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After a brief interval, following the feast came the great day of humiliation. The people separated themselves entirely from all who were not actually within the Covenant, and gave themselves to confession and humbling before God. In all this they were led by the Levites, and the chapter is largely filled with the great prayer they offered on this occasion. It may have been especially prepared for them, and used by all of them; or perhaps it is a condensed account of their approach to God on behalf of the humbling of the people.
In the first section (5-15), the prayer was praise, first to God for what He is in Himself in majesty (5, 6), then to Him as the Founder of the nation through the calling of Abraham (7, 8); yet further to Him as the Deliverer from Egypt's bondage (9-ll), and, finally, as the One who had guided as well as delivered (12-15).
The second section sets forth His grace in contrast to the repeated failure of the people (16-29). This section is a frank confession of repeated sin, and yet the burden of it is rather His being a God ready to pardon. The last movement in the prayer is definite seeking for His continued goodness and help. It is a fine model of a confessing people's true approach to God. The heart is strengthened in contemplation of His essential glory and constant grace, and out of such consciousness it breathes its cry for help.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Nehemiah 9". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany