Nehemiah 2
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1  And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artachshasta the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

א  וַיְהִי בְּחֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן שְׁנַת עֶשְׂרִים לְאַרְתַּחְשַׁסְתְּא הַמֶּלֶךְ יַיִן לְפָנָיו וָאֶשָּׂא אֶת הַיַּיִן וָאֶתְּנָה לַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא הָיִיתִי רַע לְפָנָיו.

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.

ב  וַיֹּאמֶר לִי הַמֶּלֶךְ מַדּוּעַ פָּנֶיךָ רָעִים וְאַתָּה אֵינְךָ חוֹלֶה אֵין זֶה כִּי אִם רֹעַ לֵב וָאִירָא הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד.

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?’

ג  וָאֹמַר לַמֶּלֶךְ הַמֶּלֶךְ לְעוֹלָם יִחְיֶה מַדּוּעַ לֹא יֵרְעוּ פָנַי אֲשֶׁר הָעִיר בֵּית קִבְרוֹת אֲבֹתַי חֲרֵבָה וּשְׁעָרֶיהָ אֻכְּלוּ בָאֵשׁ.

4  Then the king said unto me: ‘For what dost thou make request?’ So I prayed to the God of heaven.

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר לִי הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל מַה זֶּה אַתָּה מְבַקֵּשׁ וָאֶתְפַּלֵּל אֶל אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם.

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 Yehuda, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.’

ה  וָאֹמַר לַמֶּלֶךְ אִם עַל הַמֶּלֶךְ טוֹב וְאִם יִיטַב עַבְדְּךָ לְפָנֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁלָחֵנִי אֶל יְהוּדָה אֶל עִיר קִבְרוֹת אֲבֹתַי וְאֶבְנֶנָּה.

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.

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר לִי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַשֵּׁגַל יוֹשֶׁבֶת אֶצְלוֹ עַד מָתַי יִהְיֶה מַהֲלָכְךָ וּמָתַי תָּשׁוּב וַיִּיטַב לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשְׁלָחֵנִי וָאֶתְּנָה לוֹ זְמָן.

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 Yehuda;

ז  וָאוֹמַר לַמֶּלֶךְ אִם עַל הַמֶּלֶךְ טוֹב אִגְּרוֹת יִתְּנוּ לִי עַל פַּחֲווֹת עֵבֶר הַנָּהָר אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבִירוּנִי עַד אֲשֶׁר אָבוֹא אֶל יְהוּדָה.

8  and a letter unto Asaf the keeper of the king’s park, that he may 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.

ח  וְאִגֶּרֶת אֶל אָסָף שֹׁמֵר הַפַּרְדֵּס אֲשֶׁר לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִתֶּן לִי עֵצִים לְקָרוֹת אֶת שַׁעֲרֵי הַבִּירָה אֲשֶׁר לַבַּיִת וּלְחוֹמַת הָעִיר וְלַבַּיִת אֲשֶׁר אָבוֹא אֵלָיו וַיִּתֶּן לִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כְּיַד אֱלֹהַי הַטּוֹבָה עָלָי.

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.

ט  וָאָבוֹא אֶל פַּחֲווֹת עֵבֶר הַנָּהָר וָאֶתְּנָה לָהֶם אֵת אִגְּרוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשְׁלַח עִמִּי הַמֶּלֶךְ שָׂרֵי חַיִל וּפָרָשִׁים.

10  And when Sanvalat the Horonite, and Toviah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly, for that there was come a man to seek the welfare of B’nei Yisrael.

י  וַיִּשְׁמַע סַנְבַלַּט הַחֹרֹנִי וְטוֹבִיָּה הָעֶבֶד הָעַמֹּנִי וַיֵּרַע לָהֶם רָעָה גְדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר בָּא אָדָם לְבַקֵּשׁ טוֹבָה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

11  So I came to Yerushalayim, and was there three days.

יא  וָאָבוֹא אֶל יְרוּשָׁלִָם וָאֱהִי שָׁם יָמִים שְׁלֹשָׁה.

12  And 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 Yerushalayim; neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

יב  וָאָקוּם לַיְלָה אֲנִי וַאֲנָשִׁים מְעַט עִמִּי וְלֹא הִגַּדְתִּי לְאָדָם מָה אֱלֹהַי נֹתֵן אֶל לִבִּי לַעֲשׂוֹת לִירוּשָׁלִָם וּבְהֵמָה אֵין עִמִּי כִּי אִם הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי רֹכֵב בָּהּ.

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 Yerushalayim, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

יג  וָאֵצְאָה בְשַׁעַר הַגַּיְא לַיְלָה וְאֶל פְּנֵי עֵין הַתַּנִּין וְאֶל שַׁעַר הָאַשְׁפֹּת וָאֱהִי שֹׂבֵר בְּחוֹמֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֲשֶׁר המפרוצים (הֵם פְּרוּצִים) וּשְׁעָרֶיהָ אֻכְּלוּ בָאֵשׁ.

14  Then 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.

יד  וָאֶעֱבֹר אֶל שַׁעַר הָעַיִן וְאֶל בְּרֵכַת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֵין מָקוֹם לַבְּהֵמָה לַעֲבֹר תַּחְתָּי.

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.

טו  וָאֱהִי עֹלֶה בַנַּחַל לַיְלָה וָאֱהִי שֹׂבֵר בַּחוֹמָה וָאָשׁוּב וָאָבוֹא בְּשַׁעַר הַגַּיְא וָאָשׁוּב.

16  And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Yehudim, nor to the Kohanim, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.

טז  וְהַסְּגָנִים לֹא יָדְעוּ אָנָה הָלַכְתִּי וּמָה אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה וְלַיְּהוּדִים וְלַכֹּהֲנִים וְלַחֹרִים וְלַסְּגָנִים וּלְיֶתֶר עֹשֵׂה הַמְּלָאכָה עַד כֵּן לֹא הִגַּדְתִּי.

17  Then said I unto them: ‘Ye see the evil case that we are in, how Yerushalayim lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire; come and let us build up the wall of Yerushalayim, that we be no more a reproach.’

va-o-MAR a-lay-HEM a-TEM ro-EEM ha-ra-AH a-SHER a-NAKH-nu vah a-SHER y’-ru-sha-LA-yim kha-ray-VAH ush-a-RE-ha ni-tz’-TU va-AYSH l’-KHU v’-niv-NEH et KHO-mat y’-ru-sha-LA-yim v’-LO nih-YEH od kher-PAH

יז  וָאוֹמַר אֲלֵהֶם אַתֶּם רֹאִים הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר אֲנַחְנוּ בָהּ אֲשֶׁר יְרוּשָׁלִַם חֲרֵבָה וּשְׁעָרֶיהָ נִצְּתוּ בָאֵשׁ לְכוּ וְנִבְנֶה אֶת חוֹמַת יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְלֹא נִהְיֶה עוֹד חֶרְפָּה.

2:17   The gates thereof are burned with fire; come and let us build up the wall of Yerushalayim

One of the Jewish prayers recited on the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, the day of the Temples’ destruction, states: “You destroyed Jerusalem by fire, so too will You rebuild it with fire.” Above the Western Wall, archeologists uncovered a complex destroyed in the Roman fires of 70 CE; spear-pierced skeletal remains give silent testimony to the tragedy. Destruction by fire is comprehendible, but what about construction by fire? Perhaps it indicates the degree of passion necessary to engage in such a task. If this is the case, indeed we have merited living in a time where the latter fire is burning bright, and many are answering Nehemiah’s call: “come and let us build!”


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.

יח  וָאַגִּיד לָהֶם אֶת יַד אֱלֹהַי אֲשֶׁר הִיא טוֹבָה עָלַי וְאַף דִּבְרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר אָמַר לִי וַיֹּאמְרוּ נָקוּם וּבָנִינוּ וַיְחַזְּקוּ יְדֵיהֶם לַטּוֹבָה.

19  But when Sanvalat the Horonite, and Toviah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said: ‘What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?’

יט  וַיִּשְׁמַע סַנְבַלַּט הַחֹרֹנִי וְטֹבִיָּה הָעֶבֶד הָעַמּוֹנִי וְגֶשֶׁם הָעַרְבִי וַיַּלְעִגוּ לָנוּ וַיִּבְזוּ עָלֵינוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ מָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹשִׂים הַעַל הַמֶּלֶךְ אַתֶּם מֹרְדִים.

20  Then answered I them, and said unto them: ‘The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build; but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Yerushalayim.’

כ  וָאָשִׁיב אוֹתָם דָּבָר וָאוֹמַר לָהֶם אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם הוּא יַצְלִיחַ לָנוּ וַאֲנַחְנוּ עֲבָדָיו נָקוּם וּבָנִינוּ וְלָכֶם אֵין חֵלֶק וּצְדָקָה וְזִכָּרוֹן בִּירוּשָׁלִָם.

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Nehemiah 1
Nehemiah 3

Comments ( 2 )

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

  • Oh to have the confidence to speak to our King as did Nehemiah to the earthly king he served. When something is of God, purposed by him there is nothing he will not do to bring about his plans and purposes.

  • Just a thought, when reading verses 10 and 19, arab people mocking Nehemiah – nothing has changed has it!

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Nehemiah 2