Nehemiah Chapter 1
1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the palace,
2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and certain men out of Judah; and I asked them about the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, "The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burnt with fire."
4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept, and mourned several days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven,
5 and said, "I beg you, LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments:
6 Let your ear now be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may listen to the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel your servants, while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Yes, I and my father's house have sinned.
7 We have dealt very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which you commanded your servant Moses.
8 "Remember, I beg you, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, 'If you trespass, I will scatter you amongst the peoples;
9 but if you return to me, and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and will bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there.'
10 "Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power, and by your strong hand.
11 Lord, I beg you, let your ear be attentive now to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants, who delight to fear your name; and please prosper your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." Now I was cup bearer to the king.
- Verse 4 (God)
- The Hebrew word rendered "God" is Elohim.
- Verse 5 (LORD)
- When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, "LORD" or "GOD" is the translation of God's Proper Name.
- Verse 11 (Lord)
- The word translated "Lord" is "Adonai."
Version: World English Bible
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Nehemiah Chapter 1 Guide
This is the last Book of Old Testament history. An interval of about twelve years occurred between the reformation under Ezra and the coming of Nehemiah. The story is the continuation of the work commenced by Zerubbabel rebuilding the wall.
With a fine touch of natural and unconscious humility, Nehemiah tells us, in parenthesis only, what his office was at the court of the Gentile king. He was cupbearer. Such a position was one of honour, and admitted the holder not only into the presence of the king, but into relationships of some familiarity. Nehemiah's account of himself in this chapter gives us a splendid illustration of patriotism on the highest level. It is evident, first, that he had no inclination to disown his own people, for he spoke of those who came to the court as "my brethren." In the next place, it is manifest that his consciousness of relationship was a living one, in that he held intercourse with them. Moreover, he was truly interested, and made inquiry concerning Jerusalem.
The news brought to him was full of sadness, and all the man's devotion to his people was manifest in his grief as he heard the sad story. The final proof of true patriotism lay in his recognition of the relationship between his people and God, and in his carrying the burden of God in prayer. The prayer itself was full of beauty, and revealed a correct conception of what prayer under such circumstances ought to be. It opened with confession. Without reserve, he acknowledged the sin of the people, and identified himself with it. He then proceeded to plead the promises of God made to them, and ended with a personal and definite petition that God would give him favour in the eyes of the king.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.