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and then I said to the emperor, “If Your Majesty is pleased with me and is willing to grant my request, let me go to the land of Judah, to the city where my ancestors are buried, so that I can rebuild the city.”

The emperor, with the empress sitting at his side, approved my request. He asked me how long I would be gone and when I would return, and I told him.

Then I asked him to grant me the favor of giving me letters to the governors of West-of-Euphrates Province,[a] instructing them to let me travel to Judah.

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  1. Nehemiah 2:7 Under Persian rule the land of Israel was part of this large Persian province west of the Euphrates River.