Amplified Bible

Nehemiah 1

Nehemiah’s Grief for the Exiles

1The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:

Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the [a]twentieth year [of the [b]Persian king], as I was in the [c]capitol of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, and some men from Judah came; and I asked them about the surviving Jews who had escaped and survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. They said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its [fortified] gates have been burned (destroyed) by fire.”

Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying [constantly] before the God of heaven. And I said, “Please, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You, day and night, on behalf of Your servants, the [d]sons (descendants) of Israel (Jacob), confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have committed against You; I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Please remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful and violate your obligations to Me I will scatter you [abroad] among the peoples; but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered are in the most remote part of the [e]heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen for My [f]Name to dwell.’ 10 Now they are Your servants and Your people whom You have redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. 11 Please, O Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to [reverently] fear Your Name [Your essence, Your nature, Your attributes, with awe]; and make Your servant successful this day and grant him compassion in the sight of this man [the king].”

For I was [g]cupbearer to the king [of Persia].

Notas al pie

  1. Nehemiah 1:1 445 b.c.
  2. Nehemiah 1:1 Artaxerxes I (son of Xerxes I) ruled the Persian Empire from 465-424 b.c.
  3. Nehemiah 1:1 Or palace or citadel.
  4. Nehemiah 1:6 In general, sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
  5. Nehemiah 1:9 This seems to be a hypothetical expression, but the grammatical form is that of a real possibility, to emphasize that God will find His people no matter where in the world they may be.
  6. Nehemiah 1:9 See note Deut 12:5.
  7. Nehemiah 1:11 The cupbearer was an official of high rank in royal courts. He served the wine at the king’s table and sometimes tasted it first to be certain it was not poisoned. He was often a trusted confidant of the ruler, and his position was one of influence in the court.

New Living Translation

Nehemiah 1

1These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

Nehemiah’s Concern for Jerusalem

In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign,[a] I was at the fortress of Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.

They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said,

“O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.

“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth,[b] I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’

10 “The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. 11 O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me.[c] Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”

In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.

Notas al pie

  1. 1:1 Hebrew In the month of Kislev of the twentieth year. A number of dates in the book of Nehemiah can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Persian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of November and December 446 B.c. The twentieth year probably refers to the reign of King Artaxerxes I; compare 2:1; 5:14.
  2. 1:9 Hebrew of the heavens.
  3. 1:11 Hebrew today in the sight of this man.