It is not properly to be called a prayer, for there is not a word of petition in it.  But, if we give prayer its full latitude, it is the offering up of pious and devout affections to God – and very devout, very pious are the affections which Ezra here expresses.  His address is a penitent confession of sin – not his own (from a conscience burdened with its own guilt and apprehensive of its own danger) – but the sin of his people, from a gracious concern for the honor of God and the welfare of Israel.  Here is a lively picture of ingenuous repentance. – Matthew Henry (1662-1714), commenting on Ezra 9.5-15.

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