Nehemiah 2:3

3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

Read Nehemiah 2:3 Using Other Translations

And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
I said to the king, "Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"
but I replied, “Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

What does Nehemiah 2:3 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Nehemiah 2:3

And I said unto the king, let the king live for ever
Which some think he said to take off the king's suspicion of his having a design upon his life, though it seems to be a common salutation of the kings in those times, see ( Daniel 6:6 Daniel 6:21 ) ,

why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my
fathers' sepulchres, [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are
consumed with fire?
a man's native place, and where his ancestors lie interred, being always reckoned near and dear, the king and his nobles could not object to his being concerned for the desolations thereof.

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