National Confession of Sin
1On the twenty-fourth day of this month9:1 Neh 7:73; 8:2 the Israelites assembled; they were fasting, wearing sackcloth, and had put dust on their heads.9:1 1Sm 4:12; Neh 1:4; Dn 9:3
2Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners,9:2 Ezr 6:21; 10:11; Neh 13:3 and they stood9:2 Neh 8:5 and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors.9:2 Neh 1:6; Dn 9:4,20
3While they stood in their places,9:3 Neh 8:5,7 they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day and spent another fourth of the day9:3 Neh 8:3 in confession9:3 Neh 1:6 and worship of the Lord their God.
4Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the raised platform built for the Levites9:4 Neh 8:4 and cried out loudly to the Lord their God.
Blessed be your glorious name,9:5 1Ch 29:13
and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.
You created the heavens,
the highest heavens with all their stars,
the earth and all that is on it,
the seas and all that is in them.
You give life to all of them,9:6 2Kg 19:15
7You, the Lord,
are the God who chose Abram
and changed his name to Abraham.9:7 Gn 17:5
and made a covenant with him
to give the land of the Canaanites,
Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites,
Jebusites, and Girgashites —
to give it to his descendants.9:8 Gn 15:18–21
You have fulfilled your promise,
for you are righteous.
and heard their cry at the Red Sea.
10You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh,
for you knew how arrogantly they treated our ancestors.
You made a name for yourself
that endures to this day.
11You divided the sea before them,
and they crossed through it on dry ground.9:11 Ex 14:21–22
You hurled their pursuers into the depths
like a stone into raging water.9:11 Ex 14:26–28
12You led them with a pillar of cloud by day,
and with a pillar of fire by night,
to illuminate the way they should go.9:12 Dt 1:32–33
and spoke to them from heaven.
You gave them impartial ordinances, reliable instructions,
and good statutes and commands.
14You revealed your holy Sabbath to them,
and gave them commands, statutes, and instruction
through your servant Moses.9:13–14 Ex 20:1–17
you brought them water from the rock9:15 Ex 17:6 for their thirst.
You told them to go in and possess the land
16But our ancestors acted arrogantly;
they became stiff-necked and did not listen to your commands.
17They refused to listen
and did not remember your wonders
you performed among them.9:16–17 Dt 1:26–33
They became stiff-necked and appointed a leader
to return to their slavery in Egypt.9:17 Some Hb mss, LXX; other Hb mss read in their rebellion9:17 Nm 14:4
But you are a forgiving God,
gracious and compassionate,
and you did not abandon them.
18Even after they had cast an image of a calf
for themselves and said,
“This is your god who brought you out of Egypt,”9:17–18 Ex 32:4
and they had committed terrible blasphemies,
19you did not abandon them in the wilderness
because of your great compassion.
During the day the pillar of cloud
never turned away from them,
guiding them on their journey.
And during the night the pillar of fire
You did not withhold your manna9:20 Ex 16:14–15 from their mouths,
and you gave them water for their thirst.9:20 Ex 17:6
and they lacked nothing.
Their clothes did not wear out,
and their feet did not swell.9:21 Dt 8:4
22You gave them kingdoms and peoples
and established boundaries for them.
They took possession
of the land of King Sihon9:22 One Hb ms, LXX; other Hb mss, Vg read of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon
and of the land of King Og of Bashan.9:22 Nm 21:21–35
23You multiplied their descendants
and brought them to the land
you told their ancestors to go in and possess.
24So their descendants went in and possessed the land:
You subdued the Canaanites who inhabited the land before them
and handed their kings and the surrounding peoples over to them,9:24 Jos 11:23
to do as they pleased with them.
25They captured fortified cities and fertile land
and took possession of well-supplied houses,
cisterns cut out of rock, vineyards,
They ate, were filled,
became prosperous, and delighted in your great goodness.
26But they were disobedient and rebelled against you.
They flung your law behind their backs9:26 1Kg 14:9
who warned them
in order to turn them back to you.
They committed terrible blasphemies.
27So you handed them over to their enemies,
who oppressed them.
In their time of distress, they cried out to you,
and you heard from heaven.
In your abundant compassion
you gave them deliverers, who rescued them
from the power of their enemies.
28But as soon as they had relief,
they again did what was evil in your sight.
So you abandoned them to the power of their enemies,
who dominated them.
When they cried out to you again,
you heard from heaven and rescued them
many times in your compassion.9:26–28 Jdg 2:6–3:6
29You warned them to turn back to your law,
but they acted arrogantly
and would not obey your commands.
They sinned against your ordinances,
They stubbornly resisted,9:29 Lit They gave a stubborn shoulder
stiffened their necks, and would not obey.
30You were patient with them for many years,
but they would not listen.
Therefore, you handed them over to the surrounding peoples.9:30 Jr 16:10–13
31However, in your abundant compassion,
you did not destroy them or abandon them,9:31 Jr 4:27
for you are a gracious and compassionate God.9:31 Neh 9:17
32So now, our God — the great, mighty,
do not view lightly all the hardships that have afflicted us,
our kings and leaders,
our priests and prophets,
our ancestors and all your people,
33You are righteous concerning all that has happened to us,
because you have acted faithfully,
34Our kings, leaders, priests, and ancestors
did not obey your law
or listen to your commands
and warnings you gave them.
35When they were in their kingdom,
with your abundant goodness that you gave them,
and in the spacious and fertile land you set before them,9:35 Neh 9:25
they would not serve you or turn from their wicked ways.
36Here we are today,
slaves in the land you gave our ancestors
so that they could enjoy its fruit and its goodness.
Here we are — slaves in it!9:35–36 Dt 28:47–48
37Its abundant harvest goes to the kings
you have set over us,
because of our sins.
They rule over our bodies
We are in great distress.