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The Blue Letter Bible

Nehemiah 2 :: Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:1 -

During the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence,

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:2 -

so the king said to me, “Why are you[fn] sad, when you aren’t sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was overwhelmed with fear

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:3 -

and replied to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should I[fn] not be sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire? ”

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:4 -

Then the king asked me, “What is your request? ”

So I prayed to the God of the heavens

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:5 -

and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried,[fn] so that I may rebuild it.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:6 -

The king, with the queen seated beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you return? ” So I gave him a definite time, and it pleased the king to send me.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:7 -

I also said to the king: “If it pleases the king, let me have letters written to the governors of the region west of the Euphrates River, so that they will grant me safe passage until I reach Judah.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:8 -

“And let me have a letter written to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to rebuild the gates of the temple’s fortress, the city wall, and the home where I will live.”[fn] The king granted my requests, for the gracious hand of my God was on me.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:9 -

I went to the governors of the region west of the Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent officers of the infantry and cavalry with me.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:10 -

When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard that someone had come to pursue the prosperity of the Israelites, they were greatly displeased.

Preparing to Rebuild the Walls
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:11 -

After I arrived in Jerusalem and had been there three days,

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:12 -

I got up at night and took a few men with me. I didn’t tell anyone what my God had laid on my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took[fn] was the one I was riding.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:13 -

I went out at night through the Valley Gate toward the Serpent’s[fn] Well and the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:14 -

I went on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but farther down it became too narrow for my animal to go through.

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So I went up at night by way of the valley and inspected the wall. Then heading back, I entered through the Valley Gate and returned.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:16 -

The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, for I had not yet told the Jews, priests, nobles, officials, or the rest of those who would be doing the work.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:17 -

So I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned. Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.”

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:18 -

I told them how the gracious hand of my God had been on me, and what the king had said to me.

They said, “Let’s start rebuilding,” and their hands were strengthened[fn] to do this good work.

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:19 -

When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about this, they mocked and despised us, and said, “What is this you’re doing? Are you rebelling against the king? ”

Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 2:20 -

I gave them this reply, “The God of the heavens is the one who will grant us success. We, his servants, will start building, but you have no share, right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”

CSB Footnotes
Lit “Why is your face
Lit my face
Lit city, the house of the graves of my fathers,
Lit enter
Lit animal with me
Or Dragon’s
Lit they put their hands

Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers.

Additional information is provided here.

For more information on this translation, see the CSB Preface.

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