1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kisleva in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,b 2 Hanani,c one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnantd that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.e”
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God,h who keeps his covenant of lovei with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hearj the prayerk your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confessl the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedlym toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 “Remembern the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scattero you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gatherp them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’q
10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.r 11 Lord, let your ear be attentives to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favort in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbeareru to the king.