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Nehemiah 2:1-6 (New Living Translation)

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1 Early the following spring, a during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes' reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never appeared sad in his presence before this time. 2 So the king asked me, "Why are you so sad? You aren't sick, are you? You look like a man with deep troubles." Then I was badly frightened, 3 but I replied, "Long live the king! Why shouldn't I be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been burned down." 4 The king asked, "Well, how can I help you?" With a prayer to the God of heaven, 5 I replied, "If it please Your Majesty and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried." 6 The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, "How long will you be gone? When will you return?" So the king agreed, and I set a date for my departure.
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