¶ NOW on the twenty-fourth day of this month, the children of Israel were assembled with fasting and with sackcloth and ashes upon them.
And the descendants of Israel separated themselves from all the Gentiles, and stood and confessed their sins and the sins of their fathers.
And they stood up in their place and read 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.
Then the chiefs over the Levites, Joshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Heshabiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, stood up and prayed with a loud voice before the LORD their God.
Then the Levites, Joshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Heshabiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, 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 creations and praises.
Thou alone art the LORD;
thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are therein, the waters and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all;
and the host of heaven worships thee.
Thou art the LORD, the God who didst choose Abram and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and didst change his name to Abraham;
And didst find his heart pure before thee, and didst make a covenant with him to give him the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it to his descendants, and thou hast performed thy words with him, for thou art righteous;
And thou didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and hear their cry by the Red Sea;
And didst show signs and wonders upon Pharaoh and upon all his servants and on all the people of his land;
for thou knewest that they dealt wrongly with thy people.
So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.
And thou didst open a passage in the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land;
and their persecutors thou didst throw into the depths of the sea, as a stone that sinks in the mighty waters.
Moreover thou hast led them in the day by a cloudy pillar;
and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way in which they should go.
Thou didst come down also upon mount Sinai and speak with them from heaven, and didst give them right judgments and true laws, good statutes and commandments;
And thou didst make known to them thy holy sabbath and commandments and statutes and laws which thou commandedst by the hand of Moses thy servant;
And didst give them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promised them that they should go in to possess the land which thy hand hadst sworn to give them.
But they and their fathers dealt wickedly and were stubborn and did not give ear to thy commandments,
And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them;
but turned their hearts to their evil works;
yet thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and ready to hear petitions, and didst not forsake them.
Yea, when they had made for themselves a molten calf, and said, This is your God, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and they wrought great wickedness;
Yet thou in thy manifold mercies didst not forsake them in the wilderness;
the pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on their journey;
neither the pillar of fire by night, to lighten the way by which they should go.
Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and didst not withhold manna from their mouths, and gavest them water for their thirst.
Yea, for forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing;
their clothes did not wear out, and their shoes had no holes in them.
Moreover thou gavest them the kingdoms of the Gentiles, and didst divide to them the land to every man;
so they possessed the land of Sihon and the land of the king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan.
Their children also thou didst multiply as the stars of heaven, and thou didst bring them into the land concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers that they should go in to possess it.
So their children went in and possessed the land, and thou didst defeat before them the inhabitants of the land of the Canaanites, and didst deliver them into their hands with their kings and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
And they captured fortified cities and a fertile land, and possessed houses full of all good things, wells digged, vineyards and olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance;
so they did eat and were filled and became rich and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
Nevertheless, they were disobedient and transgressed against thee and cast thy law out of their counsels and slew thy prophets, who warned them to turn to thee, and they committed great wickedness.
Therefore thou didst deliver them into the hand of their enemies, who distressed them;
and in the time of their distress, when they prayed to thee, thou didst hear them from heaven;
and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them a saviour, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee;
therefore thou didst leave them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them;
yet when they returned and prayed before thee, thou didst hear them from heaven;
and many times didst thou save them according to thy great mercies.
And thou didst testify against them, that thou mightest bring them again to thy law;
yet they dealt wrongfully and did not obey thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments (which if a man observe them, he shall live in them);
and they conspired and became stubborn and would not listen.
Yet many years didst thou admonish them, and didst testify against them by thy spirit through thy prophets;
yet they would not obey;
therefore thou didst deliver them into the hand of the Gentiles.
Nevertheless because of thy great mercy thou didst not utterly destroy them nor forsake them;
for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the holy God, who keepest covenant and truth, let there not be hidden from before thee all the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings, upon our princes, upon our priests, and upon our prophets, and upon our fathers, and upon all the people, since the day of the kings of Assyria to this day.
Nevertheless thou art righteous in all that has come upon us;
for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly;
Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor given ear to thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
And they renounced thy kingdom and thy great blessing that thou gavest them and the good and fertile land that thou gavest them;
neither did they serve thee nor did they turn away from their wicked works;
Therefore we are servants this day;
and as for the land that thou gavest to our fathers to eat its fruit and its good things, behold, we are servants In it,
And its produce is taken by the kings whom 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 living in a great distress.
And in view of all these things we make a sure covenant and bear witness over the seal, even our elders, Levites, and priests, and all those who have been spared of us.