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1 And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king: that wine was before him, and I took up the wine, and gave it to the king: and I was as one languishing away before his face.
2 And the king said to me: Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou dost not appear to be sick? this is not without cause, but some evil, I know not what, is in thy heart. And I was seized with an exceeding great fear:
3 And I said to the king: O king, live for ever: why should not my countenance be sorrowful, seeing the city of the place of the sepulchres of my fathers is desolate, and the gates thereof are burnt with fire?
5 And I said to the king: If it seem good to the king, and if thy servant hath found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldst send me into Judea to the city of the sepulchre of my father, and I will build it.
8 And a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, to give me timber that I may cover the gates of the tower of the house, and the walls of the city, and the house that I shall enter into. And the king gave me according to the good hand of my God with me.
11 And I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, and before the dragon fountain, and to the dung gate, and I viewed the wall of Jerusalem which was broken down, and the gates thereof which were consumed with fire.
16 But the magistrates knew not whither I went, or what I did: neither had I as yet told any thing to the Jews, or to the priests, or to the nobles, or to the magistrates, or to the rest that did the work.
17 Then I said to them: You know the affliction wherein we are, because Jerusalem is desolate, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire: come, and let us build up the walls of Jerusalem, and let us be no longer a reproach.
19 But Sanaballat the Horonite, and Tobias the servant, the Ammonite, and Gossem the Arabian heard of it, and they scoffed at us, and despised us, and said: What is this thing that you do? are you going to rebel against the king?