Nehemiah’s Grief for the Exiles

The words of (A)Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah.

Now it happened in (B)the month Chislev, (C)in the twentieth year, while I was in (D)Susa the [a]capitol, that (E)Hanani, one of my brothers, [b]and some men from Judah came; and I asked them about the Jews who had escaped [c]and had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The remnant there in the (F)province who survived the captivity are in great distress and (G)disgrace, and (H)the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and (I)its gates have been burned with fire.”

Now when I heard these words, (J)I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before (K)the God of heaven. I said, “Please, Lord God of heaven, (L)the great and awesome God, (M)who keeps the covenant and faithfulness for those who love Him and keep His commandments: (N)let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, (O)confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have committed against You; (P)I and my father’s house have sinned. (Q)We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances (R)which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, please, the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘(S)If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; (T)but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I (U)will gather them from there and bring them (V)to the place where I have chosen to have My name dwell.’ 10 (W)They are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. 11 Please, Lord, (X)may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to [d]revere Your name, and please make Your servant successful today and grant him mercy before this man.”

Now I was the (Y)cupbearer to the king.

Nehemiah’s Prayer Answered

And it came about in the month Nisan, (Z)in the twentieth year of King (AA)Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and (AB)I picked up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, though you are not ill? (AC)This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. And I said to the king, “(AD)May the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad (AE)when the city, the [e]site of my fathers’ tombs, is desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “[f]What would you request?” (AF)So I prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, I request that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me, with the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and (AG)I gave him a definite time. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me (AH)for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, so that they will allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s (AI)forest, so that he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of (AJ)the citadel which is by the [g]temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because (AK)the good hand of my God was on me.

Then I came to (AL)the governors of the provinces beyond the Euphrates River and gave them the king’s letters. Now (AM)the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 And when (AN)Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite [h]official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

11 So I (AO)came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. 12 And I got up in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my [i]mind to do for Jerusalem, and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding. 13 So I went out at night by (AP)the Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon’s Spring and on to the Dung Gate, and I was inspecting the walls of Jerusalem (AQ)which were broken down and its (AR)gates which had been consumed by fire. 14 Then I passed on to (AS)the Fountain Gate and (AT)the King’s Pool, but there was no place for [j]my mount to pass. 15 So I was going up at night by the (AU)ravine and inspecting the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned. 16 However, the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the rest who were doing the work.

17 Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that (AV)Jerusalem is desolate and its gates have been burned by fire. Come, let’s rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a disgrace.” 18 And I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let’s arise and build.” (AW)So they put their hands to the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite [k]official, and (AX)Geshem the Arab heard about it, (AY)they mocked us and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? (AZ)Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 So I answered them and said to them, “(BA)The God of heaven will make us successful; therefore we His servants will arise and build, (BB)but you have no part, right, or memorial in Jerusalem.”

Builders of the Walls

Then (BC)Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built (BD)the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and (BE)installed its doors. They consecrated [l]the wall to (BF)the Tower of the Hundred and (BG)the Tower of Hananel. And next to him (BH)the men of Jericho built, and next to [m]them Zaccur the son of Imri built.

Now the sons of Hassenaah built (BI)the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and installed its doors with its bolts and bars. Next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz made repairs. And next to [n]him Meshullam the son of Berechiah the son of Meshezabel made repairs. And next to [o]him Zadok the son of Baana also made repairs. Moreover, next to [p]him the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not [q]support the work of their masters.

Now Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired (BJ)the Ancient Gate; they laid its beams and installed its doors with its bolts and its bars. Next to them Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, [r]also made repairs for the official seat of the (BK)governor of the province beyond the Euphrates River. Next to him Uzziel the son of Harhaiah of the (BL)goldsmiths made repairs. And next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs, and they restored Jerusalem as far as (BM)the Broad Wall. And next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, (BN)the official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs. 11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and (BO)the Tower of Furnaces. 12 Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, (BP)the official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters.

13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired (BQ)the Valley Gate. They built it and installed its doors with its bolts and its bars, and a [s]thousand cubits of the wall to the Dung Gate.

14 And Malchijah the son of Rechab, the official of the district of (BR)Beth-haccherem repaired the (BS)Dung Gate. He built it and installed its doors with its bolts and its bars.

15 Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, the official of the district of Mizpah, (BT)repaired the Fountain Gate. He built it, made a roof for it, and installed its doors with its bolts and its bars, and the wall of the Pool of Shelah at (BU)the king’s garden as far as (BV)the steps that descend from the city of David. 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, (BW)official of half the district of Beth-zur, made repairs as far as a point opposite the tombs of David, and as far as (BX)the [t]artificial pool and the house of the mighty men. 17 After him the Levites carried out repairs under Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, the official of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district. 18 After him their brothers carried out repairs under Bavvai the son of Henadad, official of the other half of the district of Keilah. 19 And next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, (BY)the official of Mizpah, repaired [u]another section in front of the ascent of the armory (BZ)at the Angle. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the Angle to the doorway of the house of (CA)Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz repaired another section, from the doorway of Eliashib’s house even as far as the end of [v]his house. 22 And after him the priests, (CB)the men of the [w]vicinity, carried out repairs. 23 After [x]them Benjamin and Hasshub carried out repairs in front of their house. After [y]them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah, carried out repairs beside his house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah as far as (CC)the Angle and as far as the corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai made repairs in front of the Angle and the tower projecting from the upper house of the king, which is by (CD)the courtyard of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs. 26 Now (CE)the temple servants living in (CF)Ophel made repairs as far as the front of (CG)the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower. 27 After [z]them (CH)the Tekoites repaired another section in front of the great projecting tower and as far as the wall of Ophel.

28 Above (CI)the Horse Gate the priests carried out repairs, each in front of his house. 29 After [aa]them Zadok the son of Immer carried out repairs in front of his house. And after him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, carried out repairs. 30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah carried out repairs in front of his own quarters. 31 After him Malchijah, [ab]one of (CJ)the goldsmiths, carried out repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, in front of the [ac]Inspection Gate and as far as the upper room of the corner. 32 And between the upper room of the corner and (CK)the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants carried out repairs.

Footnotes

  1. Nehemiah 1:1 Or acropolis
  2. Nehemiah 1:2 Lit he and men
  3. Nehemiah 1:2 Lit who survived
  4. Nehemiah 1:11 Or fear
  5. Nehemiah 2:3 Lit house
  6. Nehemiah 2:4 Lit For what is this you
  7. Nehemiah 2:8 Lit house
  8. Nehemiah 2:10 Lit servant
  9. Nehemiah 2:12 Lit heart
  10. Nehemiah 2:14 Lit the animal under me
  11. Nehemiah 2:19 Lit servant
  12. Nehemiah 3:1 Lit it
  13. Nehemiah 3:2 Lit him
  14. Nehemiah 3:4 Lit them
  15. Nehemiah 3:4 Lit them
  16. Nehemiah 3:5 Lit them
  17. Nehemiah 3:5 Lit bring their neck to
  18. Nehemiah 3:7 Or which was under the jurisdiction of the governor of the province beyond the River, also made repairs
  19. Nehemiah 3:13 About 1,500 ft. or 457 m
  20. Nehemiah 3:16 Lit constructed
  21. Nehemiah 3:19 Lit a second measure, and so in vv 20, 21, 24, 30
  22. Nehemiah 3:21 Lit Eliashib’s
  23. Nehemiah 3:22 I.e., the lower Jordan Valley
  24. Nehemiah 3:23 Lit him
  25. Nehemiah 3:23 Lit him
  26. Nehemiah 3:27 Lit him
  27. Nehemiah 3:29 Lit him
  28. Nehemiah 3:31 Lit son of
  29. Nehemiah 3:31 Or Numbering