Nehemiah 2

Thomson(i) 1 and in the month Nisan of the twentieth year of king Arthasastha, the wine being before me, I took the wine, and when I had given it to the king [now there was .none besides me in waiting] 2 the king said to me, Why is thy countenance sad, and thou not at thine ease? this is nothing but grief of heart. At this I was greatly terrified 3 and said to the king, Let the king live forever! Why should not my countenance be sad, seeing the city, the house of my father's sepulchre, is in a state of desolation, and the gates thereof burned with fire? 4 Thereupon the king said to me, For what dost thou make request? And when I had prayed to the God of heaven, 5 I said to the king, If it seemeth good to the king, and if thy servant shall find favour in thy sight, that thou wouldst send me to Juda to the city of the sepulchres of my fathers, and let me rebuild it. 6 Upon this the king said to me [now his concubine was sitting by him] For how long shall thy journey be, and when wilt thou return? So the king being pleased to send me, I set him a time 7 and said to the king, If it seemeth good to the king, let him give me letters to the governors beyond the river, that they may conduct me on in my journey till I come to Juda; 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, that he may supply me with timber to cover the gates and for the wall of the city, and for a house to which I may go. So the king gave me, as the hand of God was favourable, 9 and I came to the governors beyond the river, and delivered them the king's letters. Now the king sent with me captains of the army and horsemen. 10 But when Sanaballat the Aronite and Tobia the servant, the Ammonite, heard this, it grieved them that a man was come to promote the welfare of the children of Israel. 11 Now when I came to Jerusalem and had been there three days, 12 I arose by night, I and a few men with me, but I did not tell a man what God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem; and there was not a beast with me but that on which I rode; 13 and I went out at the gate Golela on to the mouth of the well of fig trees, and on to the dung gate, tracing the wall of Jerusalem which had been demolished, and the gates of which were burned with fire. 14 Then I passed on to the gate of Ain and to the king's pool. But there being no place for the beast under me to pass, 15 I continued going up by night along the wall of the valley. And having hastily traced the wall, and come to the valley gate, I returned. 16 Now the watchmen did not know why I went nor what I was doing; for I had not yet told the Jews, nor the priests, nor the nobles, nor the officers of the army, nor the rest who were to do the work. 17 Then I said to them, You see the distress in which we are! How Jerusalem is a waste, and the gates thereof have been given to the flames. Come, let us build up the wall of Jerusalem that we may no longer be a reproach. 18 And when I told them of the good hand of God which was upon me, and the words which the king spoke to me, and said, Let us arise and build; their hands were strengthened for this good work. 19 But when Sanaballat the Aronite, and Tobia the servant the Ammonite and Gesem the Arab heard, they laughed at us, and came to us and said, What is this which you are doing? Are you going to rebel against the king? 20 In reply to which I said, The God of heaven will prosper us, as we his servants are pure and will go on with the building; but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem.