2 And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of aKing 1Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that bI took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. 2 Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but csorrow of heart.”
So I became 2dreadfully afraid, 3 and said to the king, d“May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when ethe city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with ffire?”
So I gprayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him ha time.
7 Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the igovernors of the region beyond 3the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the 4citadel which pertains jto the 5temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me kaccording to the good hand of my God upon me.
Lit. very much