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Nehemiah 9:30-38 (New International Version)

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30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets.1 Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples.2 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end3 to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful4 God. 32 "Now therefore, O our God, the great, mighty5 and awesome God,6 who keeps his covenant of love,7 do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes--the hardship8 that has come upon us, upon our kings and leaders, upon our priests and prophets, upon our fathers and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today. 33 In all that has happened to us, you have been just;9 you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong.10 34 Our kings,11 our leaders, our priests and our fathers12 did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the warnings you gave them. 35 Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness13 to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you14 or turn from their evil ways. 36 "But see, we are slaves15 today, slaves in the land you gave our forefathers so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. 37 Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.16

The Agreement of the People

38 "In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement,17 putting it in writing,18 and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it."
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