Nehemiah's Prayer for Jerusalem
1 1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and certain men out of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire. 4 It happened, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven,
5 and said, I beg you, Yahweh, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments: 6 Let your ear now be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may listen to the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel your servants while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned: 7 we have dealt very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember, I beg you, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples: 9 but if you return to me, and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from there, and will bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there. 10 Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power, and by your strong hand. 11 Lord, I beg you, let your ear be attentive now to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants, who delight to fear your name; and please prosper your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cup bearer to the king.
Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem
2 1 It happened in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine, and gave it to the king. Now I had not been before sad in his presence. 2 The king said to me, Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid. 3 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’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are consumed with fire? 4 Then the king said to me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 I said to the king, If it please the king, and if your servant have found favor in your sight, that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may build it. 6 The king said to me (the queen also sitting by him), For how long shall your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7 Moreover I said to the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah; 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertains to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. The king granted me, according to the good hand of my God on me.
9 Then I came to the governors beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me captains of the army and horsemen. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly, because a man had come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
Nehemiah Encourages the People to Rebuild the Walls
11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. 12 I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem; neither was there any animal with me, except the animal that I rode on. 13 I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the jackal’s well, and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and its gates were consumed with fire. 14 Then I went on to the spring gate and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the animal that was under me to pass. 15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall; and I turned back, and entered by the valley gate, and so returned. 16 The rulers didn’t know where I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest who did the work. 17 Then said I to them, You see the evil case that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. 18 I told them of the hand of my God which was good on me, as also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. They said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they ridiculed us, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that you do? will you rebel against the king? 20 Then answered I them, and said to them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
The Sections Assigned for Repair
3 1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up its doors; even to the tower of Hammeah they sanctified it, to the tower of Hananel. 2 Next to him built the men of Jericho. Next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri. 3 The fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build; they laid its beams, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 4 Next to them repaired Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz. Next to them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel. Next to them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. 5 Next to them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles didn’t put their necks to the work of their lord. 6 The old gate repaired Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid its beams, and set up its doors, and its bolts, and its bars. 7 Next to them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, that appertained to the throne of the governor beyond the River. 8 Next to him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths. Next to him repaired Hananiah one of the perfumers, and they fortified Jerusalem even to the broad wall. 9 Next to them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem. 10 Next to them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, over against his house. Next to him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabneiah. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hasshub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired another portion, and the tower of the furnaces. 12 Next to him repaired Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters. 13 The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and one thousand cubits of the wall to the dung gate. 14 The dung gate repaired Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth Haccherem; he built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 15 The spring gate repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and the wall of the pool of Shelah by the king’s garden, even to the stairs that go down from the city of David. 16 After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth Zur, to the place over against the tombs of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the mighty men. 17 After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, for his district. 18 After him repaired their brothers, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah. 19 Next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another portion, over against the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired another portion, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him repaired Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz another portion, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib. 22 After him repaired the priests, the men of the Plain. 23 After them repaired Benjamin and Hasshub over against their house. After them repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah beside his own house. 24 After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another portion, from the house of Azariah to the turning of the wall, and to the corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai repaired over against the turning of the wall, and the tower that stands out from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh repaired. 26 (Now the Nethinim lived in Ophel, to the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.) 27 After him the Tekoites repaired another portion, over against the great tower that stands out, and to the wall of Ophel. 28 Above the horse gate repaired the priests, everyone over against his own house. 29 After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his own house. After him repaired Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the east gate. 30 After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another portion. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber. 31 After him repaired Malchijah one of the goldsmiths to the house of the Nethinim, and of the merchants, over against the gate of Hammiphkad, and to the ascent of the corner. 32 Between the ascent of the corner and the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.