Nehemiah 1 New English Translation (NET Bible)
A Prayer of Nehemiah
It so happened that in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year,[c] I was in Susa[d] the citadel. 2 Hanani, who was one of my relatives,[e] along with some of the men from Judah, came to me,[f] and I asked them about the Jews who had escaped and had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “The remnant that remains from the exile there in the province are experiencing considerable[g] adversity and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem lies breached, and its gates have been burned down!”[h]
4 When I heard these things I sat down abruptly,[i] crying and mourning for several days. I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said, “Please, O Lord God of heaven, great and awesome God, who keeps his loving covenant[j] with those who love him and obey[k] his commandments, 6 may your ear be attentive and your eyes be open to hear the prayer of your servant that I am praying to you today throughout both day and night on behalf of your servants the Israelites. I am confessing the sins of the Israelites that we have committed[l] against you—both I myself and my family[m] have sinned. 7 We have behaved corruptly against you, not obeying the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Please recall the word you commanded your servant Moses: ‘If you act unfaithfully, I will scatter you among the nations.[n] 9 But if you repent[o] and obey[p] my commandments and do them, then even if your dispersed people are in the most remote location,[q] I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen for my name to reside.’ 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your mighty strength and by your powerful hand. 11 Please,[r] Lord, listen attentively[s] to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take pleasure in showing respect to[t] your name. Grant your servant success today and show compassion to me[u] in the presence of this man.”
Now[v] I was cupbearer for the king.
Nehemiah 1 New International Version (NIV)
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbearer to the king.