Nehemiah 1
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  The words of Nechemiah the son of Chachaliah. Now it came to pass in the month Kislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the castle,

א  דִּבְרֵי נְחֶמְיָה בֶּן חֲכַלְיָה וַיְהִי בְחֹדֶשׁ כִּסְלֵו שְׁנַת עֶשְׂרִים וַאֲנִי הָיִיתִי בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה.

2  that Chanani, one of my brethren, came out of Yehuda, he and certain men; and I asked them concerning the Yehudim that had escaped, that were left of the captivity, and concerning Yerushalayim.

ב  וַיָּבֹא חֲנָנִי אֶחָד מֵאַחַי הוּא וַאֲנָשִׁים מִיהוּדָה וָאֶשְׁאָלֵם עַל הַיְּהוּדִים הַפְּלֵיטָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁאֲרוּ מִן הַשֶּׁבִי וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלִָם.

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 Yerushalayim also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.’

ג  וַיֹּאמְרוּ לִי הַנִּשְׁאָרִים אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁאֲרוּ מִן הַשְּׁבִי שָׁם בַּמְּדִינָה בְּרָעָה גְדֹלָה וּבְחֶרְפָּה וְחוֹמַת יְרוּשָׁלִַם מְפֹרָצֶת וּשְׁעָרֶיהָ נִצְּתוּ בָאֵשׁ.

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,

ד  וַיְהִי כְּשָׁמְעִי אֶת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה יָשַׁבְתִּי וָאֶבְכֶּה וָאֶתְאַבְּלָה יָמִים וָאֱהִי צָם וּמִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם.

5  and said: ‘I beseech Thee, O Hashem, the God of heaven, the great and awful God, that keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments;

ה  וָאֹמַר אָנָּא יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל וְהַנּוֹרָא שֹׁמֵר הַבְּרִית וָחֶסֶד לְאֹהֲבָיו וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי מִצְו‍ֹתָיו.

6  let Thine ear now be attentive, 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 B’nei Yisrael Thy servants, while I confess the sins of B’nei Yisrael, which we have sinned against Thee; yea, I and my father’s house have sinned.

ו  תְּהִי נָא אָזְנְךָ קַשֶּׁבֶת וְעֵינֶיךָ פְתוּחוֹת לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶל תְּפִלַּת עַבְדְּךָ אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מִתְפַּלֵּל לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה עַל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲבָדֶיךָ וּמִתְוַדֶּה עַל חַטֹּאות בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר חָטָאנוּ לָךְ וַאֲנִי וּבֵית אָבִי חָטָאנוּ.

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 Moshe.

ז  חֲבֹל חָבַלְנוּ לָךְ וְלֹא שָׁמַרְנוּ אֶת הַמִּצְו‍ֹת וְאֶת הַחֻקִּים וְאֶת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתָ אֶת מֹשֶׁה עַבְדֶּךָ.

8  Remember, I beseech Thee, the word that Thou didst command Thy servant Moshe, saying: If ye deal treacherously, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples;

ח  זְכָר נָא אֶת הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתָ אֶת מֹשֶׁה עַבְדְּךָ לֵאמֹר אַתֶּם תִּמְעָלוּ אֲנִי אָפִיץ אֶתְכֶם בָּעַמִּים.

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.

v’-shav-TEM ay-LAI ush-mar-TEM mitz-vo-TAI va-a-see-TEM o-TAM im yih-YEH ni-da-kha-KHEM bik-TZAY ha-sha-MA-yim mi-SHAM a-ka-b’-TZAYM va-ha-vee-o-TEEM el ha-ma-KOM a-SHER ba-KHAR-tee l’-sha-KAYN et sh’-MEE sham

ט  וְשַׁבְתֶּם אֵלַי וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם מִצְו‍ֹתַי וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲכֶם בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמַיִם מִשָּׁם אֲקַבְּצֵם והבואתים (וַהֲבִיאֹתִים) אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר בָּחַרְתִּי לְשַׁכֵּן אֶת שְׁמִי שָׁם.

1:9 And will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to cause My name to dwell there

One thing that sets Judaism apart from other religions is the concept of a “chosen place.” Many biblical commandments are only relevant in the Holy Land, and according to some Jewish philosophers, biblical laws even have a qualitative superiority when performed in the Land. Additionally, as seen in this verse, the Land of Israel is meant to play a central role in the national redemption process, as it is the destination for the ingathering of the exiles. In the Bible, “the place,” or ‘hamakom’ in Hebrew, refers both to the Land of Israel and the site of the Temple. It is also one of God’s 70 names.

Comment

10  Now these are Thy servants and Thy people, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy great power, and by Thy strong hand.

י  וְהֵם עֲבָדֶיךָ וְעַמֶּךָ אֲשֶׁר פָּדִיתָ בְּכֹחֲךָ הַגָּדוֹל וּבְיָדְךָ הַחֲזָקָה.

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.

יא  אָנָּא אֲדֹנָי תְּהִי נָא אָזְנְךָ קַשֶּׁבֶת אֶל תְּפִלַּת עַבְדְּךָ וְאֶל תְּפִלַּת עֲבָדֶיךָ הַחֲפֵצִים לְיִרְאָה אֶת שְׁמֶךָ וְהַצְלִיחָה נָּא לְעַבְדְּךָ הַיּוֹם וּתְנֵהוּ לְרַחֲמִים לִפְנֵי הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה וַאֲנִי הָיִיתִי מַשְׁקֶה לַמֶּלֶךְ.

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Ezra 10
Nehemiah 2

Comment ( 1 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Can’t you just feel Nehemiah’s sorrow as he reflects on Jerusalem and ‘Remnant’ there. I love how he identifies with the people and doesn’t say ‘you sinners’ but counts himself as one of them. His trust in his G-d’s ability to bring good from this and he reminds G-d that He has said He will restore [ v 9] those who turn back to him. Same for us too, when we have ‘strayed’ or not been as close to our Creator as we should be, He restores us too. Nehemiah’s faith seems to be so complete, base on all of the experiences he has had with G-d, that he reminds G-d of his promise would indicate this. Interesting thought… when our heart, attitude and actions line up with G-d’s expectation of us, we need not be afraid of approaching him, as does Nehemiah here.

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Nehemiah 1