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1 * The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. And in the month of Kislev of the year twenty I was in Susa Citadel, 2 and in came Hanani, one of my brothers, he and some men from Judah; and I asked them about the Judahites, the survivors that remained from the foreign servitude, and about Jerusalem; 3 and they told me “The remnant, those who remain there in the province from the foreign servitude, are in great hardship and in ignominy, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken and its gates have been burned down.” 4 And when I heard these things I sat down and wept, and mourned some days, and was fasting and praying before the God of heaven; 5 and I said “Ah, Jehovah, God of heaven, great and terrible Deity, keeper of covenant and friendship for those who love you and keep your commandments, 6 let your ears be attentive and your eyes open to hear your servant’s prayer as I am today praying before you day and night for your servants the sons of Israel and acknowledging the sins of the sons of Israel, that we have sinned against you—I and my family have sinned; 7 we have treated you badly and not kept your commandments and usages and laws which you enjoined on your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word you charged your servant Moses with: ‘You will be disloyal—I will scatter you among the peoples; 9 and you will come back to me and keep my commandments and live up to them—if your exile be at the edge of the sky, from there I will gather you and bring you to the place I choose to install my name there.’ 10 And those are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great power and strong hand. 11 Ah, Lord, let your ears be attentive to your servant’s prayer and to the prayer of your servants who find pleasure in fearing your name, and give your servant success today and make him an object of sympathy to this man” (I was a cupbearer of the king’s).
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