1 Then, after these things were completed, the leaders came to me, saying: “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, have not been separated from the peoples of the lands and from their abominations, especially those of the Canaanites, and Hittites, and Perizzites, and Jebusites, and Ammonites, and Moabites, and Egyptians, and Amorites.
2 For they have taken from their daughters for themselves and for their sons, and they have mixed a holy lineage with the peoples of the lands. And even the hand of the leaders and the magistrates has been first in this transgression.”
3 And when I had heard this word, I tore my cloak and my tunic, and I pulled out the hairs of my head and beard, and I sat in mourning.
4 Then all those who feared the word of the God of Israel gathered to me, because of the transgression of those who had arrived from the captivity. And I sat in sorrow, until the evening sacrifice.
5 And at the evening sacrifice, I rose up from my affliction, and, having torn my cloak and my tunic, I fell to my knees, and I reached out my hands to the Lord, my God.
6 And I said: “My God, I am confounded and ashamed to lift up my face to you. For our iniquities have been multiplied over our heads, and our offenses have increased, even up to heaven,
7 from the days of our fathers. But also, we ourselves have sinned gravely, even to this day. And for our iniquities, we ourselves, and our kings and our priests, have been delivered into the hands of the kings of the lands, and to the sword, and to captivity, and to plunder, and to confusion of face, just as it is also in this day.
8 And now, to a small extent and for a moment, our petition has been made with the Lord our God, so that they may leave us a remnant, and so that a secure place in his holy land may be given to us, and so that our God may illuminate our eyes, and may give us a little life in our servitude.
9 For we are servants, yet in our servitude our God has not forsaken us, but he has inclined mercy upon us in the sight of the king of the Persians, so that he may give us life, and may raise up the house of our God, and repair its desolations, and give us a hedge in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 And now, our God, what should we say after these things? For we abandoned your commandments,
11 which you instructed by the hand of your servants, the prophets, saying: ‘The land, which you shall enter so that you may possess it, is an unclean land, due to the uncleanness of the peoples and of the other lands, the abominations of those who have filled it, from mouth to mouth, with their filth.’
12 Now therefore, you should not give your daughters to their sons, nor should you receive their daughters for your sons. And you should not seek their peace, nor their prosperity, even forever. So shall you be strengthened, and so shall you eat the good things of the land, and have your sons as your heirs, even for all time.
13 And after all that has happened to us because of our very wicked works and our great offense, you, our God, have freed us from our iniquity, and you have given us salvation, just as it is this day,
14 so that we would not turn away and make your commandments void, and so that we would not unite in marriage with the peoples of these abominations. Could you be angry with us even to the very end, so that you would not to leave us a remnant to be saved?
15 O Lord, the God of Israel, you are just. For we have been left behind to be saved, just as it is this day. Behold, we are before your sight in our offense. And it is not possible to withstand you in this matter.”