The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth
year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men
of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and
 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the
province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates
thereof are burned with fire.
 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept,
and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
 And said, I beseech
thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them
that love him and observe his commandments:
 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open,
that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the
children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against
thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have
not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant
 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying,
If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my
commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven,
yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name
 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power,
and by thy strong hand.
 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy
servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy
servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.
 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was
before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his
 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick?
this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
 And said unto the king, Let the
king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres,
lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
 Then the king said unto me, For what dost
thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
 And I said unto the king, If it please the king,
and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city
of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.
 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by
him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send
me; and I set him a time.
 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me
to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
 And a letter
unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates
of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall
enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
 Then I came to
the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the
army and horsemen with me.
 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite,
heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of
 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
 And I arose in the night, I and some
few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither
was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.
 And I went out by night by the gate of
the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which
were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
 Then I went on to the gate of
the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate
of the valley, and so returned.
 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as
yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the
 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the