On the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Isra'el, wearing sackcloth and with dirt on them, assembled for a fast.
Those descended from Isra'el separated themselves from all foreigners; then they stood up and confessed their own sins and the iniquities of their ancestors.
Standing where they were, they read in the scroll of the Torah of ADONAI their God for one-quarter of the day. For another quarter they confessed and prostrated themselves before ADONAI their God.
On the platform of the L'vi'im stood Yeshua, Bani, Kadmi'el, Sh'vanyah, Buni, Sherevyah, Bani and K'nani; they cried out loudly to ADONAI their God.
Then the L'vi'im Yeshua, Kadmi'el, Bani, Hashavn'yah, Sherevyah, Hodiyah, Sh'vanyah and P'tachyah said, "Stand up, and bless ADONAI your God from everlasting to everlasting; let them say: "'Blessed be your glorious name, exalted above all blessing and praise!
"'You are ADONAI, you alone. You made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their array, the earth and all the things that are in it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve them all. The army of heaven worships you.
"'You are ADONAI, the God who chose Avram, brought him out of Ur-Kasdim and gave him the name of Avraham.
Finding that he was faithful to you, you made a covenant with him to give the land of the Kena'ani, the Hitti, Emori and P'rizi, the Y'vusi and the Girgashi, to give it to his descendants; and you have done what you promised, because you are just.
"'You saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry by the Sea of Suf.
You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his servants and the people of the land; for you knew how arrogantly they treated them; and you won yourself a name which is yours to this day.
You divided the sea ahead of them, so that they could pass through the sea on dry land; then you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into turbulent waters.
"'In a column of cloud you led them by day, and by night in a column of fire, so that they would have light ahead of them on the way that they were to go.
"'You descended on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven. You gave them right rulings and true teachings, good laws and mitzvot.
You revealed to them your holy Shabbat and gave them mitzvot, laws and the Torah through Moshe your servant.
"'For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven; for their thirst you brought forth for them water from the rock. You ordered them to enter and possess the land you had sworn with your hand to give them.
"'But they and our ancestors were arrogant; they stiffened their necks and ignored your mitzvot;
they refused to listen and paid no attention to the wonders you had done among them. No, they stiffened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a leader to return them to their slavery. But because you are a God of forgiveness, merciful, full of compassion, slow to grow angry and full of grace, you did not abandon them.
Even when they cast themselves a metal calf, saying of it, "This is your god that brought you up from Egypt,"and committing other gross provocations;
still, you, in your great compassion, did not abandon them in the desert. The column of cloud did not leave them by day; it kept leading them along the way. By night the column of fire kept showing them light and the path to take.
You also gave your good Spirit to teach them, did not withhold man from their mouths and provided them water to quench their thirst. 1142
Yes, forty years you sustained them in the desert; they lacked nothing -their clothes did not wear out; their feet did not swell up.
"'You gave them kingdoms and peoples; you even gave them extra land, so that they took possession of the land of Sichon, also the land of the king of Heshbon and the land of 'Og king of Bashan.
You made their children as numerous as the countless stars in the sky. "'Then you brought them into the land about which you had said to their fathers that they should go in and take possession of it.
So the children went in and possessed the land, as you subdued ahead of them the Kena'ani living in the land, and handed them over to them, along with their kings and the peoples of the land, for them to do with as they wished.
They took fortified cities and fertile land, possessed houses full of all kinds of good things, dug-out cisterns, vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees in plenty; so they ate their fill and grew robust, luxuriating in your great goodness.
"'Yet they disobeyed and rebelled against you, throwing your Torah behind their backs. They killed your prophets for warning them that they should return to you and committed other gross provocations.
So you handed them over to the power of their adversaries, who oppressed them. Yet in the time of their trouble, when they cried out to you, you heard from heaven, and in keeping with your great compassion, you gave them saviors to save them from the power of their adversaries.
But as soon as they had gotten some relief, they went back to do evil before you. So you left them in the power of their enemies, who came down hard on them. Yet when they returned and cried out to you, you heard from heaven many times and saved them, according to your compassion.
You warned them, in order to bring them back to your Torah; yet they were arrogant. They paid no attention to your mitzvot, but sinned against your rulings, which, if a person does them, he will have life through them. However, they stubbornly turned their shoulders, stiffened their necks and refused to hear.
Many years you extended them mercy and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets; yet they would not listen. Therefore you handed them over to the peoples of the lands.
Even so, in your great compassion, you didn't completely destroy them; nor did you abandon them, for you are a compassionate and merciful God.
"'Now therefore, our God, great, mighty, fearsome God, who keeps both covenant and grace: let not all this suffering seem little to you that has come on us, our kings, our leaders, our cohanim, our prophets, our ancestors, and on all your people, from the times of the kings of Ashur until this very day.
There is no question that you are just in all that has come upon us; for you have treated us fairly. It is we who have acted wickedly.
Our kings, our leaders, our cohanim and ancestors did not keep your Torah, pay attention to your mitzvot or heed the warnings you gave them.
Even when they ruled their own kingdom, even when you prospered them greatly, in the great, rich land you gave them, they did not serve you; nor did they turn from their wicked deeds.
"'So here we are today, slaves. Yes, in the land you gave our ancestors, so that they could eat what it produces and enjoy its good 1144 here we are in it, slaves!
Its rich yield now goes to the kings you have set over us because of our sins; they have power over our bodies, they can do what they please to our livestock, and we are in great distress!
"'In view of all this, we are making a binding covenant, putting it in writing and having it sealed by our leaders, our L'vi'im and our cohanim.'"