1 1 The 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, 1 2 that 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. 1 3 And 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."
1 4 When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days; and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 1 5 And 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; 1 6 let 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. 1 7 We have acted very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances which you commanded your servant Moses. 1 8 Remember the word which you commanded your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; 1 9 but 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.' 1 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 1 11 O 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.