NASB — Nehemiah 2 — KJV

Nehemiah’s Prayer Answered

1 And it came about in the month Nisan, ain the twentieth year of King bArtaxerxes, that wine [was] before him, and cI took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? aThis is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “aLet the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad bwhen the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” aSo I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” 6 Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and aI gave him a definite time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me afor the governors [of the provinces] beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s aforest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of bthe fortress which is by the Itemple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted [them] to me because cthe good hand of my God [was] on me.

[1] aNe 1:1 bEzr 7:1 cNe 1:11
[2] aPv 15:13
[3] aDn 2:4 b2K 25:8-10; 2Ch 36:19; Ne 1:3; Jr 52:12-14
[4] aNe 1:4
[6] aNe 13:6
[7] aEzr 7:21; 8:36
[8] ILit house aEc 2:5, 6 bNe 7:2 cEzr 7:6; Ne 2:18

9 ¶ Then I came to athe governors [of the provinces] beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now bthe king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 When aSanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite Iofficial heard [about it], it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.

[9] aNe 2:7 bEzr 8:22
[10] ILit servant aNe 2:19; 4:1

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

11 ¶ So I acame to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 And I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my Imind to do for Jerusalem and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding. 13 So I went out at night by athe Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon’s Well and [on] to the IRefuse Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem bwhich were broken down and its cgates which were consumed by fire. 14 Then I passed on to athe Fountain Gate and bthe King’s Pool, but there was no place for Imy mount to pass. 15 So I went up at night by the aravine and inspected the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who did the work.

[11] aEzr 8:32
[12] ILit heart
[13] ILit Gate of Ash-heaps aNe 3:13 bNe 1:3 cNe 2:3, 17
[14] ILit the animal under me aNe 3:15 b2K 20:20
[15] aJn 18:1

17 ¶ Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that aJerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” 18 I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” aSo they put their hands to the good [work]. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite Iofficial, and aGeshem the Arab heard [it], bthey mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you are doing? aAre you rebelling against the king?” 20 So I answered them and said to them, “aThe God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, bbut you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem.”

[17] aNe 1:3
[18] a2S 2:7
[19] ILit servant aNe 6:6 bNe 4:1
[20] aEzr 4:3 bNe 2:4; Ac 8:21


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Artaxerxes understanding the cause of Nehemiah's sadness sendeth him with letters and commission to Jerusalem.

1 ¶ And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before him: and I took up the wine, and gave [it] unto the king. Now I had not been [beforetime] sad in his presence. 2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why [is] thy countenance sad, seeing thou [art] not sick? this [is] nothing [else] but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, 3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? 4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. 6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; 8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which [appertained] to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

[1] Gn 40:11, 21; Ezr 7:1, 7; Ne 1:1, 11; Es 3:7.
[2] Gn 40:7; Pv 15:13.
[3] 1K 1:31; 2Ch 21:20; 28:27; 32:33; Ne 1:3; Ps 102:14; 137:6; Lm 2:9; Dn 2:4; 3:9; 5:10; 6:6, 21.
[4] 2S 15:31; 1K 3:5; Ne 1:4, 11; Es 5:3, 6; 7:2; Pv 3:6; Mk 10:51; Php 4:6.
[5] Ru 2:13; 2S 14:22; Ezr 5:17; Es 1:19; 5:8; 7:3; 8:5; Pv 3:4.
[6] Ne 1:11; 2:4; 5:14; 13:6; Is 58:12; 61:4; 65:24.
[7] Ezr 6:6; 7:21; 8:22; Ne 2:9.
[8] Gn 32:28; Ezr 5:5; 6:22; 7:6, 9, 27; Ne 2:17, 18; 3:1, 7; 7:2; Pv 21:1; Is 66:14; Dn 1:9; Ac 7:10; 26:22; 2Co 8:16.

Nehemiah, to the grief of the enemies, cometh to Jerusalem.

9 ¶ Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard [of it], it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. 11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.

[9] Ezr 8:22; Ne 2:7.
[10] Nu 22:3; Ezr 4:4; Ne 2:19; 4:1, 7; 6:1; 13:1; Ps 112:10; 122:6; Pv 27:4; 30:22; Ec 10:7; Is 15:5; Jr 48:5, 34; Ezk 25:6; Mi 7:9, 16; Ac 4:2; 5:24; 19:26.
[11] Ezr 8:32.

He vieweth secretly the ruins of the walls.

12 ¶ And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I [any] man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither [was there any] beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon. 13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. 14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but [there was] no place for the beast [that was] under me to pass. 15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and [so] returned. 16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told [it] to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.

[12] Gn 32:22; Jsh 10:9; Jg 6:27; 9:32; Ezr 7:27; Ps 51:18; 122:6; Ec 3:7; Jr 31:33; 32:40; Am 5:13; Mi 7:5; Mt 2:14; 10:16; 2Co 8:16; Jm 1:16; Rv 17:17.
[13] 2Ch 26:9; Ne 1:3; 2:3, 15, 17; 3:13; 12:31; Jr 5:10.
[14] 2K 18:17; 20:20; 2Ch 32:30; Ne 3:15.
[15] 2S 15:23; Ne 2:13; Jr 31:38; Jn 18:1.
[16] Ne 2:12.

He inciteth the Jews to build in despite of the enemies.

17 ¶ Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we [are] in, how Jerusalem [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. 18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for [this] good [work]. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard [it], they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What [is] this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? 20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

[17] 1S 11:2; Ezr 5:1; 10:2; Ne 1:3; Ps 44:13; 79:4, 12; 89:50; Is 35:3; Jr 24:9; Lm 2:2, 8; 3:45, 51; Ezk 5:14; 22:4.
[18] 2S 2:7; 1Ch 11:10; 19:13; 2Ch 32:5; Ezr 6:22; Ne 2:8; Hg 1:13; Ep 6:10; Php 2:13.
[19] Ezr 4:15; Ne 2:10; 6:1, 6, 9; Jb 30:1; Ps 44:13; 79:4; 80:6; Jr 20:8; Mk 5:40; Lk 23:2; Jn 19:12; Ac 24:5; He 11:36.
[20] Ex 28:29; Lv 2:2; 24:7; Nu 10:10; 2Ch 26:5; Ezr 4:3; Ne 2:4; Es 4:11; Ps 20:5; 35:27; 51:18; 102:13; 122:6; Ec 7:18; Is 56:5; Zc 6:14; Ac 8:21; 10:4, 31.


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