1. Now when these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, in regard to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2. For they have taken of their daughters as wives for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy race has mixed itself with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass.
3. And when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down appalled.
4. Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.
5. And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having torn 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 ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God: for our iniquities have risen higher than our head, and our trespass has grown up unto the heavens.
7. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day.
8. And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us security in his holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
9. For we were slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to rebuild the house of our God, and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10. And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken your commandments,
11. Which you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which you go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.
12. Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth forever: that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.
13. And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that you our God has punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and has given us such deliverance as this;
14. Should we again break your commandments, and join in marriage with the people of these abominations? would not you be angry with us till you had consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?
15. O LORD God of Israel, you are righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before you in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before you because of this.