Nehemiah 1 Good News Translation (GNT)
1 This is the account of what Nehemiah son of Hacaliah accomplished.
Nehemiah's Concern for Jerusalem
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year that Artaxerxes was emperor of Persia, I, Nehemiah, was in Susa, the capital city. 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived from Judah with another group, and I asked them about Jerusalem and about the other Jews who had returned from exile in[a] Babylonia. 3 They told me that those who had survived and were back in the homeland[b] were in great difficulty and that the foreigners who lived nearby looked down on them. They also told me that the walls of Jerusalem were still broken down and that the gates had not been restored since the time they were burned. 4 When I heard all this, I sat down and wept.
For several days I mourned and did not eat. I prayed to God, 5 “Lord God of Heaven! You are great, and we stand in fear of you. You faithfully keep your covenant with those who love you and do what you command. 6 Look at me, Lord, and hear my prayer, as I pray day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess that we, the people of Israel, have sinned. My ancestors and I have sinned. 7 We have acted wickedly against you and have not done what you commanded. We have not kept the laws which you gave us through Moses, your servant. 8 Remember now what you told Moses: ‘If you people of Israel are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the other nations. 9 But then if you turn back to me and do what I have commanded you, I will bring you back to the place where I have chosen to be worshiped, even though you are scattered to the ends of the earth.’
10 “Lord, these are your servants, your own people. You rescued them by your great power and strength. 11 Listen now to my prayer and to the prayers of all your other servants who want to honor you. Give me success today and make the emperor merciful to me.”
In those days I was the emperor's wine steward.
Nehemiah 1 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Nehemiah Prays for His People
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capital, 2 one of my brothers, Hanani, came with certain men from Judah; and I asked them about the Jews that survived, those who had escaped the captivity, and about Jerusalem. 3 They replied, “The survivors there in the province who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.”
4 When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments; 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Both I and my family have sinned. 7 We have offended you deeply, failing to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place at which I have chosen to establish my name.’ 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great power and your strong hand. 11 O 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 success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man!”
At the time, I was cupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah 1 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
1 The words of Nechemyah the son of Hakhalyah:
It was in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the capital, 2 that Hanani, one of my kinsmen, came out of Y’hudah with some men; and I asked them about the remnant of Judeans who had escaped the exile, and about Yerushalayim. 3 They answered me, “The remnant of the exile left there in the province are in great distress and are held in contempt, the wall of Yerushalayim is in ruins, and its gates have been completely burned up.”
4 On hearing this answer, I sat down and wept; I mourned for several days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 I said, “Please, Adonai! God of heaven! You great and fearsome God, who keeps his covenant and extends grace to those who love him and observe his mitzvot! 6 Let your ear now be attentive and your eyes be open, so that you will listen to the prayer of your servant, which I am praying before you these days, day and night, for the people of Isra’el your servants — even as I confess the sins of the people of Isra’el that we have committed against you. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have deeply offended you. We haven’t observed the mitzvot, laws or rulings you ordered your servant Moshe. 8 Remember, please, the word you gave through your servant Moshe, ‘If you break faith, I will scatter you among the peoples; 9 but if you return to me, observe my mitzvot and obey them, then, even if your scattered ones are in the most distant part of heaven, nevertheless, I will collect them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen for bearing my name.’ 10 Now these are your servants, your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and strong hand. 11 Adonai, please, let your ear now be attentive to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take joy in fearing your name: please let your servant succeed today and win this man’s compassion” — for I was the king’s personal attendant.
Nehemiah 1 The Message (MSG)
1 1-2 The memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
It was the month of Kislev in the twentieth year. At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.
3 They told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.”
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven.
5-6 I said, “God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands: Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you.
7-9 “We’ve treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you, I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’
10-11 “Well, there they are—your servants, your people whom you so powerfully and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your servant’s prayer—and yes, to all your servants who delight in honoring you—and make me successful today so that I get what I want from the king.”
I was cupbearer to the king.