1 And it came to pass, in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that, wine, was before him,so I took up the wine, and gave unto the king, and I had never been sad before him.
2 Then said the king unto me, Wherefore is thy countenance sad, seeing that, thou, art not sick? this is nothing else, but sadness of heart. Then feared I exceedingly,
3 and said unto the kingLet the, king, unto times age-abiding, live! Wherefore should my countenance, not be sad, when, the citythe place of the sepulchres of my fathers, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
4 Then the king said to me, Concerning what, is it, thou, wouldst make request? So I prayed unto the God of the heavens,
5 and then said unto the king, If, unto the king, it seemeth good, and if thy servant might find favour before thee, That thou wouldst send me unto Judah, unto the city of the sepulchres of my fathers, that I might build it.
6 And the king said unto me, the queen, also sitting beside him, For how long would be thy journey? and when wouldst thou return? So it seemed good before the king to send me, and I set him a time.
7 Then said I unto the king, If, unto the king, it seemeth good, may, letters, be given me, unto the pashas Beyond the River,that they may convey me over, until I come into Judah;
8 also a letter unto Asaph, keeper of the park that belongeth unto the king, that he may give me timber to build up the gates of the fortress which pertaineth to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house whereinto I shall enter. And the king gave me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
9 Then came I unto the pashas Beyond the River, and gave them the letters of the king,now the king, had sent with me, captains of the army, and horsemen.
10 And, when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant the Ammonite, heard of it, it vexed them, with a great vexation,that there had come a man, to seek welfare, for the sons of Israel.
11 So I entered Jerusalem,and was there three days.
12 Then rose I by night, I, and a few men with me, I having told no man, what, my God, had been putting in my heart, to do for Jerusalem,and, beast, was there none with me, save the beast on which, I myself, was riding.
13 So I went forth through the valley-gate by night, even unto the front of the snake-fountain, and into the dung-gate,and I viewed the walls of Jerusalem, how, they, were broken down, and, the gates thereof, consumed with fire.
14 Then passed I over unto the fountain-gate, and unto the pool of the king,but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
15 Then went I up in the torrent-bed, by night, and viewed the wall,and turned back, and entered by the valley-gate, and so returned.
16 Now, the deputies, knew not whither I had gone, nor what I was doing,not even to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the deputies, nor to the rest who were doing the work, had I as yet told it.
17 So I said unto them, Ye, can see the misfortune that, we, are in, how that, Jerusalem, lieth waste, and, the gates thereof, are burned with fire: Come, and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may remain, no longer, a reproach.
18 Then told I them, of the hand of my God, that, it, had been good upon me, as also of the words of the king, which he had spoken unto me,so they said, We will arise and build! and they strengthened their hands right well.
19 But, when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed at us, and poured contempt upon us,and said, What is this thing which ye would do? against the king, would ye rebel?
20 Then answered I them, and said to themThe God of the heavenshe, will prosper us, therefore, we his servants, will arise and build,But, to you, pertaineth no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.