New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 9 Nov.21 
The People Confess Their Sins
Now in the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth on them. 2The seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3They stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Yahweh their God a fourth part of the day; and a fourth part they confessed, and worshipped Yahweh their God. 4Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani of the Levites stood up on the stairs, and cried with a loud voice to Yahweh their God. 
An Account of God's Care of Israel
5Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah said, Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting! Blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise!  6You are Yahweh, even You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their army, the earth and all things that are on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The army of heaven worships You. 7You are Yahweh, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham, 8and found his heart faithful before You, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite, and the Girgashite, to give it to his seed; and have performed Your words; for You are righteous.9You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea. 10You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, and against all his servants, and against all the people of his land; for You knew that they dealt arrogantly against them, and made a name for Yourself, as it is this day. 11You divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and You cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12Moreover, You led them by day in a pillar of cloud; and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light in the way in which they should go. 13You came down also on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments. 14You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, and commanded them commandments, and statutes, and a law, by Moses Your servant. 15You gave them bread from the sky for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and commanded them that they should go in to possess the land which You had sworn to give them. 16But they and our fathers dealt proudly and hardened their neck, didn’t listen to Your commandments 17and refused to obey, neither were they mindful of Your wonders that You did among them, but hardened their neck, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage. But You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in grace, and didn’t forsake them. 18Yes, they had made them a molten calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt’ and had committed awful blasphemies; 19yet You in Your many mercies didn’t forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud didn’t depart from over them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way in which they should go. 20You gave also Your good Spirit to instruct them, and didn’t withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. 21Yes, forty years You sustained them in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. Their clothes didn’t grow old, and their feet didn’t swell. 22Moreover You gave them kingdoms and peoples which You allotted according to their portions. So they possessed the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23You also multiplied their children as the stars of the sky, and brought them into the land concerning which You had said to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. 24So the children went in and possessed the land, and You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings, and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they pleased. 25They took fortified cities, and a rich land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns dug out, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, were filled, became fat, and delighted themselves in Your great grace.
Disobedience and Deliverance
26Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their back, and killed your prophets that testified against them to turn them again to You, and they committed awful blasphemies. 27Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them. In the time of their trouble, when they cried to You, You heard from heaven; and according to Your many mercies You gave them saviours who saved them out of the hand of their adversaries. 28But after they had rest, they did evil again before You; therefore You left them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them. Yet, when they returned and cried to You, You heard from heaven; and many times You delivered them according to Your mercies, 29and testified against them, that You might bring them again to Your law. Yet they dealt proudly, and didn’t listen to Your commandments, but sinned against Your ordinances, which, if a man does, he shall live in them, turned their backs, stiffened their neck, and would not hear. 30Yet many years You put up with them, and testified against them by Your spirit through Your prophets. Yet would they not give ear. Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
Confession of Sins
31Nevertheless in Your many mercies You did not make a full end of them, nor forsake them; for You are a gracious and merciful God. 32Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and grace, don’t let all the travail seem little before You, that has come on us, on our kings, on our princes, priests, prophets, and on our fathers, and on all Your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day. 33However You are just in all that has come on us; for You have dealt truly, but we have done wickedly. 34Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers kept Your law, nor listened to Your commandments and Your testimonies that You pronounced against them. 35For they have not served You in their kingdom, and in Your great goodness that You gave them, and in the large and rich land which You gave before them, neither did they turn from their wicked works. 36Indeed, we are servants this day, and as for the land that You gave to our fathers to eat its fruit and its good, we are servants in it. 37It yields much increase to the kings whom You have set over us because of our sins. They also have power over our bodies, and over our livestock, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress. 38Yet for all this, we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, our Levites, and our priests, seal it.


9:2 The account of Judah’s separation from the surrounding peoples reads similarly to that of the purges from idolatry during the reign of the kings. They separated / purged, and then, within a few years, we read of them doing so again. Initially, the exiles separated from the peoples of the land (Ezra 6:21); by Ezra 9:1 they are in need of separating again; and by Ezra 10:11 likewise; then they separate (Ezra 10:16), only to need another call to separation by the time of Nehemiah 9:2; 13:3. Our spiritual progress has too much of this kind of pseudo repentance associated with it.
9:6 You are Yahweh, even You alone- There is archaeological evidence that there was another god called ‘Yahweh’ worshipped by the Canaanites; hence the confession here that Yahweh God of Israel was the only true Yahweh. There are in our world many things which can appear as the true God when they are but fake imitations. 
9:10 Made a name for Yourself- God’s Name isn’t simply a word, it is His entire personality as historically demonstrated and articulated in human history.
9:19 Yet the pillar of cloud didn’t depart from over them- Even in periods of sin and failure, God still tries to lead His people towards the Kingdom rather than totally disassociating from them.
9:30 Your Spirit through Your prophets- The prophets, whose words we have in the Bible, were inspired by God through the process of Divine inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16). Their words which we read in the Bible are thereby God’s words and a channel of His Spirit to us.
9:37 Faithful men like Nehemiah felt so identified with the sinful people that they could speak of “our sins”. If we are true members of His people then we will feel the state of the community as being our state, rather than seeing ourselves as somehow separate from them. Nehemiah was therefore the first to seal the covenant of repentance (10:1).