Nehemiah Chapter 1

Nehemiah was the cup bearer to the King of Persia. In Nehemiah Chapter 1, he introduced himself and recounted the time when one of his brothers and some men came from Judah to give him some bad news.

Nehemiah Hears Bad News

When Nehemiah asked the men about what was happening with the Jews who had lived through the exile and were back in Jerusalem, they told him that they were not faring well. They also said that the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and the gate had been burned.

Nehemiah Prays to God

Shocked by the news, Nehemiah broke down and cried for many days. He also went on a fast and prayed to God. During his prayer in Nehemiah Chapter 1, Nehemiah called on God to hear his him and his intercession for the Israelites. He admitted that they had been unfaithful and corrupt. He also said that along with himself, everyone in his father’s household had also been disobedient and sinful.

Nehemiah’s Confession

Nehemiah confessed that neither he nor the Israelites had kept God’s commands. He knew that God told the Israelites that if they grew unfaithful and disobedient, He would scatter them like so much chaff. However, Nehemiah also reminded God that He promised to hold His people near and bring them to the place where He had chosen if they kept His commandments.

Nehemiah then begged for God’s mercy upon him and the Israelites despite their corruption and times of faithlessness. He ended his prayer in Nehemiah Chapter 1 by reminding God that he was the cup bearer to Artaxerxes, the Persian king.

Nehemiah 1 (King James Version)

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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