Nehemiah 1:1-5 NIRV
These are the words of Nehemiah. He was the son of Hakaliah.
I was in the fort of Susa. I was there in the 20th year that Artaxerxes was king. It was in the month of Kislev. At that time Hanani came from Judah with some other men. He was one of my brothers. I asked him and the other men about the Jews who were left alive in Judah. They had returned from Babylon. I also asked him about Jerusalem.
He and the men with him said to me, “Some of the people who returned are still alive. They are back in the land of Judah. But they are having a hard time. They are ashamed. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down. Its gates have been burned with fire.”
When I heard about these things, I sat down and wept. For several days I was very sad. I didn’t eat any food. And I prayed to the God of heaven. I said,
“LORD, you are the God of heaven. You are a great and wonderful God. You keep the covenant you made with those who love you and obey your commandments. You show them your love.
NIRV: New International Reader’s Version