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ness of them of the captivity. 7 And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jeru. salem; 8 and that whosoever came not within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of the captivity.
9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within the three days; it was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the broad place before the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain. 10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them: 'Ye have broken faith, and have married foreign women, to in. crease the guilt of Israel. 11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do His pleasure; and separate your. selves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women.' 12 Then all the congrega. tion answered and said with a loud voice: 'As thou hast said, so it is for us to do. the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two; for we have greatly transgressed in this matter. 14 Let now our princes of all the congregation stand, and let all them that are in our cities that have married foreign women come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God be turned from us, as touch
ing this matter.' 15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah stood up against this matter; and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them. 16 And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain heads of fathers' houses, after their fathers' houses, and all of them by their names, were separated; and they sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter. 17 And they were finished with all the men that had married foreign women by the first day of the first month.
Nehemiah's Mission THE words of Nehemiah the son of Haca1
liah. Now it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the castle, 2 that Hanani, one of my brethren, came out of Judah, he and certain men; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, that were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said unto me: 'The remnant that 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 thereof are burned with fire.' 4 And it came to pass, 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 beseech Thee, O LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awful God, that keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments; 6 let Thine ear now be atten. tive, and Thine eyes open, that Thou mayest hearken unto the prayer of Thy servant, which I pray before Thee at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel Thy servants, while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against Thee; yea, I and my father's house have sinned. 7 We have dealt very corruptly against Thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which Thou didst command Thy servant Moses. 8 Remember, I beseech Thee, the word that Thou didst command Thy servant Moses, saying: If ye deal treacherously, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples; 9 but if ye return unto Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though your dispersed were in the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to cause My name to dwell there. 10 Now these are Thy servants and Thy people, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy great power, and by Thy strong hand.
11 O Lord, I beseech Thee, let now Thine ear be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant, and to the prayer of Thy servants, who delight to fear Thy name; and prosper, I pray Thee, Thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.' Now I was cupbearer to the king. 2
And it came to pass in the month Nisan,
in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up "he wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I
had not been beforetimé sad in his presence. 2 And the king said unto me: 'Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart.' Then I was very sore afraid. 3 And I said unto the king: 'Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?' 4 Then the king said unto me: 'For what dost thou make request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said unto the king: 'If 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 build it.' 6 And the king said unto me, the queen also sitting by him: 'For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return?' So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7 Moreover I said unto the king: 'If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the River, that they may let me pass through till I come unto Judah; 8 and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's park, that he máy give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertaineth to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into.' And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
9 Then I came to the governors beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me captains of the army and horsemen. 10 And when Sanballat
the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly, for that there was come a man to seek the wel. fare of the children of Israel. 11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem; neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I
13 And I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the dragon's well, and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. I went on to the fountain gate and to the king's pool; but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass. 15 Then went I up in the night in the valley, and viewed the wall; and I turned back, and entered by the valley gate, and so returned. 16 And the rulers 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.
17 Then said I unto them: 'Ye see the evil case that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire; come and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.' 18 And I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also of the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said: 'Let us rise up and build.' So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when San
llat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant,