Nehemiah 2

VIN(i) 1 In the month Nisan in the twentieth year of king Artaxerxes, when the wine stood before him, I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king and I was heavy in his presence. 2 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. 3 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?" 4 The king answered, "What do you want?" 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 by him), For how long will your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me and I set him a time. 7 And I said to the king, If it pleases the king, let him give me letters to the governors beyond the river, so as to permit me to pass, till I come to Judah; 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house that I will occupy.” The king granted my requests, because of the good hand of my God on me. 9 And I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king`s letters. Now the king had sent captains of a force and horsemen with me. 10 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. 11 So came I to Jerusalem, and remained there three days. 12 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. 13 I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the jackal's well, and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down, and its gates which were consumed with fire. 14 Then I went on to the door of the fountain and to the king's pool: but there was no room for my beast to get through. 15 I traveled the valley by night to inspect the wall, returning through the Valley Gate. 16 The local officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done {— } I informed neither the Judeans, nor the priests, nor the nobles, nor the officials, nor any of the rest who would be doing the work. 17 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." 18 Then I told them how good my God had been to me, and about what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let's get out there and build!" So they encouraged themselves to do good. 19 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?" 20 I answered them: »The God of heaven will be our help; so we, his servants, will go on with our building. But you have no part or right or any name in Jerusalem.«