Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, "The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not 1separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, 2according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites.
"For 3they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that 4the holy race has 5intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness."
When I heard about this matter, I 6tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and 7sat down appalled.
Then 8everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until 9the evening offering.
But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and 10stretched out my hands to the LORD my God;
and I said, "O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our 11guilt has grown even to the heavens.
"12Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to 13open shame, as it is this day.
"But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the LORD our God, 14to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a 15peg in His holy place, that our God may 16enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.
"17For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but 18has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
"Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,
which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and 19with their impurity.
'So now do not 20give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and 21never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and 22leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever .'
"After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and 23our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us 24an escaped remnant as this,
25shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? 26Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape?
"O LORD God of Israel, 27You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in 28our guilt, for 29no one can stand before You because of this."