Artaxerxes understanding the cause of Nehemiah's sadness sendeth him with letters and commission to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:1 It came to passe, that in the moneth Nisan in the twentith yere of king Arthaxerxes, the wine stoode before him: and I toke vp the wine, and gaue it vnto the king: And I had not ben before heauy in his presence. Nehemiah 2:2 And the king sayde vnto me: Why lokest thou so sadly, seyng thou art not sicke? It is nothing els, but that thou art heauy hearted. And I was sore afrayde, Nehemiah 2:3 And sayde vnto the king, God saue the king for euer: Howe shoulde I not loke sadly, when the citie and place of my fathers burials lye waste, and the gates therof are consumed with fire? Nehemiah 2:4 And the king sayde vnto me: What is then thy request? I made my prayer also to the God of heauen, Nehemiah 2:5 And sayd vnto the king: If it please the king, and if thy seruaunt haue founde fauour in thy sight, sende me vnto Iuda vnto the citie of my fathers burialles, that I may buylde it. Nehemiah 2:6 And the king sayd vnto me (the queene his wyfe sitting by him:) Howe long shal thy iourney continue, and when wilt thou come againe? And it pleased the king to sende me, and I set him a time, Nehemiah 2:7 And sayde vnto the king: If it please the king, let hym geue me letters to the captaynes whiche are beyonde the water, that they may conuay me ouer, till I come into Iuda: Nehemiah 2:8 And letters vnto Asaph the lorde of the kinges wood, that he may geue me timber to make beames for the gates of the palace which is harde by the house, and for the walles of the citie, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king gaue me according to the hande of my God which was good vpon me.
Nehemiah, to the grief of the enemies, cometh to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:9 And when I came to the captaynes beyonde the water, I gaue them the kinges letters: And the king had sent captaynes of the armie and horsemen with me. Nehemiah 2:10 Sanaballat also the Horonite, and Tobia a seruaunt the Ammonite hearde of it, & it greeued them sore, that there was come a man which sought the wealth of the children of Israel. Nehemiah 2:11 And I came to Hierusalem, and was there three dayes,
He vieweth secretly the ruins of the walls.
Nehemiah 2:12 And I gat me vp in the night season, and a fewe men with me, neither tolde I any man what God had geuen me in my heart to do at Hierusalem: and there was not one beast with me, saue it that I rode vpon. Nehemiah 2:13 And I departed in the night by the valley port, before the dragon well, and to the doung port, & considered the walles of Hierusalem howe they were broken downe, and the portes therof consumed with the fire. Nehemiah 2:14 And I went ouer vnto the well port, and to the kinges conduite, and there was no roome for the beast that was vnder me to passe. Nehemiah 2:15 Then went I on in the night by the brooke side, and considered the wall, and turned backe, and came home againe by the valley port. Nehemiah 2:16 And the rulers knewe not whyther I went or what I dyd: neither dyd I as yet tel it vnto the Iewes, to the priestes, to the noble men, to the rulers, and to the other that laboured in the worke.
He inciteth the Jews to build in despite of the enemies.
Nehemiah 2:17 Afterwarde sayde I vnto them: Ye see the miserie that we are in, howe Hierusalem lyeth waste, and howe the gates thereof are burnt with fire: come therefore, and let vs buylde vp the wall of Hierusalem, and that we be no more a rebuke. Nehemiah 2:18 Then I tolde them of the hand of my God that it was gratious ouer me, and the kinges wordes that he had spoken vnto me: And they sayde, Let vs get vp and buylde. And they strengthed their handes to good. Nehemiah 2:19 But when Sanaballat the Horonite, and Tobia the seruaunt an Ammonite, and Gesem the Arabian hearde it, they laughed vs to scorne, & despised vs, and sayde: What is this that ye do? Will ye fall away from the king? Nehemiah 2:20 Then aunswered I them, and sayde: The God of heauen, he it is that hath graunted vs prosperitie, and we his seruauntes will get vp and buylde: As for you, ye haue no portion, nor right, nor remembraunce in Hierusalem. The number of them that buylded the walles.