Ezra 9:11
Which you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, The land, to which you go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.
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Saying - The words which follow in this verse are not quoted from any previous book of Scripture, but merely give the general sense of numerous passages. Compare the marginal references. Have filled it from one end to another - The abominations have been like a sweeping mighty torrent, that has increased till it filled the whole land, and carried every thing before it. Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets,.... Moses, and Joshua, and others, see Deuteronomy 7:3

saying, the land, unto which ye go to possess it; meaning the land of Canaan:

is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness; which is to be understood not of their idolatries only, but of their incestuous marriages, and impure copulations, on which account the Lord spewed out the old inhabitants of it; for which reason the Jews ought to have been careful not to have defiled it again by similar practices; see Leviticus 18:1.

Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.Ezr 9:5-15. Prays to God.

5-15. I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God—The burden of his prayer, which was dictated by a deep sense of the emergency, was that he was overwhelmed at the flagrant enormity of this sin, and the bold impiety of continuing in it after having, as a people, so recently experienced the heavy marks of the divine displeasure. God had begun to show returning favor to Israel by the restoration of some. But this only aggravated their sin, that, so soon after their re-establishment in their native land, they openly violated the express and repeated precepts which commanded them to extirpate the Canaanites. Such conduct, he exclaimed, could issue only in drawing down some great punishment from offended Heaven and ensuring the destruction of the small remnant of us that is left, unless, by the help of divine grace, we repent and bring forth the fruits of repentance in an immediate and thorough reformation.

Ezra's prayer and confession for the congregation. - Ezra 9:5 And at the time of the evening sacrifice, I rose up from my mortification (תּענית, humiliation, generally through fasting, here through sitting motionless in deep affliction of soul), and rending my garment and my mantle. These words contribute a second particular to קמתּי, and do not mean that Ezra arose with his garments torn, but state that, on arising, he rent his clothing, and therefore again manifested his sorrow in this manner. He then fell on his knees, and spread out his hands to God (comp. 1 Kings 8:22), to make a confession of the heavy guilt of the congregation before God, and thus impressively to set their sins before all who heard his prayer.by: Heb. by the hand of

from...: Heb. from mouth to mouth

9:5-15 The sacrifice, especially the evening sacrifice, was a type of the blessed Lamb of God, who in the evening of the world, was to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Ezra's address is a penitent confession of sin, the sin of his people. But let this be the comfort of true penitents, that though their sins reach to the heavens, God's mercy is in the heavens. Ezra, speaking of sin, speaks as one much ashamed. Holy shame is as necessary in true repentance as holy sorrow. Ezra speaks as much amazed. The discoveries of guilt cause amazement; the more we think of sin, the worse it looks. Say, God be merciful to me sinner. Ezra speaks as one much afraid. There is not a surer or saddler presage of ruin, than turning to sin, after great judgments, and great deliverances. Every one in the church of God, has to wonder that he has not wearied out the Lord's patience, and brought destruction upon himself. What then must be the case of the ungodly? But though the true penitent has nothing to plead in his own behalf, the heavenly Advocate pleads most powerfully for him.Verse 11. - The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land, etc. These exact words do not occur elsewhere; but the "unclean" and corrupt character of the Canaanitish nations is constantly proclaimed in the Law, and was the sole reason why their land was taken from them and given to the Israelites. On the special character of their "filthiness" and "abominations" see Deuteronomy 12:2, 3; Leviticus 18:6-27.

by thy servants. Heb. by the hand of thy servants. The land

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Deuteronomy 12:31 You shall not do so to the LORD your God: for every abomination to …

Deuteronomy 18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD…

2 Chronicles 33:2 But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like to the …

the filthiness

Ezra 6:21 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity…

Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: …

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves …

one end to another. Heb. mouth to mouth

2 Kings 21:16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled …

9:11 It is unclean - This land is as corrupt as any of the rest of the heathen nations.
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