1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it happened in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and men of Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, The remnant left of the captivity there in the province is in great affliction and shame. And the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.
4 And it happened when I heard these words, I sat down and wept. And I mourned for days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of Heaven. 5 And I said, I pray You, O Jehovah, the God of Heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and mercy for those who love Him and keep His commandments; 6 let Your ear now be open, and Your eyes open, so that You may hear the prayer of Your servant, which I pray before You now, day and night, for the sons of Israel Your servants, and confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both I and my father's house have sinned. 7 We have acted very wickedly against You, and have not kept the commandments nor the statutes nor the judgments which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8 I pray You, remember the Word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, If you sin, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you turn to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though you were cast out to the outermost part of the heavens, yet I will gather you from there and will bring you to the place that I have chosen to set My name there. 10 And these are Your servants and Your people whom You have redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. 11 O Jehovah, I pray You, let now Your ear be open to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name. And I pray You, bless Your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. (For I was the king's cupbearer.)