The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the monthChisleu, in the twentiethyear, as I was in Shushan the palace,2
That Hanani,one of my brethren,came , he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.3
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in greataffliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down , and the gates thereof are burned with fire.4
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept , and mourned certain days, and fasted , and prayedbefore the God of heaven,5
And said , I beseech thee, O LORDGod of heaven, the great and terribleGod, that keepethcovenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:6
Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyesopen , that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I praybefore thee now,day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father'shouse have sinned .
We have dealt verycorruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servantMoses.8Remember , I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servantMoses,saying , If ye transgress , I will scatter you abroad among the nations:9
But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.
Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy greatpower, and by thy stronghand.11
O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper , I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king'scupbearer .