your God
Who brought you up from Egypt,’
And committed great [h]blasphemies,
19 You, in Your great compassion,
Did not forsake them in the wilderness;
The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day,
To guide 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 instruct them,
Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth,
And You gave them water for their thirst.
21 “Indeed, forty years You provided for them in the wilderness and they were not in want;
Their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell.
22 “You also gave them kingdoms and peoples,
And allotted them to them as a [i]boundary.
They took possession of the land of Sihon [j]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 told 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 [k]as they desired.
25 They captured fortified cities and a [l]fertile land.
They took possession of houses full of every good thing,
Hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves,
Fruit trees in abundance.
So they ate, were filled and grew fat,
And reveled in Your great goodness.

26 But they became disobedient and rebelled against You,
And cast Your law behind their backs
And killed Your prophets who had admonished them
So that they might return to You,
And they committed great [m]blasphemies.
27 “Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them,
But when they cried to You in the time of their distress,
You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion
You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors.
28 “But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You;
Therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them.
When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven,
And many times You rescued them according to Your compassion,
29 And admonished them in order to turn them back to Your law.
Yet they acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your ordinances,
By which if a man observes them he shall live.
And they [n]turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen.
30 However, You bore with them for many years,
And admonished them by Your Spirit through Your prophets,
Yet they would not give ear.
Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
31 “Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them,
For You are a gracious and compassionate God.

32 “Now therefore, 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 come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people,
From the days of the kings of Assyria to this day.
33 “However, You are just in all that has come upon us;
For You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly.
34 “For our kings, our leaders, our priests and our fathers have not kept Your law
Or paid attention to Your commandments and Your [o]admonitions with which You have [p]admonished them.
35 “But they, in their own kingdom,
With Your great 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 bounty,
Behold, we are slaves in it.
37 Its abundant produce is for the kings
Whom You have set over us because of our sins;
They also rule over our bodies
And over our cattle as they please,
So we are in great distress.

A Covenant Results

38 [q]Now because of all this
We are making an agreement in writing;
And on the sealed document are the names of our leaders, our Levites and our priests.”

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 9:2 Lit seed
  2. Nehemiah 9:8 Lit seed
  3. Nehemiah 9:9 Lit Sea of Reeds
  4. Nehemiah 9:11 Lit strong, mighty
  5. Nehemiah 9:15 Lit lifted up Your hand
  6. Nehemiah 9:16 Lit stiffened their neck; so also v 17
  7. Nehemiah 9:17 So Gr and some Heb mss; Heb reads in their rebellion
  8. Nehemiah 9:18 Lit acts of contempt
  9. Nehemiah 9:22 Lit side, corner
  10. Nehemiah 9:22 So the Gr and the Latin; Heb reads and the land of the king of Heshbon
  11. Nehemiah 9:24 Lit according to their desire
  12. Nehemiah 9:25 Lit fat
  13. Nehemiah 9:26 Lit acts of contempt
  14. Nehemiah 9:29 Lit gave
  15. Nehemiah 9:34 Lit testimonies
  16. Nehemiah 9:34 Or witnessed
  17. Nehemiah 9:38 Ch 10:1 in Heb
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Nehemiah 9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The People Confess Their Sin

Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the Israelites assembled with fasting and in sackcloth and with dirt [a]on their heads. The [b]descendants of Israel (Jacob) separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the wrongdoings of their fathers. While they stood in their places, they read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day and for another fourth [of it] they confessed [their sins] and worshiped the Lord their God. On the platform of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and they called out with a loud voice to the Lord their God.

Then the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah—said, “Stand up and bless (praise, honor) the Lord your God from [c]everlasting to everlasting.

May Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise.”

[And Ezra said],
“You are the Lord, You alone;
You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host (the heavenly bodies),
The earth and everything that is on it,
The seas and everything that is in them.
You give life to all of them,
And the heavenly host is bowing down [in worship] to You.

“You are the Lord God,
Who chose Abram
And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees,
And gave him the name Abraham.

“You found his heart to be faithful [d]before You,
And You [e]made a covenant with him
To give him the land of the Canaanite,
Of the Hittite, of the Amorite,
Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite—
To give it to his descendants.
And You have fulfilled Your promise,
For You are righteous and just.


“You saw our fathers’ affliction in Egypt,
And You heard their cry by the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds).
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 behaved arrogantly toward them (the Israelites),
And You made a name for Yourself, as it is to this day.
11 
“You divided the sea before them,
So that they passed through the midst of the sea on dry land;
You hurled their pursuers into the depths,
Like a stone into mighty and raging waters.
12 
“And with a pillar of cloud You led them by day,
And with a pillar of fire by night
To light the way for them
In which they were to go.
13 
“Then You came down on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven;
And You gave them fair ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.
14 
“So You made known to them Your holy Sabbath,
And gave them commandments, statutes, and law,
[f]Through Your servant Moses.
15 
“You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger,
And brought water for them out of a rock for their thirst,
And You told them to enter and take possession of
The land that You [g]swore to give them.

16 
“But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly;
They stiffened their necks and would not heed Your commandments.
17 
“They refused to listen and obey,
And did not remember Your wondrous acts which You had performed among them;
So they stiffened their necks and [in their rebellion] appointed a leader in order to return them to slavery in Egypt.
But You are a God of forgiveness,
Gracious and merciful and compassionate,
[h]Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness;
And You did not abandon them.
18 
“Even when they had made for themselves
A [i]calf of cast metal
And said, ‘This is your god
Who brought you up from Egypt,’
And committed great [and contemptible] blasphemies,
19 
You, in Your great mercy and compassion,
Did not abandon them in the wilderness;
The pillar of the cloud did not leave them by day,
To lead them in the way,
Nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way they should go.
20 
“You [also] gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,
You did not withhold Your manna from their mouth,
And You gave them water for their thirst.
21 
“Indeed, for forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing,
Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell.
22 
“You also gave them kingdoms and peoples,
And You allotted the kingdoms to them as a boundary.
So they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon
And the land of Og king of Bashan.
23 
“You made their children as numerous as the stars of heaven,
And You brought them into the land
Which You told their fathers to enter and possess.
24 
“So their sons (descendants) went in and took possession of 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 as they pleased.
25 
“They captured fortified cities and a fertile land.
They took possession of houses full of all good things,
Hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves,
And [j]fruit trees in abundance.
So they ate and were filled and became fat,
And they reveled and were delighted in Your great goodness.

26 
“Yet they were disobedient and rebelled against You,
And cast Your law behind their backs
And killed Your prophets who warned them
To return to You;
And they committed great [and contemptible] blasphemies.
27 
“Therefore You handed them over to their enemies who oppressed them.
But when they cried out to You in the time of their suffering and distress,
You heard them from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them [k]people to rescue them.
Who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.
28 
“But as soon as they had rest, they again did evil before You;
Therefore You abandoned them into the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them.
Yet when they turned and cried out again to You, You heard them from heaven,
And You rescued them many times in accordance with Your compassion,
29 
And You admonished them and warned them to turn them back to Your law.
Yet they acted presumptuously and arrogantly and did not heed Your commandments, but sinned against Your ordinances,
Which by keeping, a man will live.
But they turned a stubborn shoulder, stiffened their neck, and would not listen.
30 
“Yet You were patient with them for many years,
And admonished them and warned them by Your Spirit through Your prophets;
Still they would not [l]listen.
Therefore You gave them into the hand (power) of the peoples of the lands.
31 
“Yet in Your great compassion You did not utterly destroy them or abandon them,
For You are a gracious and merciful God.

32 
“Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps the covenant and lovingkindness,
Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You,
Which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people,
Since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day.
33 
“However, You are just and righteous in everything that has come upon us;
For You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly.
34 
Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept Your law
Or paid attention to Your commandments and Your warnings which You have given them.
35 
“But they, in their kingdom,
With Your great goodness which You gave them,
With the broad and rich land which You set before them,
Did not serve You or turn from their wicked deeds.
36 
“Behold, we are slaves today,
And as for the land which You gave 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 set over us because of our sins;
They also rule over our bodies
And over our cattle as they please,
So we are in great distress.

A Covenant Results

38 
[m]Now because of all this
We are making an agreement in writing;
And on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.”

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 9:1 Lit upon them.
  2. Nehemiah 9:2 Lit seed.
  3. Nehemiah 9:5 Lit from the eternity to the eternity.
  4. Nehemiah 9:8 Lit before Your face.
  5. Nehemiah 9:8 Lit cut.
  6. Nehemiah 9:14 Lit by the hand of.
  7. Nehemiah 9:15 Lit lifted up Your hand.
  8. Nehemiah 9:17 Lit with a long nose.
  9. Nehemiah 9:18 The selection of a calf-god was probably inspired by the Egyptian bull-god Apis (Hapis), believed to be a living manifestation of the Egyptian god, Ptah. In ancient Egypt, a bull-calf with specific markings was chosen from the herd and worshiped as Apis. The Apis was the most important of the sacred animals of Egypt. At the age of twenty-eight the Apis bull was sacrificed and buried in a highly structured ritual and a new bull-calf was selected to take his place. Numerous elaborate burial sites containing the Apis bulls have been discovered in Egypt. Both the Greeks and Romans adopted the cultic worship of Apis and it continued until about a.d. 400.
  10. Nehemiah 9:25 Lit food.
  11. Nehemiah 9:27 Lit deliverers.
  12. Nehemiah 9:30 Lit give ear.
  13. Nehemiah 9:38 Ch 10:1 in Hebrew.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Nehemiah 9 New International Version (NIV)

The Israelites Confess Their Sins

On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God. Standing on the stairs of the Levites were Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Kenani. They cried out with loud voices to the Lord their God. And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah—said: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.[a]

“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

“You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous.

“You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; you heard their cry at the Red Sea.[b] 10 You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11 You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12 By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.

13 “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. 14 You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. 15 In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them.

16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, 18 even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies.

19 “Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.

22 “You gave them kingdoms and nations, allotting to them even the remotest frontiers. They took over the country of Sihon[c] king of Heshbon and the country of Og king of Bashan. 23 You made their children as numerous as the stars in the sky, and you brought them into the land that you told their parents to enter and possess. 24 Their children went in and took possession of the land. You subdued before them the Canaanites, who lived in the land; you gave the Canaanites into their hands, along with their kings and the peoples of the land, to deal with them as they pleased. 25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness.

26 “But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they turned their backs on your law. They killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. 27 So you delivered them into the hands of their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.

28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.

29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

32 “Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today. 33 In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the statutes you warned them to keep. 35 Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways.

36 “But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. 37 Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.

The Agreement of the People

38 “In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”[d]

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 9:5 Or God for ever and ever
  2. Nehemiah 9:9 Or the Sea of Reeds
  3. Nehemiah 9:22 One Hebrew manuscript and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts Sihon, that is, the country of the
  4. Nehemiah 9:38 In Hebrew texts this verse (9:38) is numbered 10:1.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Nehemiah 9 King James Version (KJV)

Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.

And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.

And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.

Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the Lord their God.

Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;

And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:

And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;

10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.

11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.

12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.

13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:

14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:

15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.

16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,

17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;

19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.

20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.

21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.

22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.

23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.

24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.

25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.

26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.

27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.

28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;

29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.

31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.

33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:

34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.

35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.

36 Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:

37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.

38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.

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