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1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, 5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: 6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned. 7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. 8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: 9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. 10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. 11 O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.

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1 angela h = "Shushan the palace is the same place we find Queen Esther some years earlier. Shushan was the palace for the Persian ruler. The ruler at this particular time is Artaxerxes. (2:1)"
2 angela h = "One of Nehemiah's brothers gives him a report of the condition of the people left in Jerusalem. He learns that not only are they in dire straights but that the city walls were broken down and the gates had been burned. "The walls had been in disrepair for 140 years. The temple was built (under the lead of Zurabbel) 80 years earlier."Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible 527"
3 angela h = "Nehemiah is heartbroken over the news. He cried, spent some time mourning, fasted, and prayed. "
4 angela h = "Nehemiah begins to pray. He is being very diligent to give God all the reverence due Him. Nehemiah reminds God of how merciful He is and of the covenant/agreement He made with Moses."
5 angela h = "After reverencing God, Nehemiah proceeds to make his petition on behalf of the Israelites. He admits to God that He was just to send them into captivity. He repents for the nation and then personally for he and his family."
6 angela h = "Nehemiah gets specific about the sins that the nation of Israel have committed. Moses warned them not to commit idolatry or they would be "utterly destroyed and scattered among nations and be left few in number." Deuteronomy 4:25-28 "
7 angela h = "God promises through Moses that when they were dispersed throughout the nations and repented that if they "would seek God with all thy heart and with all thy soul" they would find Him. Exodus 4:29-31God promises to bring them back to the Promised Land if they truly repented. God wants to have mercy on us! But He doesn't want phony worship. He wants us to worship Him in "truth and spirit" John 4:23-24We need to be truly sorry for our offence, not just sorry that we have been caught."
8 angela h = "Over and over we read in the Bible how God saves Israel from other nations. Many times God really shows off His power, as in the Exodus. At this time God has set over them rulers who are sympathetic to them as a people. This probably came about through the reign of Esther. "
9 angela h = "Nehemiah is telling God that the people have repented and are ready to serve Him wholeheartedly. "
10 angela h = "Nehemiah is asking specifically now for God to give him (Nehemiah) favor with the king.Nehemiah's job was that of the cup bearer to Artaxerxes the Persian King. He would actually test all food and drink coming to the king to be sure it wasn't poisoned. Thus, he was close to the king. "