New International Reader's Version

Nehemiah 1

Nehemiah Prays to the Lord

1These are the words of Nehemiah. He was the son of Hakaliah.

I was in the fort of Susa. I was there in the 20th year that Artaxerxes was king. It was in the month of Kislev. At that time Hanani came from Judah with some other men. He was one of my brothers. I asked him and the other men about the Jews who were left alive in Judah. They had returned from Babylon. I also asked him about Jerusalem.

He and the men with him said to me, “Some of the people who returned are still alive. They are back in the land of Judah. But they are having a hard time. They are ashamed. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down. Its gates have been burned with fire.”

When I heard about these things, I sat down and wept. For several days I was very sad. I didn’t eat any food. And I prayed to the God of heaven. I said,

Lord, you are the God of heaven. You are a great and wonderful God. You keep the covenant you made with those who love you and obey your commandments. You show them your love. Please pay careful attention to my prayer. See how your people are suffering. Please listen to me. I’m praying to you day and night. I’m praying for the people of Israel. We Israelites have committed sins against you. All of us admit it. I and my family have also sinned against you. We’ve done some very evil things. We haven’t obeyed the commands, rules and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember what you told him. You said, ‘If you people are not faithful, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me, I will bring you back. If you obey my commands, I will gather you together again. I will bring you back from the farthest places on earth. I will bring you to the special place where I have chosen to put my Name.’

10 Lord, they are your people. They serve you. You used your great strength and mighty hand to set them free from Egypt. 11 Lord, please pay careful attention to my prayer. Listen to the prayers of all of us. We take delight in bringing honor to your name. Give me success today when I bring my request to King Artaxerxes.”

I was the king’s wine taster.

Japanese Living Bible

ネヘミヤ 記 1

ネヘミヤの祈り

1ハカルヤの子ネヘミヤの記録――

ペルシヤのアルタシャスタ王の時代、第二十年の第三の月のこと、私はシュシャンの宮殿で王に仕えていましたが、 そこにハナニという名の同胞が、ユダヤから来た人々といっしょに訪ねて来ました。この時とばかり、私はエルサレムの様子を尋ねてみました。「捕囚の地からエルサレムに戻った人々は元気にやっていますか。」 「実は、大変な目に会っています。城壁はくずされたまま、門も焼き払われたままです。」

私はそれを聞いて、座りこんで泣きました。そしてそれから何日も断食して、天の神にひたすら祈り続けました。 「ああ、主なる神様。あなたを愛し、あなたに従う者に対して約束されたことを果たし、愛と思いやりを示してくださる、畏れかしこむべき神様。どうか、この祈りをお聞きください。 6-7 私の訴えに耳を傾けてください。夜も昼もイスラエル国民のために祈っている私に、目を留めてください。確かに私たちは罪を犯しました。あなたがあなたのしもべモーセによってお与えくださった戒めを破るという恐ろしい罪を犯してしまったのです。 しかし神様。あなたはモーセに、こうお語りになったではありませんか。『もしあなたがたが罪を犯すなら、わたしはあなたがたを国々に散らす。 しかし、わたしのもとに立ち返り、わたしのおきてに従うなら、たとえ地の果てからでも、あなたがたをエルサレムへ連れ戻そう。エルサレムこそ、わたしが住む場所として選んだ地だからだ。』

10 私たちはあなたに仕える者です。あなたの偉大な御力によって救われた国民です。 11 主よ、どうか私の祈りを聞き入れてください。神様を敬うことを喜びとする者の祈りに、耳を傾けてください。王のもとに行き、嘆願をしますので、どうかお助けください。王が寛容な処置をしてくれるよう、王の心に働きかけてください。」当時、私は王の献酌官(王に酌をする重要な官吏)をしていました。