1: The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 2: that Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and certain men out of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3: They said to me, The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates of it are burned with fire. 4: It happened, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven, 5: and said, I beg you, Yahweh, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness with those who love him and keep his commandments: 6: Let your ear now be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may listen to the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel your servants while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Yes, I and my father's house have sinned: 7: we have dealt very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which you commanded your servant Moses. 8: Remember, I beg you, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples: 9: but if you return to me, and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from there, and will bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there. 10: Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power, and by your strong hand. 11: Lord, I beg you, let now your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants, who delight to fear your name; and please prosper your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cup bearer to the king.