New International Version

Nehemiah 2:1-20

Artaxerxes Sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem

1In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, 2so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was very much afraid, 3but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

4The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”

6Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.

7I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? 8And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. 9So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.

10When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls

11I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.

13By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal2:13 Or Serpent or Fig Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; 15so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. 16The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.

17Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

19But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”

20I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”

Bibelen på hverdagsdansk

Nehemiasʼ Bog 2:1-20

Nehemias rejser til Jerusalem

1En dag i nisan2,1 Årets første måned, svarende til marts-april. Der var altså gået fire måneder. måned i kong Artaxerxes’ 20. regeringsår skulle jeg bringe vin ind til kongen. Jeg havde aldrig tidligere set sørgmodig ud, når jeg stod foran ham. Da jeg rakte ham vinen, 2udbrød han: „Hvorfor ser du så bedrøvet ud, Nehemias? Du er jo ikke syg, så der må være noget andet, der piner dig.” Jeg blev helt bange, 3men jeg tog mod til mig og svarede: „Deres Majestæt længe leve! Ja, det piner mig, at den by, hvor mine forfædre er begravet, ligger i ruiner, og at portene er nedbrændt.”

4„Hvad kan jeg gøre for dig?” spurgte kongen.

Da sendte jeg en bøn op til Gud i Himlen 5og svarede: „Hvis det behager Deres Majestæt at vise godhed imod mig, så lad mig rejse til Juda og genopbygge mine forfædres by.”

6Kongen kastede et blik på dronningen, der sad ved hans side, og spurgte så: „Hvor lang tid vil det tage? Hvornår kan du være tilbage?” Jeg gav ham en omtrentlig tidsramme, og han gav mig lov at rejse.

7„Hvis det behager Deres Majestæt, så lad mig få breve med til guvernørerne i området vest for Eufratfloden, så de kan give mig lov til at rejse gennem deres område på vej til Juda,” fortsatte jeg. 8„Lad mig også få et brev med til Asaf, der har ansvar for de kongelige skove, så han kan give mig bjælker til nye porte i bymuren og til genopbygningen af tempelborgen og til det hus, hvor jeg skal bo.” Kongen gav mig alt, hvad jeg bad om, for Herren var med mig.

9Kongen gav mig desuden officerer og ryttere med til beskyttelse på rejsen. Da vi nåede frem til provinserne vest for Eufratfloden, afleverede jeg kongens breve til de forskellige guvernører og rejste videre uden problemer. 10Men da horonitten Sanballat og den ammonitiske embedsmand Tobija hørte om det, blev de vrede over, at nogen ønskede at hjælpe israelitterne.

Nehemias inspicerer muren omkring Jerusalem

11-12Så kom jeg til Jerusalem, og da jeg havde været der i tre dage, foretog jeg om natten en inspektion sammen med nogle få mænd uden at sige til nogen, hvad Gud havde lagt mig på hjerte angående Jerusalem. Vi havde kun et æsel, som jeg red på, mens de andre gik. 13Først red jeg ud gennem Dalporten i retning af Sjakalbrønden og nåede til Møgporten, mens jeg undersøgte den nedrevne murs beskaffenhed og resterne af de brændte porte. 14-15Derfra fortsatte vi til Kildeporten og Kongedammen, men der var der ikke plads til, at mit æsel kunne komme videre. Så drejede jeg af og red op gennem Kedrondalen, mens jeg inspicerede murene, hvorefter vi vendte hjem gennem Dalporten.

16Ingen af de lokale embedsmænd vidste, hvor jeg havde været, eller hvad jeg havde foretaget mig. Jeg havde nemlig ikke sagt noget til nogen, hverken judæere, præster, embedsmænd eller de andre ledere, selvom det var dem, som ville få ansvar for genopbygningen.

17Men nu sagde jeg: „I ved alt om den tragedie, der har ramt vores by. I ved, at murene ligger i ruiner, og at portene er brændt. Men lad os nu i fællesskab genopbygge Jerusalems mure, så ingen længere skal gøre nar af os.”

18Så fortalte jeg dem, hvordan Gud havde været med mig, og hvad kongen havde sagt. „Lad os begynde med det samme!” udbrød de ivrigt. Derefter gik de i gang med at forberede arbejdet.

19Da Sanballat, Tobija og araberen Geshem hørte om planen, gjorde de nar af os: „Hvad er I ude på? Gør I oprør imod kongen?”

20„Himlens Gud vil hjælpe os,” svarede jeg. „Vi er hans tjenere, og nu går vi i gang med at genopbygge muren. Men I har ingen rettigheder i Jerusalem, for det er ikke jeres by og har aldrig været det.”