1The words of Nehemiah the son of Chachalyah. And it came to pass in the month Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan, the capital,
2That there came Chanani, one of my brethren, himself with certain men of Judah: and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great misery and in disgrace; and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and her gates are burnt with fire.
4And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned some days, and I was fasting, and praying before the God of heaven.
5And I said, I beseech thee, O Lord the God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth the covenant and kindness for those that love him and for those that keep his commandments:
6Let thy ear now be attentive, and thy eyes be open, I entreat thee, to hearken unto the prayer of thy servant, which I am praying this day before thee, by day and by night, in behalf of the children of Israel thy servants, and as I confess for the sins of the children of Israel, with which we have sinned against thee: yea, I also and my father's house have sinned.
7We have dealt very corruptly toward thee: and we have not kept the commandments, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which thou didst command Moses thy servant.
8Remember, I beseech thee, the word with which thou didst charge Moses thy servant, saying, If ye become truly unfaithful, I will indeed scatter you among the nations.
9But if ye return unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them: then though your outcasts should be at the utmost parts of heaven, from there will I gather them, and I will bring them unto the place which I have chosen to let my name dwell there.
10And they are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
11I beseech thee, O Lord, do let thy ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who are desirous to fear thy name; and grant success, I pray thee, to thy servant this day, and let him find mercy in the sight of this man —But I was butler by the king.