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Nehemiah 9

Nehemiah :Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

The People Confess Their Sins
1 On the twenty-fourth day of the seventh month,
f 8.13; 9.1 seventh month: Hebrew “same month.”
the people of Israel went without eating, and they dressed in sackcloth and threw dirt on their heads to show their sorrow.
9 Chapter recording
List of all recordings of KJV
1 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.
2 They refused to let foreigners join them, as they met to confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
strangers: Heb. strange children
3 For three hours they stood and listened to the Law of the Lord their God, and then for the next three hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord. 3 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.
4 Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the special platform for the Levites and prayed aloud to the Lord their God.
4 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.
stairs: or, scaffold
5 Then the Levites Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah said:

“Stand and shout praises
to your Lord,
the eternal God!
g 9.5 shout ... God: Or “shout eternal praises to the Lord your God.”
Praise his wonderful name,
though he is greater
than words can express.”
5 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.
The People Pray
6 You alone are the Lord,
Creator of the heavens
and all the stars,
Creator of the earth
and those who live on it,
Creator of the ocean
and all its creatures.
You are the source of life,
praised by the stars
that fill the heavens.
6 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.
7 You are the Lord our God,
9.7 a Gn 11.31; 12.1; b Gn 17.4
the one who chose Abram—
you brought him from Ur
in Babylonia
and named him Abraham.
7 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;
8 Because he was faithful,
9.8 Gn 15.18
you made an agreement
to give his descendants
the land of the Canaanites
and Hittites,
of the Amorites and Perizzites,
and of the Jebusites
and Girgashites.
Now you have kept your promise,
just as you always do.
8 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:

9 When our ancestors
9.9 a Ex 3.7; b Ex 14.10
were in Egypt,
you saw their suffering;
when they were at the Red Sea,
h 9.9 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph “Sea of Reeds,” one of the marshes of fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17—14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 B.C., the “Sea of Reeds” was named “Red Sea.”
you heard their cry for help.
9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;
10 You knew that the King of Egypt
9.10 Ex 7.8
and his officials and his nation
had mistreated your people.
So you worked fearsome miracles
against the Egyptians
and earned a reputation
that still remains.
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 You divided the deep sea,
9.11 a Ex 14.21
and your people walked through
on dry land.
But you tossed their enemies in,
and they sank down
like a heavy stone.
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 Each day you led your people
9.12 Ex 13.21
with a thick cloud,
and at night you showed the way
with a flaming fire.
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 At Sinai you came down
9.13,14 Ex 19.18—23.33.
from heaven,
and you gave your people
good laws and teachings
that are fair and honest.
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:
true...: Heb. laws of truth
14 You commanded them to respect
your holy Sabbath,
and you instructed
your servant Moses
to teach them your laws.
14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
15 When they were hungry,
9.15 a Ex 16.4
you sent bread from heaven,
and when they were thirsty,
you let water flow
from a rock.
Then you commanded them
to capture the land
that you had solemnly promised.
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.
which...: Heb. which thou hadst lift up thine hand to give them

* 16 Our stubborn ancestors
9.16,17 Nu 14.1-4; Dt 1.26-33.
refused to obey—
they forgot about the miracles
you had worked for them,
and they were determined
to return to Egypt
and become slaves again.
16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,
17 But, our God, you are merciful
9.17 Ex 34.6; Nu 14.18.
and quick to forgive;
you are loving, kind,
and very patient.
So you never turned away
from them—
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.
a God...: Heb. a God of pardons
18 not even when they made
9.18 Ex 32.1
an idol shaped like a calf
and insulted you by claiming,
“This is the god who rescued us
from Egypt.”
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 Because of your great mercy,
9.19-21 Dt 8.2-4.
you never abandoned them
in the desert.
And you always guided them
with a cloud by day
and a fire at night.
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 Your gentle Spirit
instructed them,
i 9.20 Your gentle Spirit instructed them: Or “You gently instructed them.”
and you gave them manna
j 9.20 manna: This was something like a thin wafer (see Exodus 16.1-36).
to eat
and water to drink.
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 You took good care of them,
and for forty years
they never lacked a thing.
Their shoes didn't wear out,
and their feet were never swollen.
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 You let them conquer kings
9.22 Nu 21.21
and take their land,
including King Sihon of Heshbon
and King Og of Bashan.
k 9.22 Bashan: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 22.
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 You brought them into the land
9.23 a Js 3.14
that you had promised
their ancestors,
and you blessed their nation
with people
that outnumbered
the stars in the sky.
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 Then their descendants
9.24 Js 11.23.
conquered the land.
You helped them defeat
the kings and nations
and treat their enemies
however they wished.
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.
as they...: Heb. according to their will
25 They captured strong cities
9.25 Dt 6.10
and rich farmland;
they took furnished houses,
as well as cisterns,
l 9.25 cisterns: Pits dug into the ground to hold water.
vineyards, olive orchards,
and numerous fruit trees.
They ate till they were satisfied,
and they celebrated
your abundant blessings.
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.
wells: or, cisterns
fruit...: Heb. tree of food

26 In spite of this, they rebelled
9.26-28 Jg 2.11-16.
9.26 Ws 2.10
and disobeyed your laws.
They killed your prophets,
who warned them
to turn back to you,
and they cursed your name.
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 So you handed them over
to their enemies,
who treated them terribly.
But in their sufferings,
they begged you to help.
From heaven you listened
to their prayers
and because of your great mercy,
you sent leaders to rescue them.
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 when they were at peace,
they would turn against you,
and you would hand them over
to their enemies.
Then they would beg for help,
and because you are merciful,
you rescued them
over and over again.
28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand 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;
they did...: Heb. they returned to do evil
29 You warned them to turn back
9.29 Lv 18.5.
and discover true life
by obeying your laws.
But they stubbornly refused
and continued to sin.
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.
withdrew...: Heb. they gave a withdrawing shoulder
30 For years, you were patient,
9.30 2K 17.13
and your Spirit
m 9.30 your Spirit: Or “you.”
warned them
with messages spoken
by your prophets.
Still they refused to listen,
and you handed them over
to their enemies.
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.
forbear...: Heb. protract over them
in thy...: Heb. in the hand of thy prophets
31 But you are merciful and kind,
and so you never forgot them
or let them be destroyed.
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 Our God, you are powerful,
9.32 2K 15.19
fearsome, and faithful,
always true to your word.
So please keep in mind
the terrible sufferings
of our people, kings, leaders,
priests, and prophets,
from the time Assyria ruled
until this very day.
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.
trouble: Heb. weariness
that...: Heb. that hath found us
33 You have always been fair
when you punished us
for our sins.
33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:

34 Our kings, leaders, and priests
have never obeyed your commands
or heeded your warnings.
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 You blessed them with a kingdom
and with an abundance
of rich, fertile land,
but they refused to worship you
or turn from their evil.
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 Now we are slaves
in this fruitful land
you gave to our ancestors.
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 Its plentiful harvest is taken
by kings you placed over us
because of our sins.
Our suffering is unbearable,
because they do as they wish
to us and our livestock.
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.
The People Make an Agreement
38 And so, a firm agreement was made that had the official approval of the leaders, the Levites, and priests.
38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
seal: Heb. are at the sealing, or, sealed

© 1999 American Bible Society

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