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.

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.