1The words of Neemias the son of Chelcia. And it came to pass in the month Chaseleu, of the twentieth year, that I was in Susan the palace.
2And Anani, one of my brethren, came, he and some men of Juda; and I asked them concerning those that had escaped, who had been left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3And they said to me, The remnant, even those that are left of the captivity, are there in the land, in great distress and reproach: and the walls of Jerusalem are thrown down, and its gates are burnt with fire.
4And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for several days, and continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
5And I said, Nay, I pray you, O Lord God of heaven, the mighty, the great and terrible, keeping your covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to those that keep his commandments:
6let now your ear be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may hear the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you at this time, this day both day and night, for the children of Israel your servants, and make confession for the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you: both I and the house of my father have sinned.
7We have altogether broken covenant with you, and we have not kept the commandments, and the ordinances, and the judgements, which you did command your servant Moses.
8Remember, I pray you, the word wherewith you did charge your servant Moses, saying, If you° break covenant with me, I will disperse you amongst the nations.
9But if you° turn again to me, and keep my commandments, and do them; if you° should be scattered under the utmost bound of heaven, thence will I gather them, and I will bring them into the place which I have chosen to cause my name to dwell there.
10Now they are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed with your great power, and with your strong hand.
11Turn not away, I pray you, O Lord, but let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants, who desire to fear your name: and prosper, I pray you, your servant this day, and cause him to find mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was the king's cupbearer.