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Nehemiah

The people confess their sins.  Ne.9.1-5

1Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth upon their heads. 2And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3And they stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of Yahweh their God for a fourth of the day; for another fourth of it they made confession and worshipped Yahweh their God. 4Upon the stairs of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to Yahweh their God. 5Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, "Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name which is exalted above all blessing and praise."

The prayer of confession.  Ne.9.6-37

6And Ezra said: "You are Yahweh, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. 7You are Yahweh, the God who chose Abram and bring him forth out of Ur of the Chaldeans and give him the name Abraham; 8and you found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and you have fulfilled your promise, for you are righteous.

9"And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and hear their cry at the Red Sea, 10and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted insolently against our fathers; and you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. 11And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land; and you casted their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. 12By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. 13You came down upon Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14and you made known to them your holy sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. 15You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and bring forth water for them from the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land which you had sworn to give them.

16"But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments; 17they refused to obey, and were not mindful of the wonders which you performed among them; but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. 18Even when they had made for themselves a molten calf and said, 'This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,' and had committed great blasphemies, 19you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness; the pillar of cloud which led them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night which lighted for them the way by which they should go. 20You gave your good Spirit to instruct them, a nd did not withhold your manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. 21Forty years did you sustain them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. 22And you gave them kingdoms and peoples, and allotted to them every corner; so they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23You multiplied their descendants as the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land which you had told their fathers to enter and possess. 24So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, andgive them into their hands, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns hewn out, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance; so they ate, and were filled and became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.

26"Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer; and in the time of their suffering they cried to you and you heard them from heaven; and according to your great mercies you gave them saviours who saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them; yet when they turned and cried to you you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies. 29And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, by the observance of which a man shall live, and turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30Many years you bore with them, andwarn 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. 31Nevertheless in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them; for you are a gracious and merciful God.

32"Now therefore, our God, the great and mighty and terrible God, who keepest covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33Yet you have been just in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly; 34our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or heeded your commandments and your warnings which you gave them. 35They did not serve you in their kingdom, and in your great goodness which you gave them, and in the large and rich land which you set before them; and they did not turn from their wicked works. 36Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. 37And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins; they have power also over our bodies and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great distress."

The covenant.  Ne.9.38-10.39

38Because of all this we make a firm covenant and write it, and our princes, our Levites, and our priests set their seal to it.


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The katapi New Standard Bible is a very light revision of the RSV. The changes are: (1) In places where 'the LORD', 'O LORD' occurs in the RSV, (it represents the tetragrammaton - YHWH - which is in the hebrew text), I have used the name 'Yahweh'.
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Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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