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 separated themselves from the peoples of the lands of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites, doing according to their abominations,
2 for they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, and the holy seed is mingled with the peoples of the lands; and the hand of the princes and of the governors has been foremost in this trespass.
3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle and plucked off of the hair of my head and of my beard and sat down astonied.
4 Then each one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel because of the transgression of those that had been carried away were assembled unto me; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.
5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my affliction; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God
6 and said, O my God, I am confused and ashamed to lift up my face to thee, my God, for our iniquities have multiplied over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up unto heaven.
7 Since the days of our fathers, we have been in great guiltiness unto this day; 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 spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
8 And now as for a brief moment there has been the mercy of the LORD our God, to leave us an escape, and that we may be given a stake in his holy sanctuary that our God may illuminate our eyes and give us a little preservation of life in our bondage.
9 For we were slaves; yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage, but has extended mercy over us before the king of Persia, that we may be given life to lift up the house of our God and to cause the desolations thereof to be restored and to give us a wall of protection in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken thy commandments,
11 which thou hast commanded by thy slaves the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land because of the uncleanness of the people of the lands, for the abominations with which they have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.
12 Now, therefore, do not give your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity forever, that ye may be strengthened, and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your sons forever.
13 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guiltiness, seeing that thou our God hast intervened that we no longer be oppressed because of our iniquities and hast given us such an escape as this,
14 should we again break thy commandments and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? Would thou not be angry with us until thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escape?
15 O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous; for we have an escape, as it is this day, behold us here, before thee in our guiltiness; for we cannot stand before thee because of this.