1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof 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 fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
5 And said, I plead to you, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keeps covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
6 Let yours ear now be attentive, and yours eyes open, that you may hear the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you now, day and night, for the children of Israel your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you: both I and my father's house have sinned.
7 We have dealt very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which you commandedst your servant Moses.
8 Remember, I plead to you, the word that you commandedst your servant Moses, saying, If all of you transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
9 But if all of you turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.
10 Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power, and by your strong hand.
11 O LORD, I plead to you, let now yours ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants, who desire to fear your name: and prosper, I pray you, your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.