1 1The 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,
2that 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.
3And 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.
4And 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,
5and 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:
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:
7we have dealt very corruptly against thee,
and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances,
which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
8Remember, I beseech thee, the
word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye trespass, I will
scatter you abroad among the peoples:
9but 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.
these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great
power, and by thy strong hand.
11O 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.