Nehemiah 2:1-20, NLT
Nehemiah Goes to Jerusalem
1Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan,*2:1 Hebrew In the month of Nisan. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of April and May 445 b.c. during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence.
Then I was terrified,
4The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”
With a prayer to the God of heaven,
6The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.
7I also said to the king, “If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River,*2:7 Hebrew the province beyond the river; also in 2:9. instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah.
9When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king’s letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemen*2:9 Or charioteers. to protect me.
Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Wall
11So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later,
16The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the Jewish leaders—the priests, the nobles, the officials, or anyone else in the administration.
They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.
19But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” they asked.
20I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”