LITV(i) 1 And it happened in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him. And I took the wine and gave to the king. And I had never been sad to his face. 2 And the king said to me, Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart. Then I was very much afraid. 3 And I said to the king, let the king live forever. Why should not my face be sad when the place of my fathers' tombs, the City, lies waste and its gates are burned with fire? 4 Then the king said to me, For what do you ask? So I prayed to the God of Heaven, 5 and I said to the king, If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you would send me to Judah to the city of my fathers' tombs, so that I might build it. 6 And the king said to me, the queen also sitting beside him, For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king, and he sent me; and I set him a time. 7 An I said to the king, If it is good to the king, let letters be given me to the governors Beyond the River, so that they may let me go through until I come to Judah; 8 also a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, so that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which is for the house, and for the city wall, and for the house into which I shall enter. And the king granted it to me, according to the good hand of my God on me. 9 Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. And the king had sent army commanders and horsemen with me. 10 And Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant the Ammonite, heard. And it grieved them greatly that a man had come to seek the good of the sons of Israel. 11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 And I rose up in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem. And there was no animal with me except the animal that I rode on. 13 And I went out by night by the Valley Gate, even before the Jackal Fountain, and to the Dung Gate. And I examined the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down, and its gates which were burned with fire. 14 Then I passed on to the Fountain Gate, and to the King's Pool. But there was no place for the animal that was under me to pass. 15 Then I went up in the night by the torrent, and examined the wall, and turned back, and entered by the Valley Gate, and returned. 16 And the rulers did not know where I had gone, or what I was doing. Nor had I told it yet to the Jews, or to the priests, or to the nobles, or to the rulers, or to the rest that did the work. 17 Then I said to them, You see the evil that we are in, how Jerusalem is wasted, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer be a reproach. 18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good on me, and also the king's words that he had spoken to me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they made their hands strong for good. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard, then they mocked us and despised us. And they said, What is this that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king? 20 Then I answered them and said to them, The God of Heaven, He will prosper us, and we His servants will arise and build. But you have no portion or right or memorial in Jerusalem.