1. The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
2. Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3. And they said to me, “The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. And the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.”
4. Now it came to pass when I heard these words, I sat down and wept. And I mourned for days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.
5. And I said, “I pray You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God Who keeps covenant and mercy for those who love Him and keep His commandments;
6. Let Your ear now be attentive, and Your eyes open, so that You may hear the prayer of Your servant, which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confessing the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned.
7. We have acted 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 beseech You, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you deal treacherously, I will scatter you among the nations;
9. But if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though your dispersed were cast out to the outermost part of the heavens, yet I will 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. O LORD, I beseech You, let now Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who delight to fear Your name. And I pray You, make Your servant successful today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man” (for I was the king’s cupbearer).
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