Ezra 9:6-15

6 and prayed: “I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.
7 From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today.
8 “But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place[a] in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.
9 Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 “But now, our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken the commands
11 you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: ‘The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other.
12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’
13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this.
14 Shall we then break your commands again and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor?
15 LORD, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”

Ezra 9:6-15 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZRA 9

Ezra being informed, by some of the princes who complained unto him, of the marriages of many of the Israelites with the people of the land, the Canaanites and others, was greatly grieved and distressed, Ezr 9:1-5, upon which he made a confession of their sins to God, with great shame, sorrow, and contrition, and deprecated the evils which they deserved, Ezr 9:6-15.

Ezra 9:6-15 In-Context

4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.
5 Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the LORD my God
6 and prayed: “I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.
7 From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today.
8 “But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.
9 Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 “But now, our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken the commands
11 you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: ‘The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other.
12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’
13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this.
14 Shall we then break your commands again and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor?
15 LORD, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”

Cross References 29

  • 1. Jeremiah 31:19
  • 2. S 2 Chronicles 28:9; Job 42:6; Psalms 38:4; Isaiah 59:12; Jeremiah 3:25; Jeremiah 14:20; Revelation 18:5
  • 3. S 2 Chronicles 29:6
  • 4. Ezekiel 21:1-32
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 28:64
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 28:37
  • 7. Psalms 25:16; Psalms 67:1; Psalms 119:58; Isaiah 33:2
  • 8. S Genesis 45:7
  • 9. Ecclesiastes 12:11; Isaiah 22:23
  • 10. Psalms 13:3; Psalms 19:8
  • 11. S Exodus 1:14; Nehemiah 9:36
  • 12. S 2 Kings 25:28; Psalms 106:46; Ezra 7:28
  • 13. Psalms 69:35; Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 44:26; Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:9; Isaiah 63:9; Jeremiah 32:44; Zechariah 1:16-17
  • 14. Deuteronomy 11:8; Isaiah 1:19-20
  • 15. Deuteronomy 4:5
  • 16. S Leviticus 18:25-28
  • 17. S Deuteronomy 9:4; S Deuteronomy 18:9; S 1 Kings 14:24
  • 18. S Exodus 34:15; Deuteronomy 7:3; Deuteronomy 23:6
  • 19. Deuteronomy 11:8
  • 20. S Genesis 45:18
  • 21. Psalms 103:17; Ezekiel 37:25; Joel 3:20
  • 22. S Exodus 32:22
  • 23. Job 11:6; Job 15:5; Job 22:5; Job 33:27; Psalms 103:10
  • 24. Nehemiah 13:27
  • 25. S Deuteronomy 9:8
  • 26. Deuteronomy 9:14
  • 27. S Genesis 18:25; S 2 Chronicles 12:6; Nehemiah 9:8; Psalms 51:4; Psalms 129:4; Psalms 145:17; Isaiah 24:16; Jeremiah 12:1; Jeremiah 23:6; Jeremiah 33:16; Lamentations 1:18; Daniel 9:7; Zephaniah 3:5
  • 28. Nehemiah 9:33; Psalms 76:7; Psalms 130:3; Malachi 3:2
  • 29. S 1 Kings 8:47

Footnotes 1