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1 Nowe when these things were done, the Princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests and the Leuites, haue not separated themselues from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, euen of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Iebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

2 For they haue taken of their daughters for themselues, and for their sonnes: so that the holy seed haue mingled themselues with the people of those lands, yea the hand of the princes and rulers hath bin chiefe in this trespasse.

3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and pluckt off the haire of my head, and of my beard, and sate downe astonied.

4 Then were assembled vnto me euery one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had bene caried away, and I sate astonied, vntill the euening sacrifice.

5 And at the euening sacrifice, I arose vp from my heauinesse, and hauing rent my garment and my mantle, I fell vpon my knees, and spread out my hands vnto the Lord my God,

6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed, and blush to lift vp my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased ouer our head, and our trespasse is growen vp vnto the heauens.

7 Since the dayes of our fathers, haue wee beene in a great trespasse vnto this day, & for our iniquities haue we, our kings and our priests, bin deliuered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captiuitie, and to a spoile, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

8 And now for a litle space grace hath bene shewed from the Lord our God, to leaue vs a remnant to escape, and to giue vs a naile in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and giue vs a litle reuiuing in our bondage:

9 For wee were bondmen, yet our God hath not forsaken vs in our bondage, but hath extended mercie vnto vs in the sight of the kings of Persia, to giue vs a reuiuing to set vp the house of our God, and to repaire the desolations thereof, and to giue vs a wall in Iudah and in Ierusalem.

10 And now, O our God, what shal we say after this? for we haue forsaken thy commandements,

11 Which thou hast commanded by thy seruants the prophets, saying, The land vnto which ye go to possesse it, is an vncleane land, with the filthinesse of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which haue filled it from one end to another, with their vncleannesse.

12 Nowe therefore giue not your daughters vnto their sonnes, neither take their daughters vnto your sonnes, nor seeke their peace or their wealth for euer: that ye may bee strong, and eate the good of the land, and leaue it for an inheritance to your children for euer.

13 And after all that is come vpon vs, for our euill deeds, and for our great trespasse, seeing that thou, our God, hast punished vs lesse, then our iniquities deserue, and hast giuen vs such deliuerance as this:

14 Should wee againe breake thy commandements, and ioyne in affinitie with the people of these abominations? wouldest thou not be angry with vs, til thou haddest consumed vs, so that there should be no remnant, nor escaping?

15 O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous, for wee remaine yet escaped, as it is this day: Behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for wee can not stand before thee, because of this.

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Commentary for Ezra 9

Ezra mourns for the Jews' conduct. (1-4) Ezra's confession of sins. (5-15)1-4 Many corruptions lurk out of the view of the most careful rulers. Some of the people disobeyed the express command of God, which forbade all marriages with the heathen, #De 7|. Disbelief of God's all-sufficiency, is at the bottom of the sorry shifts we make to help ourselves. They exposed themselves and their children to the peril of idolatry, that had ruined their church and nation. Carnal professors may make light of such connexions, and try to explain away the exhortations to be separate; but those who are best acquainted with the word of God, will treat the subject in another manner. They must forebode the worst from such unions. The evils excused, and even pleaded for; by many professors, astonish and cause regret in the true believer. All who profess to be God's people, ought to strengthen those that appear and act against vice and profaneness.

5-15 The sacrifice, especially the evening sacrifice, was a type of the blessed Lamb of God, who in the evening of the world, was to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Ezra's address is a penitent confession of sin, the sin of his people. But let this be the comfort of true penitents, that though their sins reach to the heavens, God's mercy is in the heavens. Ezra, speaking of sin, speaks as one much ashamed. Holy shame is as necessary in true repentance as holy sorrow. Ezra speaks as much amazed. The discoveries of guilt cause amazement; the more we think of sin, the worse it looks. Say, God be merciful to me sinner. Ezra speaks as one much afraid. There is not a surer or saddler presage of ruin, than turning to sin, after great judgments, and great deliverances. Every one in the church of God, has to wonder that he has not wearied out the Lord's patience, and brought destruction upon himself. What then must be the case of the ungodly? But though the true penitent has nothing to plead in his own behalf, the heavenly Advocate pleads most powerfully for him.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Ezra 9

  • Candy Szymanski
    this chapter explains Clones among us.. beware!!
  • Len
    Thanks Nharna, I think sins pollution deafens our spirit, making giving and getting direction harder and harder. God wants us to hear him and believe, not struggle with every thing written in the word.
  • BSP
    Verse 5~Ezra was in great distress and he poured out his heart in prayer to Jehovah God. When we are in great distress we want to pour out our heart in prayer to God as well.
  • Vickie
    Actually, this passage show us that through it all God delivered Israel against insurmountable odds. And even after that, the childern of Israel still pursued things that they were NOT supposed to touch. After hearing of this travesty, Ezra realized that it was wrong and questioned the acts on a moral and ethical basis. "Oh God how can we stand before you? " Look at our shameful acts. He could have easily taken our lives before and even now. But yet He still blesses us. It makes one think about our loyalty to God through His son Jesus Christ. I am guilty of such from time to time going after the wrong things when God has clearly blessed and delivered me.
  • Nharna Aqcuiah
    This chapter reviews the fact that sin prevents us from having the actual view of God. As ezra ended the chapter saying " for we cannot stand before thee because of this " because He God is righteous and anyone who yearns to fellowship with Him must be as He Is.
  • Margaret
    When we pray for forgiveness and humble ourselves I believe God is a merciful God who will forgive sin.

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