B C1 9:1-10:17. The evil-doing. Confessed. C2 10:18-44. The evil-doers. Reformed.
C1 D1 9:1,2 The evil reported to Ezra. E1 d1 9:3. Ezra. Grief. e1 9:4-. Assembly. Trembling. E2 d2 9:-4-10:1-. Ezra. Prayer. e2 10:-1-4. Assembly. Weeping. E3 d3 10:5-8. Ezra. Grief. e3 10:9. Assembly. Trembling. E4 d44 10:10,11. Ezra. Charge. e4 10:12-14. Assembly. Obedience. D2 10:15-17. The evil removed by Ezra.
1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me (not all of the. Cp. v.2), saying, "The People of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples (or nations) of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites (contrary to the law [Ex. 34:12-16. Deut. 7:1-3]. See Gen. 6), the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed (or the sanctuary's seed. See Ex. 3:5 and cp. Dan. 2:43. Ex. 19:6; 22:31. Deut. 7:6; 14:2) have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers has been chief in this defection."
3 And when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my mantle (these were signs of inward mourning. Josh. 7:6. 1 Sam. 4:12. 2 Sam. 1:2. 2 Kings 18:37. Job 1:20. Matt. 26:65), and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonished. (i.e. causing astonishment in such as saw me.)
4 Then were assembled to me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the defections of those that had been carried away; (Cp. Isa. 66:2)
d2 F 9:-4,5. Prostration and astonishment (Acts). G f1 9:6,7. Confession. g1 9:8,9. Divine mercy. f2 9:10-12. Confession. g2 9:13,14. Divine wrath. f3 9:15. Confession.
and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice.
5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having already tore my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees (cp. 10:1. 2 Chron. 6:13. Dan. 6:10. Luke 22:41. Acts 7:60; 9:40; 20:36; 21:5), and spread out my hands unto the LORD (Yahaveh) my God (Elohim),
6 And said, "O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to You, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass (Heb. 'ashma [fem.] = guilt incurred. The masc. = guilt imputed [as in Lev. 5:7. Num. 5:8. 2 Kings 12:16. Ps. 68:21) is grown up to the heavens.
7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass to this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered (for these selfsame sins! as in v.2) into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face (Cp. Dan. 9:5,7), as it is this day.
8 And now for a little while (Heb. kim'at. See "almost" [Prov. 5:14]. Referring to the respite which had been begun by the kings of Assyria [6:22. Neh. 9:32] and continued by the kings of Persia) grace has been showed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape (the same which Nehemiah had already inquired about [Neh. 1:2,3]), and to give us a peg surely driven in in His holy place (= Jerusalem, or sanctuary. Cp. Ps. 24:3. Isa. 56:7; 57:13), that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
9 For we are bondmen (the subjects of the Persians [Neh. 9:36]); yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended loving-kindness (or grace) to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof (cp. Neh. 1:2,3), and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. (This helps to prove that the task of Nehemiah had already been effected)
10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken Your commandments,
11 Which You have commanded by the hand of your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land, to which you go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness (showing Ezra's acquaintance with the Pentateuch. Cp. Gen. 15:16. Deut. 9:5. 1 Kings 21:26) of the people of the lands, with their abominations (traditions, "Easter", fertility rites), which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.
12 Now therefore give not your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace (the very words of Deut. 23:6) or their wealth for ever (this is something Esau did not do and part of the reason God hated him): that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your sons for ever.'
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; (or, such a reserved survival)
14 Should we again break Your commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? would not You be angry with us till you have 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 (or, we are left but a remnant that is escaped. Cp. Neh. 1:2,3), as it is this day: behold, we are before You in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before you because of this."