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Ezra 9:6 meaning...

In Ezra 9:6 we encounter a verse that expresses a deep sense of humility, repentance, and awe before the presence of God:

  • Ashamed and Blushing:

"My God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God..."

The opening words reveal a profound emotional response to the recognition of sin. The speaker, in this case, Ezra, expresses a deep sense of shame and embarrassment in the presence of God. This acknowledgment goes beyond a mere admission of guilt; it reflects a genuine contrition and humility before the holy and righteous God.

  • Iniquities Over Our Head:

"...for our iniquities have increased over our head..."

The imagery of iniquities rising over the head suggests an overwhelming burden. The cumulative effect of transgressions has reached a point where it surpasses the individual's ability to bear. This vivid description emphasizes the gravity of the sins committed.

  • Guiltiness to the Heavens:

"...and our guiltiness has grown up to the heavens."

The parallel imagery of guiltiness reaching the heavens conveys the idea that the extent of wrongdoing has reached an astonishing height. It implies a sense of cosmic proportions, highlighting the severity of the transgressions. The heavens, often associated with God's dwelling place, underscore the significance of the offense.

Theological Significance: Humility and Repentance

  • Profound Humility:

Ezra's words convey not just guilt but a profound humility in recognizing the unworthiness of approaching God. The act of lifting up the face symbolizes the boldness and confidence to stand before God. Ezra, in his humility, acknowledges that sin has shattered that confidence.

  • Corporate Confession:

The use of "our" and "we" throughout the verse emphasizes the corporate nature of the confession. Ezra identifies with the collective guilt of the people, recognizing that the sins of the community are intertwined and shared.

  • Reverence for God's Holiness:

The shame and blushing express a reverence for the holiness of God. The recognition of sin heightens the awareness of God's purity, creating a stark contrast between human frailty and divine perfection.

Practical Implications: A Model of Repentance

  • Personal and Corporate Reflection:

Ezra's prayer encourages believers to engage in both personal and corporate reflection on sin. It prompts us to consider our own actions as well as the collective responsibility of our community.

  • A Posture of Humility:

The emotional language of shame and blushing underscores the importance of approaching God with humility. It serves as a model for us to adopt a humble posture in acknowledging our shortcomings before the Almighty.

  • Confession and Repentance:

Ezra's prayer exemplifies the importance of genuine confession and repentance. It goes beyond a casual acknowledgment of sin, involving a deep, heartfelt sorrow for the offenses committed.


Psalm 40:12: "For innumerable evils have surrounded me. My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart has failed me." This parallel verse from Psalms echoes the sentiment of feeling overwhelmed by iniquities, unable to lift one's face in the presence of God.

Daniel 9:8: "Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you." Daniel's prayer in chapter 9 shares a similar theme of shame and confusion in the face of sin. Both Ezra and Daniel express a deep awareness of the corporate guilt of the people.

Conclusion - A Prayer of Contrition: Ezra 9:6 stands as a poignant prayer of contrition, expressing profound shame, humility, and a sense of the overwhelming burden of sin. It serves as a model for us to approach God with sincerity, acknowledging our need for His mercy and forgiveness.

Ezra 9:6.  I said, “My God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God; for our iniquities have increased over our head, and our guiltiness has grown up to the heavens.”


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