A A A A A
Bible Book List

Nehemiah 2Amplified Bible (AMP)

Nehemiah’s Prayer Answered

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was placed before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not [previously] been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, “Why do you look sad when you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very frightened, and I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” The king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your presence, [I ask] that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, so that I may rebuild it.” The king, beside whom the queen was sitting, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time [for my return]. Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the provinces beyond the [Euphrates] River, so that they will allow me to pass through until I reach Judah, and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to construct beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, and for the city wall and for the house which I will occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

Then I came to the governors of the provinces beyond the [Euphrates] River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent officers of the army and horsemen with me. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite [a]official heard this, it caused them great displeasure that someone had come to see about the welfare and prosperity of the Israelites.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. 12 Then I got up in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting in my heart to do for Jerusalem, and there was no animal with me except the one on which I was riding [so as not to attract attention]. 13 So I went out at night by the Valley Gate toward the Dragon’s Well and to the Refuse Gate and inspected the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were consumed by fire. 14 Then I passed over to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no place for the animal that I was riding to pass. 15 So I went up at night by the ravine [of Kidron] and inspected the wall; then I turned back and entered [the city] by the Valley Gate, and returned. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the rest who did the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation that we are in—how Jerusalem is desolate and lies in ruins and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, and let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.” 18 Then I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us [b]rise up and build.” So they thoroughly supported the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked us and regarded us with contempt and said, “What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 I answered them, “The God of heaven [has appointed us for His purpose and] will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right, or memorial in Jerusalem.”

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 2:10 Lit servant.
  2. Nehemiah 2:18 The Hebrew verb “to stand” or “arise” is often an instruction to get ready to fulfill a command, somewhat similar to the military command “attention.”
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Nehemiah 2New International Version (NIV)

Artaxerxes Sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem

In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?

The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”

Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.

I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.

10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.

13 By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal[a] Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; 15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”

20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 2:13 Or Serpent or Fig
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes