Hanani,1 one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant2 that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.3"
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.4 For some days I mourned and fasted5 and prayed before the God of heaven.
Then I said: "O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God,6 who keeps his covenant of love7 with those who love him and obey his commands,
let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear8 the prayer9 your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess10 the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you.
We have acted very wickedly11 toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
"Remember12 the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter13 you among the nations,