Nehemiah 1-3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Nehemiah’s Grief for the Exiles
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:
Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the [a]twentieth year [of the [b]Persian king], as I was in the [c]capitol of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, and some men from Judah came; and I asked them about the surviving Jews who had escaped and survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its [fortified] gates have been burned (destroyed) by fire.”
4 Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying [constantly] before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “Please, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 6 please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You, day and night, on behalf of Your servants, the [d]sons (descendants) of Israel (Jacob), confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have committed against You; I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8 Please remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful and violate your obligations to Me I will scatter you [abroad] among the peoples; 9 but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered are in the most remote part of the [e]heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen for My [f]Name to dwell.’ 10 Now they are Your servants and Your people whom You have redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. 11 Please, O Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to [reverently] fear Your Name [Your essence, Your nature, Your attributes, with awe]; and make Your servant successful this day and grant him compassion in the sight of this man [the king].”
For I was [g]cupbearer to the king [of Persia].
Nehemiah’s Prayer Answered
2 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. 2 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, 3 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?” 4 The king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 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.” 6 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]. 7 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, 8 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.
9 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 [h]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 [i]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.”
Builders of the Walls
3 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests and built [j]the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set up its doors; and they consecrated the wall [westward] to the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel. 2 [k]Next to Eliashib the men of Jericho built, and next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.
3 Now the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and set up its doors with its bolts and its bars. 4 Next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, made repairs. Next to him Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs. And next to him Zadok the son of Baana also made repairs. 5 Next to him the men of Tekoa made repairs, but their nobles did not [l]support the work of their overseers.
6 Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired [m]the Old Gate. They laid its beams and set up its doors with its bolts and its bars. 7 Next to them Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, made repairs for the official seat (Jerusalem residence) of the governor [of the province] beyond the [Euphrates] River. 8 Next to them Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs, and they restored Jerusalem as far as [n]the Broad Wall. 9 Next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his own 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 the Tower of the Furnaces. 12 Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters.
13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They built it and set up its doors with its bolts and its bars, and repaired a thousand cubits (1,500 ft.) of the wall as far as the Refuse Gate.
14 Malchijah the son of Rechab, the official of the district of Beth-haccherem repaired the Refuse Gate. He rebuilt it and set its doors with its bolts and its bars.
15 Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, official of the district of Mizpah repaired the [o]Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it and covered it [with a roof], and set up its doors with its bolts and its bars, and [he rebuilt] the wall of the Pool of Shelah (Siloam) by the King’s Garden as far as the stairs that descend [the eastern slope] from [the section of Jerusalem known as] the City of David. 16 After him [p]Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, official of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired [the wall] as far as [a point] in front of the tombs of David, and as far as the artificial pool and the house of the guards. 17 After him the Levites carried out repairs under Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, 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 Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, the official of Mizpah, repaired another section [northward] in front of the ascent to the armory at the Angle [in the wall]. 20 After him Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section [toward the hill], from the Angle [in the wall] to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired another [eastern] section, from the door of Eliashib’s house as far as the end of his house. 22 After him the priests, the men of the [lower Jordan] valley, carried out repairs. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, carried out repairs beside his own house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section [of the wall], from the house of Azariah to the Angle [in the wall] and to the corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai made repairs in front of the Angle [in the wall] and the tower projecting from the upper house (palace) of the king, which is by the courtyard of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs. 26 The temple servants were living in Ophel [the hill south of the temple], and they made repairs as far as the front of the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. 27 After them the Tekoites repaired another section in front of the great projecting tower and as far as the wall of Ophel.
28 Above the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each one in front of his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer carried out repairs in front of his house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, keeper of the East Gate, repaired the wall. 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, one of the goldsmiths, carried out repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, in front of the [q]Inspection Gate and as far as the upper room of the corner. 32 Between the upper room of the corner and [r]the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants carried out repairs.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.