Ezra 9:10
And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken your commandments,
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Ezra 9:10. And now, what shall we say after this? — What apology can we make for ourselves, after thou hast conferred such great and high favours upon us, and we have so grossly abused them?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.We were bondmen - Rather, "we are bondmen" (compare the marginal reference). The Israelites, though returned from the captivity, were still "bondmen." The Persian monarch was their absolute lord and master. 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.

What apology can we make for ourselves, after thou hast conferred such great and high favours upon us, and we have so grossly abused them? And now, O our God, what shall we say after this?.... What apology or excuse can be made for such ingratitude? what can be said in favour of such a people? what kindness can be expected to be shown to a people who had behaved in so base a manner?

for we have forsaken thy commandments: particularly those which related to marriages with people of other nations.

And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments,
10. A sudden apostrophe. God’s mercy has been great; but now, in spite of all, Israel has broken this command: what does she deserve?

And now … after this] It has been very generally supposed that ‘after this’ means ‘after this manifestation of Divine clemency’. But it seems better to suppose that Ezra breaks abruptly off at Ezra 9:9. The thought of God’s favour in the past makes Ezra mentally compare it with the present position of the Jews. ‘And now, at this moment, after this fresh violation of commandment, after this further proof of our guiltiness, what can we say?’This information threw Ezra into deep grief and moral consternation. The tearing of the upper and under garments was a sign of heartfelt and grievous affliction (Joshua 8:6); see remarks on Leviticus 10:6. The plucking out of (a portion of) the hair was the expression of violent wrath or moral indignation, comp. Nehemiah 13:25, and is not to be identified with the cutting off of the hair in mourning Job 1:20). "And sat down stunned;" משׁומם, desolate, rigid, stunned, without motion. While he was sitting thus, there were gathered unto him all who feared the word of God concerning the transgression of those that had been carried away. חרד, trembling, being terrified, generally construed with על or אל (e.g., Isaiah 66:2, Isaiah 66:5), but here with ב (like verbs of embracing, believing), and meaning to believe with trembling in the word which God had spoken concerning this מעל, i.e., thinking with terror of the punishments which such faithless conduct towards a covenant God involved.
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