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Nehemiah 2:1–3

Nehemiah Goes to Jerusalem

Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan,* during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence. So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad? You don’t look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.”

Then I was terrified, but I replied, “Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

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Nehemiah 2:1–3 — The New International Version (NIV)

In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — English Standard Version (ESV)

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.”

So I became dreadfully afraid, and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?”

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — New Century Version (NCV)

It was the month of Nisan in the twentieth year Artaxerxes was king. He wanted some wine, so I took some and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before. So the king said, “Why does your face look sad even though you are not sick? Your heart must be sad.”

Then I was very afraid. I said to the king, “May the king live forever! My face is sad because the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.”

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — American Standard Version (ASV)

And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. And the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid. And I said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, Why is thy face sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sadness of heart. And I was very sore afraid. And I said to the king, Let the king live for ever! Why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lies waste, and its gates are consumed with fire?

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

In the month of Nisan, in Artaxerxes’ twentieth year as king, after some wine was brought for the king, I picked up the cup of wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence before. 

The king asked me, “Why do you look so sad? You aren’t sick, are you? You must be troubled about something.” (I was really afraid). 

“May the king live forever!” I said to the king. “Why shouldn’t I look sad when the city, the place where my ancestors are buried, is in ruins and its gates are burned down?” 

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

During the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence, so the king said to me, “Why are you sad, when you aren’t sick? This is nothing but depression.”

I was overwhelmed with fear and replied to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should I not be sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was served him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in his presence before. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my ancestors’ graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

It happened in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. And I had never been sad before the king. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad since you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” And I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad when the city of my ancestors’ burial site is ruined and her gates are consumed by fire?”

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

Wine was brought in for King Artaxerxes. It was the month of Nisan in the 20th year of his rule. I got the wine and gave it to him. I hadn’t been sad in front of him before. But now I was. So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad? You aren’t sick. You must be feeling sad deep down inside.”

I was really afraid. But I said to the king, “May you live forever! Why shouldn’t I look sad? The city where my people of long ago are buried has been destroyed. And fire has burned up its gates.”

Nehemiah 2:1–3 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence.

So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid.

I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?”


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