1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
3 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.
4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried 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, art LORD 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 of heaven worshippeth thee.
7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
9 And didst 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 proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.
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 waters.
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.
13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water 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.
16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,
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 God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
18 Yea, when 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 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.
20 Thou gavest also thy good 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 lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.
23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
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 kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses 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.
26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.
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.
28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land 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;
29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.
31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that 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 time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:
34 Neither have our 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 have 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 servants 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 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 in great distress.
38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
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The ninth chapter of the Book of Nehemiah in the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible is a prayer of confession and repentance by the Israelites. It is a pivotal chapter in the book as it marks the completion of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and the dedication of the city to God. This chapter is a reflection of the Israelites’ journey from exile to restoration and their recognition of God’s faithfulness throughout their history. The main themes of this chapter include confession, repentance, God’s faithfulness, and the importance of remembering and learning from the past. This essay will provide a summary of the events in chapter 9 of Nehemiah and discuss the meaning and significance of this chapter in the larger context of the Bible.
Before delving into the details of chapter 9, it is important to understand the context in which it takes place. The book of Nehemiah is set in the time of the Persian Empire when the Israelites were allowed to return to Jerusalem after being exiled in Babylon. Nehemiah, a cupbearer to the Persian king, is granted permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of the city. Despite facing opposition and challenges, Nehemiah and the Israelites complete the rebuilding of the walls in just 52 days. This is a significant accomplishment considering the size and complexity of the project.
Chapter 9 begins with the Israelites gathering together to fast, wear sackcloth, and put dust on their heads as a sign of mourning and repentance. They separate themselves from foreigners and begin to confess their sins, the sins of their ancestors, and the sins of their leaders. This prayer of confession and repentance is a significant moment as it shows the Israelites’ recognition of their wrongdoings and their desire to turn back to God.
The Israelites start by acknowledging God’s greatness and His role as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. They recognize that God is powerful, faithful, and just. They then go on to recount the history of the Israelites, starting with the call of Abraham and the promises made to him by God. They acknowledge God’s covenant with Abraham and their forefathers and how God had fulfilled His promises to them. However, they also confess that despite God’s faithfulness, the Israelites had rebelled against Him, disobeyed His commandments, and turned to other gods. This led to their exile and captivity in Babylon.
As the Israelites continue their prayer, they reflect on the lessons they have learned from their past experiences. They recognize that God had been patient and merciful towards them, even in the face of their disobedience. They also acknowledge that their suffering and exile were a result of their own actions and that God’s judgment was just. Through this reflection, the Israelites understand the importance of obedience and the consequences of disobedience. They also learn that God is a forgiving and compassionate God who is willing to restore His people if they turn back to Him.
Another important theme in this chapter is God’s faithfulness. Despite the Israelites’ disobedience and rebellion, God remained faithful to His promises. The Israelites recognize that God had been with them throughout their history, from their time in Egypt to their return from exile. They acknowledge that God had provided for them, protected them, and guided them through their journey. This is a reminder to the Israelites that God is always faithful, even when they are not.
The chapter concludes with the dedication of Jerusalem to God. The Israelites make a covenant with God, promising to follow His commandments and to keep His law. They also commit to separating themselves from the surrounding nations and to observe the Sabbath day. This dedication is a symbolic act of the Israelites’ commitment to God and their desire to live according to His will.
Chapter 9 of the book of Nehemiah holds great significance in the larger context of the Bible. It serves as a reminder of the importance of confession, repentance, and learning from the past. The Israelites’ prayer of confession and repentance is a demonstration of their recognition of God’s sovereignty and their desire to turn back to Him. It shows that God’s people must be willing to acknowledge their wrongdoings and seek forgiveness in order to have a restored relationship with God.
Moreover, this chapter also highlights God’s faithfulness and His willingness to forgive. Despite the Israelites’ rebellion and disobedience, God remained faithful to His promises and showed mercy towards His people. This is a powerful reminder that God is a loving and compassionate God who is always ready to forgive and restore His people.
The dedication of Jerusalem to God at the end of the chapter is a symbolic act of the Israelites’ commitment to follow God’s commandments and to live according to His will. This dedication serves as a reminder to readers that God’s people must be willing to make a conscious decision to live a life that is pleasing to God.
In conclusion, chapter 9 of the book of Nehemiah is a powerful and poignant chapter that marks the completion of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. It is a prayer of confession and repentance by the Israelites and serves as a reflection of their journey from exile to restoration. This chapter teaches important lessons about the importance of confession, repentance, and learning from the past. It also highlights God’s faithfulness and His willingness to forgive His people. The dedication of Jerusalem to God is a reminder of the need for God’s people to make a conscious decision to follow His commandments and live according to His will. Overall, chapter 9 of Nehemiah is a significant and meaningful chapter that holds valuable lessons for readers of the Bible.