1 The words of aNehemiah the son of Hacaliah.
Now it happened in the month of bChislev, cin the twentieth year, as I was in dSusa the citadel, 2 that eHanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and fshame. gThe wall of Jerusalem is broken down, hand its gates are destroyed by fire.”
4 As soon as I heard these words I isat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the jGod of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, kthe great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 llet your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, mconfessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even nI and my father’s house have sinned. 7 oWe have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules pthat you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, qI will scatter you among the peoples, 9 rbut if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, sthough your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them tto the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10 uThey are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, llet your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”
Now I was vcupbearer to the king.