1:5 Then I said, “Please, O LORD God of heaven, great and awesome God, who keeps his loving covenant 1 with those who love him and obey 2 his commandments, 1:6 may your ear be attentive and your eyes be open to hear the prayer of your servant that I am praying to you today throughout both day and night on behalf of your servants the Israelites. I am confessing the sins of the Israelites that we have committed 3 against you – both I myself and my family 4 have sinned. 1:7 We have behaved corruptly against you, not obeying the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments that you commanded your servant Moses. 1:8 Please recall the word you commanded your servant Moses: ‘If you act unfaithfully, I will scatter you among the nations. 5 1:9 But if you repent 6 and obey 7 my commandments and do them, then even if your dispersed people are in the most remote location, 8 I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen for my name to reside.’ 1:10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your mighty strength and by your powerful hand. 1:11 Please, 9 O Lord, listen attentively 10 to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take pleasure in showing respect 11 to your name. Grant your servant success today and show compassion to me 12 in the presence of this man.”
Now 13 I was cupbearer for the king.
1 tn Heb “the covenant and loyal love.” The phrase is a hendiadys: the first noun retains its full nominal sense, while the second noun functions adjectivally (“loyal love” = loving). Alternately, the first might function adjectivally and the second noun function as the noun: “covenant and loyal love” = covenant fidelity (see Neh 9:32).
2 tn Heb “keep.” The Hebrew verb שָׁמַר (shamar, “to observe; to keep”) is often used as an idiom that means “to obey” the commandments of God (e.g., Exod 20:6; Deut 5:16; 23:24; 29:8; Judg 2:22; 1 Kgs 2:43; 11:11; Ps 119:8, 17, 34; Jer 35:18; Ezek 17:14; Amos 2:4). See BDB 1036 s.v. 3.c.
3 tn Heb “have sinned.” For stylistic reasons – to avoid redundancy in English – this was translated as “committed.”
4 tn Heb “the house of my father.”
5 tn Heb “peoples.”
6 tn Heb “turn to me.”
8 tn Heb “at the end of the heavens.”
9 tn The interjection אָנָּא (’anna’) is an emphatic term of entreaty: “please!” (BDB 58 s.v.; HALOT 69-70 s.v.). This term is normally reserved for pleas for mercy from God in life-and-death situations (2 Kgs 20:3 = Isa 38:3; Pss 116:4; 118:25; Jonah 1:14; 4:2) and for forgiveness of heinous sins that would result or have resulted in severe judgment from God (Exod 32:31; Dan 9:4; Neh 1:5, 11).
10 tn Heb “let your ear be attentive.”
11 tn Heb “fear.”
12 tn Heb “grant compassion.” The words “to me” are supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness and style in English.
13 tn The vav (ו) on וַאֲנִי (va’ani, “Now, I”) introduces a disjunctive parenthetical clause that provides background information to the reader.