You have been just in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly;
our kings, our officials, our priests, and our ancestors have not kept your law or heeded the commandments and the warnings that you gave them.
Even in their own kingdom, and in the great goodness you bestowed on them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you and did not turn from their wicked works.
Here we are, slaves to this day—slaves in the land that you gave to our ancestors to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts.
Its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins; they have power also over our bodies and over our livestock at their pleasure, and we are in great distress."
38a Because of all this we make a firm agreement in writing, and on that sealed document are inscribed the names of our officials, our Levites, and our priests.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)