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 LORD 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 LORD, 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.)