Artaxerxes understanding the cause of Nehemiah's sadness sendeth him with letters and commission to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:1 In the moneth Nisan in the twentieth yeare of kynge Arthaxerses, when the wyne stode before him, I toke vp the wyne, & gaue it vnto the kynge & I was heauy in hys presence. Nehemiah 2:2 Then sayd the kyng vnto me: why lokest thou so sadly? Thou arte not sick, that is not the matter, but thou arte heuy herted. Neuerthelesse I was sore afrayed Nehemiah 2:3 & sayde vnto the kynge: God saue the kynges lyfe for euer, shulde I not loke sadly? the cytye of my fathers buryall lyeth waste & the gates thereof are consumed with fyre. Nehemiah 2:4 Then sayde the kyng vnto me: what is then thy request? then made I my prayer to the God of heauen, Nehemiah 2:5 and sayde vnto the king: yf it please the kyng, and yf thy seruaunte be fauoured in thy syghte, I be seke the sende me into Iuda vnto the cytye of my fathers buriall, that I maye buylde it. Nehemiah 2:6 And the kynge sayde vnto me, & so dyd the quene that sat by him: how long shal thy iourney continue, & when wylt thou come againe? And it pleased the kinge to sende me, and I set hym a tyme, Nehemiah 2:7 and sayde vnto the kynge: yf it please the kynge, let hym geue me letters to þe capptaynes beyond the water, that they may conueye me ouer, tyll I come into Iuda: Nehemiah 2:8 & letters vnto Asaph the Lord of þe kynges wood that he may geue me wood for beames to the gates of the palace, which are hard on þe house and harde on the walles of the citie, and for þe house that I shall entre into. And the kynge gaue me accordynge to the good hand of God vpon me:
Nehemiah, to the grief of the enemies, cometh to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:9 And when I came to the captaynes beyond the water, I gaue them the kynges letters. And the kyng sent captaynes and horsmen with me. Nehemiah 2:10 But when Sanabalat the Horonite and Tobiah the seruaunt of the Ammonites heard þt, it greued them sore, that there was come a man which soughte the welth of the chyldren of Israel. Nehemiah 2:11 And when I came to Ierusalem, & had bene there thre dayes,
He vieweth secretly the ruins of the walls.
Nehemiah 2:12 I gat me vp in þe night season, & a fewe men wyth me: for I tolde no man what God had geuen me in my hert to do at Ierusalem: and there was not one beast wt me, saue it that I rode vpon. Nehemiah 2:13 And I rode by nyghte vnto the valey porte before the Dragon well, and to the Donge porte, and consydered the walles of Ierusalem that were broken doune, and the portes thereof consumed with the fyre. Nehemiah 2:14 And I went ouer vnto the welporte, and to the kynges conduyte, & there was no roume for my beaste, that it coulde go vnder me. Nehemiah 2:15 Then went I on in the nyghte by þe broke syde, & consydered the wall, and turned backe and came home agayne to the valeye porte. Nehemiah 2:16 And the rulers knewe not whether I went or what I dyd: for hyther to had I not told þe Iewes & the priestes, for the councelers and þe rulers, & the other that laboured in þe worcke.
He inciteth the Jews to build in despite of the enemies.
Nehemiah 2:17 And I sayde vnto them: ye se the myserye that we are in, how Ierusalem lyeth waste, & how the gates thereof are brente with fyre, come let vs buylde vp the walles of Ierusalem, that we be no more a rebuke. Nehemiah 2:18 And I tolde them of the good hande of my God whiche was vpon me: and the kynges wordes that he had spoken vnto me. And they sayde: then let vs gette vp, and buylde: and theyr handes were strenghted to good. Nehemiah 2:19 But when Senabalat the Horonite, and Tobiah the seruaunte of the Ammonites, and Gesem the Arabian hearde it, they laughed vs to skorne, and despysed vs, & sayde: what is thys that ye do? Wyll ye fall away againe from the kynge? Nehemiah 2:20 Then answered I them, and sayde: the God of heauen he it is that causeth vs to prospere: and we be hys seruauntes. Let vs get vp and buylde. As for you, ye haue no porcyon nor ryghte nor remembraunce in Ierusalem.