and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven, 6 and said: 'I beseech Thee, LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awful God, that keepeth cove- nant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments; 6 let Thine ear now be attentive, and Thine eyes open, that Thou mayest hearken unto the prayer of Thy serv- ant, which I pray t before Thee at this time, day and night, for the chil- dren 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, *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 com- mandments 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 those are Thy servants and Thy people, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy &reat power, and by Thy strong hand. U 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 imme; 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. O 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 the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. 2 And the king said unto me 'Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is noth- ing 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 counte- nance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?' ^hen the king said unto me: 'For what dost thou make re- quest?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. 6 And I said unto the king: 'If it please the king, and if thy serv- ant 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 gven me to the governors beyond the fiver, 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 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.
Then I came to the governors be- yond 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