While mourning in sackcloth and ashes, the Levites stood before the people and cried out to God in confession and repentance of their past rebellions. They proclaimed the one true God’s presence and glory from the creation to that present time. He had made a covenant with Abram/Abraham to make from him a great nation. Israel was that nation. The Levites acknowledged His mercy and care for them throughout the ages even as they were justifiably punished because of the hardness and disobedience of themselves and of their fathers. As they recounted their history as a rebellious nation, the Levites prayed for continued mercy and forgiveness. “And because of all this, We make a sure covenant and write it; Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it.”
Nehemiah, the governor along with various priests, Levites, leaders and brethren placed their seal on the covenant with God. The people also agreed to the covenant under oath and penalty of a curse for breaking their oath. That covenant proclaimed complete obedience to the statutes of the Law of Moses. Sadly, history relates that they failed to keep that covenant.