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2:1 And it cometh to pass, in the month of Nisan, the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, wine `is' before him, and I lift up the wine, and give to the king, and I had not been sad before him;
2:2 and the king saith to me, `Wherefore `is' thy face sad, and thou not sick? this is nothing except sadness of heart;' and I fear very much,
2:3 and say to the king, `Let the king to the age live! wherefore should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of the graves of my fathers, `is' a waste, and its gates have been consumed with fire?'
2:4 And the king saith to me, `For what art thou seeking?' and I pray unto the God of the heavens,
2:5 and say to the king, `If to the king `it be' good, and if thy servant be pleasing before thee, that thou send me unto Judah, unto the city of the graves of my fathers, and I built it.'
2:6 And the king saith to me (and the queen is sitting near him), `How long is thy journey? and when dost thou return?' and it is good before the king, and he sendeth me away, and I set to him a time.
2:7 And I say to the king, `If to the king `it be' good, letters let be given to me for the governors beyond the River, that they let me pass over till that I come in unto Judah:
2:8 and a letter unto Asaph, keeper of the paradise that the king hath, that he give to me trees for beams `for' the gates of the palace that the house hath, and for the wall of the city, and for the house into which I enter;' and the king giveth to me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
2:9 And I come in unto the governors beyond the River, and give to them the letters of the king; and the king sendeth with me heads of a force, and horsemen;
2:10 and Sanballat the Horonite heareth, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and it is evil to them -- a great evil -- that a man hath come in to seek good for the sons of Israel.
2:11 And I come in unto Jerusalem, and I am there three days,
2:12 and I rise by night, I and a few men with me, and have not declared to a man what my God is giving unto my heart to do for Jerusalem, and there is no beast with me except the beast on which I am riding.
2:13 And I go out through the gate of the valley by night, and unto the front of the fountain of the dragon, and unto the gate of the dunghill, and I am measuring about the walls of Jerusalem, that are broken down, and its gates consumed with fire.
2:14 And I pass over unto the gate of the fountain, and unto the pool of the king, and there is no place for the beast under me to pass over,
2:15 and I am going up through the brook by night, and am measuring about the wall, and turn back, and come in through the gate of the valley, and turn back.
2:16 And the prefects have not known whither I have gone, and what I am doing; and to the Jews, and to the priests, and to the freemen, and to the prefects, and to the rest of those doing the work, hitherto I have not declared `it';
2:17 and I say unto them, `Ye are seeing the evil that we are in, in that Jerusalem `is' waste, and its gates have been burnt with fire; come and we build the wall of Jerusalem, and we are not any more a reproach.'
2:18 And I declare to them the hand of my God that is good upon me, and also the words of the king that he said to me, and they say, `Let us rise, and we have built;' and they strengthen their hands for good.
2:19 And Sanballat the Horonite heareth, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, and they mock at us, and despise us, and say, `What `is' this thing that ye are doing? against the king are ye rebelling?'
2:20 And I return them word, and say to them, `The God of the heavens -- He doth give prosperity to us, and we His servants rise and have built; and to you there is no portion, and right, and memorial in Jerusalem.'
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