1The wordsof Nehemiahthe sonof Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the monthChisleu, in the twentiethyear, as I was in Shushanthe palace, 2That Hanani, oneof my brethren, came, he and certain menof Judah; and I askedthem concerning the Jewsthat had escaped, which were leftof the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3And they saidunto me, The remnantthat are leftof the captivitythere in the province are in greatafflictionand reproach: the wallof Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gatesthereof are burnedwith fire.
4And it came to pass, when I heardthese words, that I sat downand wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayedbeforethe Godof heaven, 5And said, I beseechthee, O LORDGodof heaven, the greatand terribleGod, that keepethcovenantand mercyfor them that lovehim and observehis commandments: 6Let thine earnow be attentive, and thine eyesopen, that thou mayest hearthe prayerof thy servant, which I praybeforethee now, dayand night, for the childrenof Israelthy servants, and confessthe sinsof the childrenof Israel, which we have sinnedagainst thee: both I and my father’shousehave sinned. 7We have dealt verycorruptlyagainst thee, and have not keptthe commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedstthy servantMoses.
8Remember, I beseech thee, the wordthat thou commandedstthy servantMoses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroadamong the nations: 9 But if ye turnunto me, and keepmy commandments, and dothem; though there were of you cast outunto the uttermost partof the heaven, yet will I gatherthem from thence, and will bringthem unto the placethat I have chosento setmy name there. 10 Now these are thy servantsand thy people, whom thou hast redeemedby thy greatpower, and by thy stronghand. 11O Lord, I beseechthee, let now thine earbe attentiveto the prayerof thy servant, and to the prayerof thy servants, who desireto fearthy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servantthis day, and granthim mercyin the sightof this man. For I was the king’scupbearer.