Nehemiah Sent to Judah1In the month of Nisan, ain the twentieth year of King bArtaxerxes, when wine was before him, cI took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but dsadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3I said to the king, e“Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, fwhen the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed gto the God of heaven. 5And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” 6And the king said to me ( hthe queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me iwhen I had given him a time. 7And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me jto the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 8and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of kthe fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, lfor the good hand of my God was upon me.
Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls9Then I came to mthe governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10But when nSanballat the Horonite and oTobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel. 11 pSo I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13I went out by night by qthe Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to rthe Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem sthat were broken down tand its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14Then I went on to uthe Fountain Gate and to vthe King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15Then I went up in the night wby the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work. 17Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, xhow Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer ysuffer derision.” 18And I told them zof the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” aaSo they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and abGeshem the Arab heard of it, acthey jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? adAre you rebelling against the king?” 20Then I replied to them, ae“The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim ▼
▼Or memorialin Jerusalem.”
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