Nehemiah - Chapter 2


The King James Version Basic English Version (BBE)

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

1 And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never before been sad when the king was present.

2 Wherefore 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,

2 And the king said to me, Why is your face sad, seeing that you are not ill? this is nothing but sorrow of heart. Then I was full of fear;

3 And 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?

3 And said to the king, May the king be living for ever: is it not natural for my face to be sad, when the town, the place where the bodies of my fathers are at rest, has been made waste and its doorways burned with fire?

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

4 Then the king said to me, What is your desire? So I made prayer 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.

5 And I said to the king, If it is the king's pleasure, and if your servant has your approval, send me to Judah, to the town where the bodies of my fathers are at rest, so that I may take in hand the building of 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.

6 And the king said to me (the queen being seated by his side), How long will your journey take, and when will you come back? So the king was pleased to send me, and I gave him a fixed 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 convey me over till I come into Judah;

7 Further, I said to the king, If it is the king's pleasure, let letters be given to me for the rulers across the river, so that they may let me go through till I come to Judah;

8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained 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.

8 And a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's park, so that he may give me wood to make boards for the doors of the tower of the house, and for the wall of the town, and for the house which is to be mine. And the king gave me this, for the hand of my God was on me.

9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.

9 Then I came to the rulers of the lands across the river and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me captains of the army and horsemen.

10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

10 And Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, hearing of it, were greatly troubled because a man had come to the help of the children of Israel.

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

11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days.

12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

12 And in the night I got up, taking with me a small band of men; I said nothing to any man of what God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem: and I had no beast with me but the one on which I was seated.

13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

13 And I went out by night, through the doorway of the valley, and past the dragon's water-spring as far as the place where waste material was put, viewing the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down, and the doorways which had been burned with fire.

14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.

14 Then I went on to the door of the fountain and to the king's pool: but there was no room for my beast to get through.

15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.

15 Then in the night, I went up by the stream, viewing the wall; then turning back, I went in by the door in the valley, and so came back.

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.

16 And the chiefs had no knowledge of where I had been or what I was doing; and I had not then said anything to the Jews or to the priests or the great ones or the chiefs or the rest of those who were doing the work.

17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress 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.

17 Then I said to them, You see what a bad condition we are in; how Jerusalem is a waste, and its doorways burned with fire: come, let us get to work, building up the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer be put to shame.

18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also 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 this good work.

18 Then I gave them an account of how the hand of my God was on me, helping me; and of the king's words which he had said to me. And they said, Let us get to work on the building. So they made their hands strong for the good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah 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?

19 But Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, hearing of it, made sport of us, laughing at us and saying, What are you doing? will you go against the king?

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 Jerusalem.

20 Then answering them I said, The God of heaven, he will be our help; so we his servants will go on with our building: but you have no part or right or any name in Jerusalem.




Rights in the Authorized Version are vested in the Crown. Published in the United Kingdom by permission of the Crown"s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

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