A solemn general fast and humiliation. The Levites make a religious confession of God's manifold goodness, and of the national sins, which had occasioned the people's miseries.
1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of 1this month the children of Israel were assembled with 2fasting, and with sackclothes, and 3earth upon them.
2 And the seed of Israel 1separated themselves from all astrangers, and stood and 2confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
3 And they stood up in their place, and 1read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.
4 ¶ Then stood up upon the astairs, of the Levites, 1Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and 2cried with a loud voice unto the Lord their God.
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
6 Thou, even thou, 1art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, 2the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou 3preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
7 Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose 1Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of 2Abraham;
8 And foundest his heart 1faithful before thee, and madest a 2covenant with him to give the land of the 3Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and 4hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
9 And 1didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;
10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt 1proudly against them. So didst thou 2get thee a name, as it is this day.
11 And 1thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.
12 Moreover thou 1leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.
13 1Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and atrue laws, good statutes and commandments:
14 And madest known unto them thy 1holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
15 And 1gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and 2broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should 3go in to possess the land awhich thou hadst sworn to give them.
16 But they and our fathers 1dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,
17 And refused to obey, neither 1were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion 2appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art aa God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and 3forsookest them not.
18 Yea, 1when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;
19 Yet 1thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.
20 Thou gavest also thy 1good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.
21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they 1lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
22 Moreover thou 1gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into 2corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of 3Heshbon, and the land of 4Og king of Bashan.
23 Their children also 1multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and 2broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst 3promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou 1subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them aas they would.
25 And they took 1strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, awells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and bfruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
26 Nevertheless they 1were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and 2cast thy law behind their backs, and 3slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.
27 Therefore thou 1deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them 2saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
28 But after they had 1rest, athey did 2evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and 3many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
29 And 1testifiedst against them, that thou 2mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which 3if a man do, he shall live in them;) and awithdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
30 Yet many years 1didst thou aforbear them, and 2testifiedst against them by thy spirit bin thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: 3therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.
31 Nevertheless for thy 1great mercies' sake 2thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art 3a gracious and merciful God.
32 Now therefore, 1our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, 2who keepest covenant and mercy, 3let not all the atrouble seem little before thee, bthat hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the 4time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
33 Howbeit thou art 1just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:
34 Neither have 1our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
35 For they 1have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.
36 Behold, we are 1servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:
37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the 1kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they 2have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
38 And 1because of all this 2we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, aseal unto it.