Artaxerxes understanding the cause of Nehemiah's sadness sendeth him with letters and commission to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:1 Forsothe it was doon in the monethe Nysan, in the twentithe yeer of Artaxerses, kyng, and wyn was bifor hym, and Y reyside the wyn, and yaf to the kyng, and Y was as langwischynge bifor his face. Nehemiah 2:2 And the kyng seide to me, Whi is thi cheer sory, sithen Y se not thee sijk? This is not without cause; but yuel, Y not what, is in thin herte. And Y dredde ful greetli; Nehemiah 2:3 and seide to the kyng, Kyng, lyue thou withouten ende; whi moreneth not my cheer? for the citee of the hows of the sepulcris of my fadir is desert, ether forsakun, and the yatis therof ben brent with fier. Nehemiah 2:4 And the kyng seide to me, For what thing axist thou? And Y preiede God of heuene, Nehemiah 2:5 and seide to the kyng, If it semeth good to the kyng, and if it plesith thi seruauntis bifor thi face, Y biseche, that thou sende me in to Judee, to the citee of the sepulcre of my fadir, and Y schal bilde it. Nehemiah 2:6 And the kyng seide to me, and the queen sat bisidis him, Til to what tyme schal thi weie be, and whanne schalt thou turne ayen? And Y pleside bifor the cheer of the kyng, and he sente me, and Y ordeynede to hym a time; Nehemiah 2:7 and Y seide to the kyng, If it semeth good to kyng, yyue he pistlis to me to the duykis of the cuntrey biyende the flood, that thei lede me ouer, til Y come in to Judee; Nehemiah 2:8 and a pistle to Asaph, kepere of the kyngis forest, that he yyue trees to me, that Y may hile the yatis of the tour of the hows, and of the wal of the citee, and the hows, into which Y schal entre. And the kyng yaf to me, bi the good hond of my God with me.
Nehemiah, to the grief of the enemies, cometh to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 2:9 And Y cam to the duykis of the cuntrei biyende the flood, and Y yaf to hem the pistlis of the kyng. Sotheli the kyng hadde sent with me the princes of knyytis, and horsemen. Nehemiah 2:10 And Sanaballath Oronythes, and Tobie, the seruaunt Amanytes, herden, and thei weren soreuful bi greet turment, for a man was comun, that souyte prosperite of the sones of Israel. Nehemiah 2:11 And Y cam in to Jerusalem, and Y was there thre daies.
He vieweth secretly the ruins of the walls.
Nehemiah 2:12 And Y roos bi nyyt, Y and a fewe men with me, and Y schewide not to ony man, what thing God hadde youe in myn herte, that Y wolde do in Jerusalem; and no werk beest was with me, no but the beeste, on which Y sat. Nehemiah 2:13 And Y yede out bi the yate of the valei bi nyyt, and bifor the welle of dragoun, and to the yat of drit; and Y bihelde the wal of Jerusalem distried, and the yatis therof wastid bi fier. Nehemiah 2:14 And Y passid to the yate of the welle, and to the watir cundit of the kyng, and no place was to the hors, on which Y sat for to passe; Nehemiah 2:15 and Y stiede bi the stronde in nyyt, and Y bihelde the wal, and Y turnede ayen, and cam to the yate of the valei, and Y yede ayen. Nehemiah 2:16 Forsothe the magistratis wisten not, whidir Y hadde go, ethir what Y wolde do; but also Y hadde not schewid ony thing to the Jewis, and prestis, and to the best men, and magestratis, and to othere men that maden the werk, til to that place, that is, til to that tyme.
He inciteth the Jews to build in despite of the enemies.
Nehemiah 2:17 And Y seide to hem, Ye knowen the turment, in which we ben, for Jerusalem is deseert, and the yatis therof ben wastid with fier; come ye, bilde we the wallis of Jerusalem, and be we no more schenship. Nehemiah 2:18 And Y schewide to hem the hond of my God, that it was good with me, and the wordis of the kyng, whiche he spak to me; and Y seide, Rise we, and bilde we; and the hondis of hem weren coumfortid in good. Nehemiah 2:19 Forsothe Sanballath Oronytes, and Tobie, the seruaunt Amanytes, and Gosem Arabs, herden, and scorneden vs, and dispisiden; and seiden, What is this thing, which ye doon? whether ye rebellen ayens the kyng? Nehemiah 2:20 And Y yeldide to hem a word, and seide to hem, God hym silf of heuene helpith vs, and we ben hise seruauntis; rise we, and bilde; forsothe part and riytfulnesse and mynde in Jerusalem is not to you.