Nehemiah 2 ©

1 Artaxerxes, understanding the cause of Nehemiah's sadness sendeth him with letters and a commission to build the wall of Jerusalem. 9 Nehemiah delivereth the letters, and to the grief of the enemies of the Jews cometh to Jerusalem. 12 He vieweth the state of the walls secretly by night. 17 He encourageth the Jews to build in spite of the scorn of their enemies.


AND it came to pass in the amonth Nisan, in the btwentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and cI took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.


Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy dcountenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I ewas very *sore afraid,


And said unto the king, fLet the king live for ever: why gshould not my countenance be sad, when hthe city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

h ch. 1.3.

Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I iprayed to the God of heaven.


And I said unto the king, jIf it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may kbuild it.


And the king said unto me, (the 1queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? lSo it pleased the king to send me; and I mset him a time.


Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let nletters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;


And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the owall of the city, and for pthe house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, qaccording to the good hand of my God upon me.


¶Then I came to the rgovernors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent scaptains of the army and horsemen with me.


When tSanballat the 2Horonite, and uTobiah vthe servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it wgrieved them exceedingly that there was come a man xto seek the welfare of the children of Israel.


So I came to Jerusalem, and was ythere three days.


¶And I zarose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither atold I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, *save the beast that I rode upon.


And I went out by night by the bgate of the valley, even before the *dragon well, and to the cdung *port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which dwere broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.


Then I went on to the egate of the fountain, and to the fking's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.


Then went I up in the night by gthe brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.


And the hrulers knew not *whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.


¶Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: icome, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more ja reproach.


Then I told them kof the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they lstrengthened their hands for this good work.


But when mSanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they nlaughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye orebel against the king?

m v.10. ch. 6.1,2.

Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will pprosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye qhave no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.