Early the following spring, 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.
References for Nehemiah 2:1
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,
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."
The king asked, "Well, how can I help you?" With a prayer to the God of heaven,
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."
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.