"Now therefore, our God—the great and mighty and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love—do not treat lightly all the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings, our officials, our priests, our prophets, our ancestors, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until today.
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."