5Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kad-mi-el, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, ‘Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be thy glorious name which is exalted above all blessing and praise.’ ”

A second interpolated introduction

6And Ezra said:”

God the creator

6‘Thou art the Lord, thou alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.…’”

The God of Abraham

7‘Thou art the Lord, the God who didst choose Abraham and bring him forth out of Ur of the Chaldeans and give him the name Abraham.…’ ”

God the deliverer from Egypt

9‘And thou didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and hear their cry at the Red Sea, 10and didst perform signs and wonders against Pharaoh.…11thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land.…’”

God the giver of the Law

13‘Thou didst come down upon Mount Sinai, and speak with them from heaven and give them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments.…’ ”

The people’s rebellion

16‘But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey thy commandments.’”

God’s forgiveness; entry into the land

17‘…But thou art a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and didst not forsake them.…23Thou didst multiply their descendants as the stars of heaven, and thou didst bring them into the land which thou hadst told their fathers to enter and possess.’ ”

First rebellion in the land; defeat; supplication; deliverance

26‘Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against thee and cast thy law behind their back and killed thy prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to thee, and they committed great blasphemies. 27Therefore thou didst give them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer; and in the time of their suffering they cried to thee and thou didst hear them from heaven; and according to thy great mercies thou didst give them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies.’ ”

Second rebellion in the land; defeat, supplication, deliverance

28‘But after they had rest they did evil again before thee, and thou didst abandon them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them; yet when they turned and cried to thee thou didst hear from heaven, and many times thou didst deliver them according to thy mercies.’ ”

Third rebellion; defeat

29‘…Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey thy commandments, but sinned against thy ordinances.…30Many years thou didst bear with them, and didst warn them by thy Spirit through thy prophets; yet they would not give ear. Therefore thou didst give them into the hand of the peoples of the lands, 31Nevertheless in thy great mercies thou didst not make and end of them or forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.’”

Plea for deliverance

36‘Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that thou gavest to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and is good gifts, behold, we are slaves. 37And its rich yield goes to the kings whom thou has set over us because of our sins; they have power also over our bodies and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.’”