1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and certain men out of Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, that were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3 And they said to me, The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. Also the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and the gates of it are burned with fire.
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days. And I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven,
5 and said, I beseech thee, O LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments:
6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou may hearken to the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee at this time, day and night, for the sons of Israel thy servants while I confess the sins of the sons
7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which thou commanded thy servant Moses.
8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commanded thy servant Moses, saying, If ye trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples,
9 but if ye return to me, and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the outermost part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and will bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause my name
10 Now these are thy servants and thy people whom thou have redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
11 O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who delight to fear thy name, and, I pray thee, prosper thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight