Ezra 9

1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites, doing according to their abominations,
2 for they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, and the holy seed is mingled with the peoples of the lands; and the hand of the princes and of the governors has been foremost in this trespass.
3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle and plucked off of the hair of my head and of my beard and sat down astonied.
4 Then each one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel because of the transgression of those that had been carried away were assembled unto me; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.
5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my affliction; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God
6 and said, O my God, I am confused and ashamed to lift up my face to thee, my God, for our iniquities have multiplied over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up unto heaven.
7 Since the days of our fathers, we have been in great guiltiness unto this day; and for our iniquities we, our kings and our priests, have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
8 And now as for a brief moment there has been the mercy of the LORD our God, to leave us an escape, and that we may be given a stake in his holy sanctuary that our God may illuminate our eyes and give us a little preservation of life in our bondage.
9 For we were slaves; yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage, but has extended mercy over us before the king of Persia, that we may be given life to lift up the house of our God and to cause the desolations thereof to be restored and to give us a wall of protection in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken thy commandments,
11 which thou hast commanded by thy slaves the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land because of the uncleanness of the people of the lands, for the abominations with which they have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.
12 Now, therefore, do not give your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity forever, that ye may be strengthened, and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your sons forever.
13 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guiltiness, seeing that thou our God hast intervened that we no longer be oppressed because of our iniquities and hast given us such an escape as this,
14 should we again break thy commandments and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? Would thou not be angry with us until thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escape?
15 O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous; for we have an escape, as it is this day, behold us here, before thee in our guiltiness; for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

Ezra 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

Ezra mourns for the Jews' conduct. (1-4) Ezra's confession of sins. (5-15)

Verses 1-4 Many corruptions lurk out of the view of the most careful rulers. Some of the people disobeyed the express command of God, which forbade all marriages with the heathen, ( Deuteronomy 7 ) . Disbelief of God's all-sufficiency, is at the bottom of the sorry shifts we make to help ourselves. They exposed themselves and their children to the peril of idolatry, that had ruined their church and nation. Carnal professors may make light of such connexions, and try to explain away the exhortations to be separate; but those who are best acquainted with the word of God, will treat the subject in another manner. They must forebode the worst from such unions. The evils excused, and even pleaded for; by many professors, astonish and cause regret in the true believer. All who profess to be God's people, ought to strengthen those that appear and act against vice and profaneness.

Verses 5-15 The sacrifice, especially the evening sacrifice, was a type of the blessed Lamb of God, who in the evening of the world, was to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Ezra's address is a penitent confession of sin, the sin of his people. But let this be the comfort of true penitents, that though their sins reach to the heavens, God's mercy is in the heavens. Ezra, speaking of sin, speaks as one much ashamed. Holy shame is as necessary in true repentance as holy sorrow. Ezra speaks as much amazed. The discoveries of guilt cause amazement; the more we think of sin, the worse it looks. Say, God be merciful to me sinner. Ezra speaks as one much afraid. There is not a surer or saddler presage of ruin, than turning to sin, after great judgments, and great deliverances. Every one in the church of God, has to wonder that he has not wearied out the Lord's patience, and brought destruction upon himself. What then must be the case of the ungodly? But though the true penitent has nothing to plead in his own behalf, the heavenly Advocate pleads most powerfully for him.

Chapter Summary

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 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

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