The words of Nechemyah the son of Hakhalyah. Now it happened in the month Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
that Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and certain men out of Yehudah; and I asked them concerning the Yehudim who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Yerushalayim.
They said to me, The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Yerushalayim also is broken down, and the gates of it are burned with fire.
It happened, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven,
and said, I beg you, LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness with those who love him and keep his mitzvot:
Let your ear now be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may listen to the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the children of Yisra'el your servants while I confess the sins of the children of Yisra'el, which we have sinned against you. Yes, I and my father's house have sinned:
we have dealt very corruptly against you, and have not kept the mitzvot, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which you commanded your servant Moshe.
Remember, I beg you, the word that you commanded your servant Moshe, saying, If you trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples:
but if you return to me, and keep my mitzvot and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from there, and will bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there.
Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power, and by your strong hand.
Lord, I beg you, let now your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants, who delight to fear your name; and please prosper your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cup bearer to the king.