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Then I answered the king, “If it would please the king, and if I have been good to you, please send me to Jerusalem, the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried. I want to go there and rebuild that city.”

The king and the queen who was sitting next to him asked me, “How long will your trip take? When will you get back here?”

The king was happy to send me, so I gave him a certain time. I also said to the king, “If it would please the king to do something else for me, let me ask. Please give me some letters to show the governors of the area west of the Euphrates River. I need these letters so that the governors will give me permission to pass safely through their lands on my way to Judah.

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