1The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah.
Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the capital, 2that Hanani, one of my brethren, came with certain men out of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that survived, who had escaped exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3And they said to me, "The survivors there in the province who escaped exile are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire."
4When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days; and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5And I said, " O Yahweh God of heaven, the great and terrible God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments; 6let your ear be attentive, and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant which I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Yea, I and my father's house have sinned. 7We have acted very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances which you commanded your servant Moses. 8Remember the word which you commanded your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; 9but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your dispersed be under the farthest skies, I will gather them thence and bring them to the place which I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.' 10They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11O Yahweh, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name; and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man."
Now I was cupbearer to the king.
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