¶ THE words of Nehemiah the son of Helakiah.
And it came to pass in the month of Canun, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
That Hanan, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah;
and I asked them concerning the remnant of the Jews who were left of the captivity and also concerning Jerusalem.
And these men whom I asked said to me, The men who had escaped the captivity, behold, they are there in the city, dwelling in misery and reproach;
the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.
When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for many days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
¶ And I said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the mighty, the great and revered God, who keeps truth and grace for those who love him and keep his commandments;
Let thine eyes now be open, and thine ears attentive, to hear the prayer of thy servant which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and I confess the sins of the children of Israel which they have sinned against thee;
moreover, both I and my father’s house have sinned before thee.
And we have not kept all the commandments nor the statutes nor the ordinances which thou didst command thy servant Moses.
Remember now all the commandments which thou didst command thy servant Moses, saying, If you transgress against me, I will scatter you among the nations;
But if you turn to me and keep my laws and do them, then though your scattered ones were in the uttermost part of heaven, vet I will gather you from thence and bring you to the place that I have chosen to set my name there.
Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast saved 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 those who are willing to worship thy name;
and save thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.
For I was cup hearer to the king.