Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
It happened in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year, that I myself was in the citadel in Susa, and one of my brothers, Hanani, came with some men from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had escaped the captivity and about Jerusalem. They replied to me, "The survivors in the province who have survived the captivity are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned in the fire."
When I heard these words, I sat and wept and mourned for days, and I was fasting and praying before the God of the heavens. I said, "O Yahweh God of the heavens, the great and awesome one who keeps the covenant and loyal love for the ones who love him and for those who keep his commands. Please, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I am praying before you by day and by night for your servants, the Israelites, and confessing the sins of the Israelites that we have sinned against you. I and my father’s house have sinned. We have certainly offended you and have not kept the commands, regulations, and judgments that you have commanded your servant Moses. Please, remember the word that you have commanded to your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you act unfaithfully I will scatter you all among the nations. But if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, even though all of your outcasts are at the furthest parts of heaven, I will gather them and bring them to the place which I have chosen to make my name dwell.’ They are your servants and your people whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. O Lord, please let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight to revere in your name. Please, let your servant be successful this day and give him compassion before this man."
I was cupbearer for the king.
It happened in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. And I had never been sad before the king. So the king said to me, "Why is your face sad since you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart." And I was very much afraid. I said to the king, "May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad when the city of my ancestors’ burial site is ruined and her gates are consumed by fire?" Then the king said to me, "What is your request?" So I prayed to the God of the heavens. Then I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your presence, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ burial sites, so that I may rebuild it."
With the queen sitting beside him, the king said to me, "How long will your journey be and when will you return?" So it pleased the king and he sent me, and I set for him an appointed time. Then I said to the king, "If it is good for the king, let letters be given to me for the governors in the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass until I come to Judah. Also, a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king’s land reserve, that he should give me timber for laying the beams for the gates of the citadel of the house and for the walls of the city, and for the house which I will enter." And the king gave permission to me, according to the good hand of God on me.
I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and I gave them the letters of the king. Then the king sent troop commanders and horses with me. But when Sanballat the Horonite and the Ammonite servant Tobiah heard this, they were greatly displeased that a person had come to seek the welfare of the Israelites.
I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. I got up during the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anybody what my God put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. No animal was with me except the animal that I was riding on. I went out during the night at the gate of the valley by the Dragon spring and to the Dung Gate. And I examined the walls in Jerusalem and its gates that had been destroyed by the fire. I crossed over to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no place for my mount to cross over. So I went up by the valley during the night and was examining the wall. Then I returned and came to the Valley Gate and returned. The prefects did not know where I had gone and what I was doing. I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the prefects, and the rest of the workers.
Then I said to them, "You see the misery that we are in, that Jerusalem is ruined and its gates burned by the fire. Come, build the walls of Jerusalem and we shall no longer be a disgrace." I told them of the good hand of my God that was upon me and surely the words of the king that were spoken to me. And they said, "Let us arise and build!" And they strengthened their hands for this good work. But Sanballat the Horonite, the Ammonite servant Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard it, and they mocked and despised us, saying, "What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?" Then I answered and said to them, "The God of the heavens himself will let us succeed, and we his servants shall arise and build. But for you there is no share, right, or memorial in Jerusalem."
Then Eliashib the high priest and his brothers the priests arose and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and erected its doors. They consecrated it up to the Tower of the Hundred and up to the Tower of Hananel. And next to him the men of Jericho built, and next to him Zaccur son of Imri built.
The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. They laid its beams and erected its doors, its bolts, and its bars. Next to them Meremoth son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz, repaired. Next to them Meshullam son of Berekiah, son of Meshezabel, repaired. Next to them Zadok son of Baana repaired. Next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles did not put their neck to the work of their lord.
Jehoiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam repaired the old Yeshanah Gate. They laid its beams and erected its doors, its bolts, and its bars. Next to them Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and Mizpah who were under the rule of the governor of the province Beyond the River, repaired. Next to him Uzziel son of Harhaiah (goldsmiths) repaired. Next to him Hananiah son of the perfume-makers repaired. They restored Jerusalem up to the Broad Wall. Next to them Rephaiah son of Hur, commander of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired. Next to them Jedaiah son of Harumaph repaired opposite his house. Next to him Hattush son of Hashabneiah repaired.
Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. Next to him Shallum son of Hallohesh, commander of half of the district of Jerusalem, repaired with his daughters.
Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They rebuilt it and erected its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and a thousand cubits of the wall up to the Dung Gate.
Malkijah son of Recab, commander of the district of Beth-haccherem, repaired the Dung Gate. He rebuilt it and erected its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
Shallun son of Col-Hozeh, the commander of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it and covered it and erected its doors, its bolts, its bars, and he built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king’s garden, right up to the steps going down from the city of David. After him Nehemiah son of Azbuk, commander of half of the district of Beth Zur, repaired up to a point opposite the burial sites of David, and up to the artificial pool and to the house of the mighty warriors.
After him the Levites repaired; Rehum son of Bani, and next to him Hashabiah, commander of half of the district of Keilah, repaired his district. After him their brothers repaired: Bavvai son of Henadad, commander of half of the district of Keilah, next to him Ezer son of Jeshua, commander of Mizpah, repaired a second section of a wall opposite of the ascent of the armory at the angle. After him Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired a second section of a wall from the angle up to the doorway of the house of Eliashib the high priest. After him Meremoth son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz, repaired a second section of a wall from the doorway of the house of Eliashib up to the end of the house of Eliashib.
After him the priests, men from the vicinity, repaired. After them Benjamin and Hasshub repaired opposite their house. After them Azariah son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah, repaired beside his house. After him Binnui son of Henadad repaired a second section of a wall from the house of Azariah up to the angle up to the corner. Palal son of Uzai repaired opposite the Angle at the tower that juts out from the upper house of the king, at the courtyard of the guard. After him Pedaiah son of Parosh and the temple servants who were living on Ophel repaired up to opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. After him the Tekoites repaired a second section of a wall opposite the projecting tower that goes out as far as the wall of Ophel.
Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his house. After them Zadok son of Immer repaired opposite his house. After him Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, keeper of the East Gate, repaired. After him Hananiah son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him Meshullam son of Berekiah repaired the wall opposite his room. After him Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired up to the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Enrollment Gate and up to the upper room of the corner. Between the upper room of the corner to the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants repaired.
And I saw in the right hand of the one who is seated on the throne a scroll, written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a powerful angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?" And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! Behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.
And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as though slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. And he came and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one of whom had a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they were singing a new song, saying,
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slaughtered,
and bought people for God by your blood
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they will reign on the earth."
And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and of the living creatures and of the elders, and their number was ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands times thousands, saying with a loud voice,
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"
And I heard every creature that is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea and everything in them saying,
"To the one who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power
forever and ever."
And the four living creatures were saying, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.