1 When these things were done, the rulers came to me, saying, The people of Israel and
the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands,
with respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the
Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 For they have taken some of their daughters for themselves and their sons, so that the
holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed, the hand of the rulers and
officials has been foremost in this treachery.
3 So when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the
hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished.
4 Then everyone who trembled at the Words of the God of Israel assembled to me,
because of the treachery of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished
until the evening sacrifice.
5 At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my
robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to Jehovah my God.
6 And I said: O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my
God; for our iniquities have increased over our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the
7 Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and for our
iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of
the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to shame of faces, to this day.
8 And now for a little while grace has been shown from Jehovah our God, to leave us a
remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our
eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
9 For we were slaves; yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended
mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to set up the house of our God,
to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your
11 which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, The land which
you are entering to possess is an unclean land, with the impurity of the peoples of the
lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness.
12 Now therefore, do not give your daughters for their sons, nor take their daughters to
your sons; nor seek after their peace or prosperity forever, that you may be strong and eat
the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.
13 And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since
You our God have held back from the bending down in punishment of our iniquities, and
have given us such deliverance as this,
14 should we again break Your commandments, and join in marriage with the people of
these abominations? Would You not be angry with us until You had finished us off, so that
there would be no remnant or escapee?
15 O Jehovah the God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as refugees, as it is this
day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of