Nehemiah's Prayer for Jerusalem
1 1 Words of Nehemiah son of Hachaliah. And it cometh to pass, in the month of Chisleu, the twentieth year, and I have been in Shushan the palace, 2 and come in doth Hanani, one of my brethren, he and men of Judah, and I ask them concerning the Jews, the escaped part that have been left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem; 3 and they say to me, 'Those left, who have been left of the captivity there in the province, 'are' in great evil, and in reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burnt with fire.' 4 And it cometh to pass, at my hearing these words, I have sat down, and I weep and mourn 'for' days, and I am fasting and praying before the God of the heavens.
5 And I say, 'I beseech thee, O Jehovah, God of the heavens, God, the great and the fearful, keeping the covenant and kindness for those loving Him, and for those keeping His commands, 6 let Thine ear be, I pray Thee, attentive, and Thine eyes open, to hearken unto the prayer of Thy servant, that I am praying before Thee to-day, by day and by night, concerning the sons of Israel Thy servants, and confessing concerning the sins of the sons of Israel, that we have sinned against Thee; yea, I and the house of my father have sinned; 7 we have acted very corruptly against Thee, and have not kept the commands, and the statutes, and the judgments, that Thou didst command Moses Thy servant. 8 'Remember, I pray Thee, the word that Thou didst command Moses Thy servant, saying, Ye—ye trespass—I scatter you among peoples; 9 and ye have turned back unto Me, and kept My commands, and done them—if your outcast is in the end of the heavens, thence I gather them, and have brought them in unto the place that I have chosen to cause My name to tabernacle there. 10 And they 'are' Thy servants, and Thy people, whom Thou hast ransomed by Thy great power, and by Thy strong hand. 11 'I beseech Thee, O Lord, let, I pray Thee, Thine ear be attentive unto the prayer of Thy servant, and unto the prayer of Thy servants, those delighting to fear Thy Name; and give prosperity, I pray Thee, to Thy servant to-day, and give him for mercies before this man;' and I have been butler to the king.
Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem
2 1 And it cometh to pass, in the month of Nisan, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, wine 'is' before him, and I lift up the wine, and give to the king, and I had not been sad before him; 2 and the king saith to me, 'Wherefore 'is' thy face sad, and thou not sick? this is nothing except sadness of heart;' and I fear very much, 3 and say to the king, 'Let the king to the age live! wherefore should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of the graves of my fathers, 'is' a waste, and its gates have been consumed with fire?' 4 And the king saith to me, 'For what art thou seeking?' and I pray unto the God of the heavens, 5 and say to the king, 'If to the king 'it be' good, and if thy servant be pleasing before thee, that thou send me unto Judah, unto the city of the graves of my fathers, and I built it.' 6 And the king saith to me (and the queen is sitting near him), 'How long is thy journey? and when dost thou return?' and it is good before the king, and he sendeth me away, and I set to him a time. 7 And I say to the king, 'If to the king 'it be' good, letters let be given to me for the governors beyond the River, that they let me pass over till that I come in unto Judah: 8 and a letter unto Asaph, keeper of the paradise that the king hath, that he give to me trees for beams 'for' the gates of the palace that the house hath, and for the wall of the city, and for the house into which I enter;' and the king giveth to me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
9 And I come in unto the governors beyond the River, and give to them the letters of the king; and the king sendeth with me heads of a force, and horsemen; 10 and Sanballat the Horonite heareth, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and it is evil to them—a great evil—that a man hath come in to seek good for the sons of Israel.
Nehemiah Encourages the People to Rebuild the Walls
11 And I come in unto Jerusalem, and I am there three days, 12 and I rise by night, I and a few men with me, and have not declared to a man what my God is giving unto my heart to do for Jerusalem, and there is no beast with me except the beast on which I am riding. 13 And I go out through the gate of the valley by night, and unto the front of the fountain of the dragon, and unto the gate of the dunghill, and I am measuring about the walls of Jerusalem, that are broken down, and its gates consumed with fire. 14 And I pass over unto the gate of the fountain, and unto the pool of the king, and there is no place for the beast under me to pass over, 15 and I am going up through the brook by night, and am measuring about the wall, and turn back, and come in through the gate of the valley, and turn back. 16 And the prefects have not known whither I have gone, and what I am doing; and to the Jews, and to the priests, and to the freemen, and to the prefects, and to the rest of those doing the work, hitherto I have not declared 'it'; 17 and I say unto them, 'Ye are seeing the evil that we are in, in that Jerusalem 'is' waste, and its gates have been burnt with fire; come and we build the wall of Jerusalem, and we are not any more a reproach.' 18 And I declare to them the hand of my God that is good upon me, and also the words of the king that he said to me, and they say, 'Let us rise, and we have built;' and they strengthen their hands for good. 19 And Sanballat the Horonite heareth, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, and they mock at us, and despise us, and say, 'What 'is' this thing that ye are doing? against the king are ye rebelling?' 20 And I return them word, and say to them, 'The God of the heavens—He doth give prosperity to us, and we His servants rise and have built; and to you there is no portion, and right, and memorial in Jerusalem.'
The Sections Assigned for Repair
3 1 And Eliashib the high priest riseth, and his brethren the priests, and they build the sheep-gate; they have sanctified it, and set up its doors, even unto the tower of Meah they have sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel; 2 and by his hand have men of Jericho built; and by their hand hath Zaccur son of Imri built; 3 and the fish-gate have sons of Hassenaah built, they have walled it, and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars. 4 And by their hand hath Merimoth son of Urijah, son of Koz, strengthened; and by his hand hath Meshullam son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabeel, strengthened; and by his hand hath Zadok son of Baana strengthened; 5 and by his hand have the Tekoites strengthened, and their honourable ones have not brought in their neck to the service of their Lord. 6 And the old gate have Jehoiada son of Paseah, and Meshullam son of Besodeiah, strengthened; they have walled it, and set up its doors, and its locks, and its bars. 7 And by their hand hath Melatiah the Gibeonite strengthened, and Jadon the Meronothite, men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, to the throne of the governor beyond the River. 8 By his hand hath Uzziel son of Harhaiah of the refiners strengthened; and by his hand hath Hananiah son of 'one of' the compounders strengthened; and they leave Jerusalem unto the broad wall. 9 And by their hand hath Rephaiah son of Hur, head of the half of the district of Jerusalem, strengthened. 10 And by their hand hath Jedaiah son of Harumaph strengthened, and over-against his own house; and by his hand hath Hattush son of Hashabniah strengthened. 11 A second measure hath Malchijah son of Harim strengthened, and Hashub son of Pahath-Moab, even the tower of the furnaces. 12 And by his hand hath Shallum son of Halohesh, head of the half of the district of Jerusalem, strengthened, he and his daughters. 13 The gate of the valley hath Hanun strengthened, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they have built it, and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars, and a thousand cubits in the wall unto the dung-gate. 14 And the dung-gate hath Malchijah son of Rechab, head of the district of Beth-Haccerem, strengthened; he doth built it, and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars. 15 And the gate of the fountain hath Shallum son of Col-Hozeh, head of the district of Mizpah, strengthened: he doth build it, and cover it, and set up its doors, its locks, and its bars, and the wall of the pool of Siloah, to the garden of the king, and unto the steps that are going down from the city of David. 16 After him hath Nehemiah son of Azbuk, head of the half of the district of Beth-Zur, strengthened, unto over-against the graves of David, and unto the pool that is made, and unto the house of the mighty ones. 17 After him have the Levites strengthened, 'and' Rehum son of Bani: by his hand hath Hashabiah, head of the half of the district of Keilah, strengthened, for his district. 18 After him have their brethren strengthened, 'and' Bavvai son of Henadad, head of the half of the district of Keilah. 19 And Ezer son of Jeshua, head of Mizpah, doth strengthen, by his hand, a second measure, from over-against the ascent of the armoury at the angle. 20 After him hath Baruch son of Zabbai hastened to strengthen a second measure from the angle unto the opening of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him hath Meremoth son of Urijah, son of Koz, strengthened, a second measure, from the opening of the house of Eliashib even unto the completion of the house of Eliashib. 22 And after him have the priests, men of the circuit, strengthened. 23 After them hath Benjamin strengthened, and Hashub, over-against their house; after him hath Azariah son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah, strengthened, near his house. 24 After him hath Binnui son of Henadad strengthened, a second measure, from the house of Azariah unto the angle, and unto the corner. 25 Palal son of Uzai, from over-against the angle, and the tower that is going out from the upper house of the king that 'is' at the court of the prison; after him Pedaiah son of Parosh. 26 And the Nethinim have been dwelling in Ophel, unto over-against the water-gate at the east, and the tower that goeth out. 27 After him have the Tekoites strengthened, a second measure, from over-against the great tower that goeth out, and unto the wall of Ophel. 28 From above the horse-gate have the priests strengthened, each over-against his house. 29 After them hath Zadok son of Immer strengthened, over against his house; and after him hath Shemaiah son of Shechaniah, keeper of the east gate, strengthened. 30 After him hath Hananiah son of Shelemiah strengthened, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, a second measure; after him hath Meshullam son of Berechiah strengthened, over-against his chamber. 31 After him hath Malchijah son of the refiner strengthened, unto the house of the Nethinim, and of the merchants, over-against the gate of the Miphkad, and unto the ascent of the corner. 32 And between the ascent of the corner and the sheep-gate, have the refiners and the merchants strengthened.