Daily Bible Reading

March 5, 2024

Nehemiah 9:1-25(GNT)

God’s Guiding Word: Prayer


Nehemiah 9:1–25: In today’s reading, the people have heard Ezra read the Law (see Nehemiah 8:1–12 from yesterday’s reading), and they respond with worship, prayer, and confession. The prayer in this passage is a summary of God’s faithfulness, including creation, the promise to Abraham, the exodus from Egypt, the 40 years in the desert, and the conquest of Canaan.

Scripture Reading

1-2 On the twenty-fourth day of the same month the people of Israel gathered to fast in order to show sorrow for their sins. They had already separated themselves from all foreigners. They wore sackcloth and put dust on their heads as signs of grief. Then they stood and began to confess the sins that they and their ancestors had committed. For about three hours the Law of the Lord their God was read to them, and for the next three hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God.

There was a platform for the Levites, and on it stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani. They prayed aloud to the Lord their God.

The following Levites gave a call to worship: Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah. They said:

“Stand up and praise the Lord your God;
    praise him forever and ever!
Let everyone praise his glorious name,
    although no human praise is great enough.”

And then the people of Israel prayed this prayer:

“You, Lord, you alone are Lord;
    you made the heavens and the stars of the sky.
You made land and sea and everything in them;
    you gave life to all.
The heavenly powers bow down and worship you.
You, Lord God, chose Abram
    and led him out of Ur in Babylonia;
    you changed his name to Abraham.
You found that he was faithful to you,
    and you made a covenant with him.
You promised to give him the land of the Canaanites,
    the land of the Hittites and the Amorites,
    the land of the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Girgashites,
    to be a land where his descendants would live.
You kept your promise, because you are faithful.

“You saw how our ancestors suffered in Egypt;
    you heard their call for help at the Red Sea.
10 You worked amazing miracles against the king,
    against his officials and the people of his land,
    because you knew how they oppressed your people.
You won then the fame you still have today.
11 Through the sea you made a path for your people
    and led them through on dry ground.
Those who pursued them drowned in deep water,
    as a stone sinks in the raging sea.
12 With a cloud you led them in daytime,
    and at night you lighted their way with fire.
13 At Mount Sinai you came down from heaven;
    you spoke to your people
    and gave them good laws and sound teachings.
14 You taught them to keep your Sabbaths holy,
    and through your servant Moses you gave them your laws.

15 “When they were hungry, you gave them bread from heaven,
    and water from a rock when they were thirsty.
You told them to take control of the land
    which you had promised to give them.
16 But our ancestors grew proud and stubborn
    and refused to obey your commands.
17 They refused to obey; they forgot all you did;
    they forgot the miracles you had performed.
In their pride they chose a leader
    to take them back to slavery in Egypt.
But you are a God who forgives;
    you are gracious and loving, slow to be angry.
Your mercy is great; you did not forsake them.
18 They made an idol in the shape of a bull-calf
    and said it was the god who led them from Egypt!
How much they insulted you, Lord!
19 But you did not abandon them there in the desert,
    for your mercy is great.
You did not take away the cloud or the fire
    that showed them the path by day and night.
20 In your goodness you told them what they should do;
    you fed them manna and gave them water to drink.
21 Through forty years in the desert
    you provided all that they needed;
    their clothing never wore out,
    and their feet were not swollen with pain.

22 “You let them conquer nations and kingdoms,
    lands that bordered their own.
They conquered the land of Heshbon, where Sihon ruled,
    and the land of Bashan, where Og was king.
23 You gave them as many children as there are stars in the sky,
    and let them conquer and live in the land
    that you had promised their ancestors to give them.
24 They conquered the land of Canaan;
    you overcame the people living there.
You gave your people the power to do as they pleased
    with the people and kings of Canaan.
25 Your people captured fortified cities,
    fertile land, houses full of wealth,
    cisterns already dug,
    olive trees, fruit trees, and vineyards.
They ate all they wanted and grew fat;
    they enjoyed all the good things you gave them.

Today’s Key Verse: Nehemiah 9:17b

“You are a God who forgives; you are gracious and loving, slow to be angry.”


When the people offered this prayer of confession, they wore sackcloth. Sackcloth was a rough, coarse fabric that was often worn in times of trouble or sorrow. They also threw dirt or ashes on their heads to express sorrow and grief. In what ways have you expressed sorrow and grief? In this prayer of confession, what is cited as examples of God’s mercy?


Gracious God, you alone are the Lord, the Creator of the heavens and all the stars. Because of your great mercy, you never abandoned your people, and you never abandon me. I am grateful for your blessings of forgiveness, healing, and renewal. Amen.

Tomorrow’s Reading

Nehemiah 9:26–38: The people continue their prayer of confession.

Share Today's Daily Bible Reading With a Friend:

Daily Bible Reading Archive

Lectura diaria de la Biblia está también disponible en español


Sign Up Now

To receive Daily Bible Reading in your inbox every morning.

Also receive Bible-reading tips, tools and resources.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.