1The 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.
波斯王亚达薛西二十年基斯流月1:1 “基斯流月”即希伯来历的九月，阳历是十一月中旬到十二月中旬。，我在书珊城里。 2从犹大来了我的一个兄弟哈拿尼和一些人，我问他们有关从流亡之地归回的犹太余民和耶路撒冷的情况。 3他们回答说：“那些从流亡之地归回犹大省的人深陷苦难，饱受凌辱。耶路撒冷的城墙已经倒塌，城门也被烧毁。”
5“天上的上帝耶和华啊，你是伟大而可畏的上帝，你向爱你、守你诫命的人守约，施慈爱。 6仆人在你面前昼夜为你的众仆人以色列民祈祷，求你睁眼察看，侧耳倾听。我承认以色列人向你所犯的罪，以及我和我的家族所犯的罪。 7我们行事败坏，没有遵守你赐给你仆人摩西的诫命、律例和典章。 8求你顾念你对你仆人摩西所说的话，‘如果你们不忠，我必把你们驱散到列邦中。 9但如果你们转向我，谨遵我的诫命，即使你们流落天涯，我也必从那里把你们召集到我选为我名所在之地。’ 10我们是你的仆人、你的子民，是你用大能大力救赎的。 11主啊，求你侧耳听你仆人的祷告，垂听那些喜爱敬畏你名的众仆人的祈求，使你仆人今天亨通，在王面前蒙恩。”