1And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.2Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,3And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers'sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?4Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.5And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers'sepulchres, that I may build it.6And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.7Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;8And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king' forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.9Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king' letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.10When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it , it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.11So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.12And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.13And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.14Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king' pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.15Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.16And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.17Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.18Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king' words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work .19But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it , they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?20Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
English Standard Version
Nehemiah Sent to Judah
1In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. (Ezr 7:1; Ne 1:1; Ne 1:11; Ne 5:14)2And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. (Pr 15:13)3I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” (1Ki 1:31; Ne 1:3; Ne 2:13; Ne 2:17; Da 2:4; Da 5:10; Da 6:21)4Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. (Ezr 5:12; Ne 1:4; Ne 2:20; Da 2:18)5And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.”6And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. (Ne 5:14; Ne 13:6; Ps 45:9)7And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, (Ezr 8:36)8and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me. (Ezr 7:6; Ne 2:18; Ne 7:2)
Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls
9Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. (Ezr 8:36)10But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel. (Ne 2:19; Ne 4:1; Ne 4:7; Ne 6:1; Ne 6:5; Ne 6:12; Ne 6:14; Ne 13:4; Ne 13:28)11So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. (Ezr 8:32)12Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode.13I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. (2Ch 26:9; Ne 1:3; Ne 2:3; Ne 2:17; Ne 3:13; Ne 12:31)14Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. (2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:3; 2Ch 32:30; Ne 3:15; Ne 3:16; Ne 12:37)15Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. (2Sa 15:23)16And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.17Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” (Ne 1:3; Ne 2:3; Ne 2:13; Ps 44:13; Ps 79:4; Jer 24:9; Eze 5:14; Eze 22:4)18And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (2Sa 2:7; Ne 2:8)19But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” (Ne 4:1; Ne 6:6; Ps 44:13)20Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.” (Ne 2:4)