The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month
Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
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
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the
province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken
down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and
mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that
keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the
prayer of thy servant, which I pray before 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’s house have sinned.
We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor
the statutes, nor the judgements, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying,
If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
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 great
power, and by thy strong hand.
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’s cupbearer.