- The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah.
Now it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
- that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men out of Judah;
and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, that were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
- 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 I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven,
- and said, I beseech thee, O Jehovah, the God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments:
- Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee.
Yea, 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 ordinances, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
- Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples:
- but if ye return unto me, and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there.
- 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 delight to fear thy name;
and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.
Now I was cupbearer to the king.