The words of 1Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of 2Chislev, 3in the twentieth year, as I was in 4Susa the capital,a2
that 5Hanani, 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.
And they said to me, "The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and 6shame. 7The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, 8and its gates are destroyed by fire."
As soon as I heard these words I 9sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the 10God of heaven.
And I said, "O LORD God of heaven, 11the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
612let 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, 13confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even 14I and my father's house have sinned.
715We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules 16that you commanded your servant Moses.
Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, 17I will scatter you among the peoples,
918but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, 19though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them 20to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.'
1021They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand.
O Lord, 22let 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 23cupbearer to the king.