1 Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, "The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not aseparated themselves from the peoples of the lands, baccording to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. 2 "For athey have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that bthe holy race has cintermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness." 3 When I heard about this matter, I atore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and bsat down appalled. 4 Then aeveryone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles gathered to me, and I sat appalled until bthe evening offering. 5 But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and astretched out my hands to the Lord my God; 6 and I said, "O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our aguilt has grown even to the heavens. 7 "aSince the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to bopen shame, as it is this day. 8 "But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, ato leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a bpeg in His holy place, that our God may cenlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage. 9 "aFor we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but bhas extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem. 10 "Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments, 11 which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and awith their impurity. 12 'So now do not agive your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and bnever seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and cleave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.' 13 "After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and aour great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us ban escaped remnant as this, 14 ashall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? bWould You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape? 15 "O Lord God of Israel, aYou are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in bour guilt, for cno one can stand before You because of this."