9:1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not a separated themselves from the people of the lands, [doing] according to their abominations, [even] of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
9:2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of [those] lands: yea, the hand of the b princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
(a) From the time they came home under Zerubbabel until the coming of Ezra, they had degenerated contrary to the law of God, and married where it was not lawful, ( Deuteronomy 7:3 ).
(b) That is, the governors are the chief beginners of it. 9:3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down c astonied.
(c) As one doubting whether God would continue his benefits toward us, or else destroy what he had begun. 9:6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased d over [our] head, and our trespass is grown up unto the e heavens.
(d) That is, we are drowned in sin. 9:8 And now for a little space grace hath been [shewed] from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a f nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
(e) They so exceed that they cannot grow greater.
9:13 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our g iniquities [deserve], and hast given us [such] deliverance as this;
(f) In giving us a resting place it is a comparison taken from them that still remain in a place who strike nails to hang things on, ( Isaiah 22:23 ).
9:15 O LORD God of Israel, thou [art] righteous: for we h remain yet escaped, as [it is] this day: behold, we [are] before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.
(g) Has not utterly cast us down and destroyed us for our sins, ( Deuteronomy 28:13 ).
(h) He shows that God is just in punishing his people, and yet merciful in preserving a residue in whom he shows favour.