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Nehemiah Intercedes for Jerusalem

The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:

Now it happened that in the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in Shushan the capitol, that Hanani, one of my brothers, together with some men from Judah, arrived and I asked them about the Judeans, the remnant who had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem.

They said to me, “The remnant who have survived the captivity there in the province are in great distress and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire.”

Upon hearing these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days. I prayed and fasted before the God of heaven. Then I said:

Adonai, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps the covenant and lovingkindness with those who love Him and keep His mitzvot, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant that I am praying before You today both day and night on behalf of Your servants, the Bnei-Yisrael. I am confessing the sins of Bnei-Yisrael that we have sinned against You—yes, I and my ancestral house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You. We have not kept the mitzvot, the statutes, nor the rulings that You commanded Your servant Moses.

“Please recall the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you act unfaithfully, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to Me and obey My mitzvot, and do them, then even if your dispersed people are at the ends of the heavens, I will gather them from there, and bring them back to the place where I have chosen for My Name to dwell.’

10 “They are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great strength and by Your mighty hand. 11 Please, my Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to the prayer of Your servants who delight in revering Your Name. Give Your servant success today and grant compassion in the presence of this man.”

Now I was cupbearer to the king.