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The people assembled for a great day of National confession (yadah) their sins
9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month benai Yisrael were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
9:2 And the descendents of Yisrael separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
9:3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the sefer of Ha Torah of YHWH (יהוה) their Elohim (אלהים) [one] fourth part of the day; and [another] fourth part they confessed, and Shachah (prostrate unto) YHWH (יהוה) their Elohim (אלהים).
9:4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Leviim, Yehoshua, and Bani, Kadmi-El, Shevanyah, Bunni, Sherevyah, Bani, [and] Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto YHWH (יהוה) their Elohim (אלהים).
9:5 Then the Leviim, Yehoshua, and Kadmi-El, Bani, Hashabnyah, Sherevyah, Hodiyah, Shevanyah, [and] Petahyah, said, Stand up [and] bless YHWH (יהוה) your Elohim (אלהים) for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
9:6 Thou, [even] thou, [art] YHWH (יהוה) alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all [things] that [are] therein, the seas, and all that [is] therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host Shamayim worshippeth thee.
The call of Avraham & ha Brit Hashem made.. with him
9:7 Thou [art] YHWH (יהוה) the Elohim (אלהים), who didst choose Avram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the kasdim, and gavest him the name of Avraham;
9:8 And foundest his lev faithful before thee, and madest a Brit with him to give the land of the kenaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Yebusites, and the Girgashites, to give [it, I say], to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou [art] righteous:
The deliverance out of Mitzrayim
9:9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Mitzrayim, and heardest their cry by the Yam sulk;
9:10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Paroh, and on all his eved, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as [it is] this day.
9:11 And thou 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 mayims.
9:12 Moreover thou leddest 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.
9:13 Thou camest down also upon Har Sinay, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right mishpatim, and true Torah, good chukkim (statutes) and mitzvot:
9:14 And madest known unto them thy kadosh shabbat, and commandedst them precepts, chukkim (statutes), and Torah, by the hand of Moshehh thy eved:
HaShem's provision during the wilderness journey
9:15 And gavest them lechem from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth mayim for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
Yisrael's frequent rebellion contrasted with Hashem's unfailing Kindness
9:16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy mitzvot,
9:17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou [art] a Elohim (אלהים) ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
9:18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This [is] thy Elohim (אלהים) that brought thee up out of Mitzrayim, and had wrought great provocations;
9:19 Yet thou 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.
9:20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them mayim for their thirst.
9:21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, [so that] they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
The conquest of Kenaan
9:22 Moreover thou gavest them Malkut and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the melekh of Heshbon, and the land of Og melekh of Bashan.
9:23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars Shamayim, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess [it].
9:24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their melekhim, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
9:25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed bayit full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
The era of the judges
9:26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy Torah behind their backs, and slew thy Neviim which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.
9:27 Therefore thou deliveredst 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 saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
9:28 But after they had rest, they did evil 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 many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
Unheeded warning and ultimate captivity
9:29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy mitzvot, but sinned against thy mishpatim, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
9:30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy Neviim: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.
9:31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou [art] a gracious and merciful Elohim (אלהים).
The appeal for forgiveness & deliverance
9:32 Now therefore, our Elohim (אלהים), the great, the mighty, and the terrible Elohim (אלהים), who keepest Brit and rachamim, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our melekhim, on our princes, and on our Kohenim, and on our Neviim, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the melekhim of Assyria unto this day.
9:33 Howbeit thou [art] tzaddik in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:
9:34 Neither have our melekhim, our princes, our Kohenim, nor our fathers, kept thy Torah, nor hearkened unto thy mitzvot and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
9:35 For they have not served thee in their malkut, 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.
9:36 Behold, we [are] eved this day, and [for] the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we [are] eved in it:
9:37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kingdom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we [are] in great distress.
The people make a pledge
9:38 (10:1) And because of all this we make a sure [Brit], and write [it]; and our princes, Leviim, [and] Kohenim, seal [unto it].
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9:1-3 (cf Neh 8:2 )Two days after the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles, the people began to acknowledge their sins before HaShem. sackclothes. A sign of mourning.The confession here is reminiscent of that in Ezra 9; 10, and has the same focus, i.e., the separation of Yisrael (v. 2). In neither instance does pride motivate the separation, but rather concern for the reestablishment of covenant relationship. The "one-fourth of the day" is about three hours.
Some think Ezra led the prayer, although his name is not specifically mentioned. It is one of the longest prayers in the Scripture, and it roots go deep into sacred history. The orverriding theme of the prayer is HaShem's faithfulness despite Yisrael's waywardness.