Nehemiah son of Azbuk, head of a half-district of Beth Zur, worked after him as far as the tombs of David and the artificial pool and the House of the Warriors.
They replied, “We will return these things, 1 and we will no longer demand anything from them. We will do just as you say.” Then I called the priests and made the wealthy and the officials 2 swear to do what had been promised. 3
So I sent messengers to them saying, “I am engaged in 1 an important work, and I am unable to come down. Why should the work come to a halt when I leave it to come down to you?”
So he read it before the plaza in front of the Water Gate from dawn till noon 1 before the men and women and those children who could understand. 2 All the people were eager to hear 3 the book of the law.
So the people went out and brought these things 1 back and constructed temporary shelters for themselves, each on his roof and in his courtyard and in the courtyards of the temple 2 of God and in the plaza of the Water Gate and the plaza of the Ephraim Gate.
And the leaders of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua son of Kadmiel, and their colleagues, who stood opposite them to offer praise and thanks, one contingent corresponding to the other, as specified by 1 David the man of God.
On the second day of the banquet of wine the king asked Esther, “What is your request, Queen Esther? It shall be granted to you. And what is your petition? Ask up to half the kingdom, and it shall be done!”
Therefore, because of the account found in this letter and what they had faced in this regard and what had happened to them, the Jews established as binding on themselves, their descendants, and all who joined their company that they should observe these two days without fail, just as written and at the appropriate time on an annual basis.
Look, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female servant look to the hand of her mistress, 1 so my eyes will look to the Lord, our God, until he shows us favor.
Just as he came forth from his mother's womb, naked will he return as he came, and he will take nothing in his hand that he may carry away from his toil.
Surely, no one 1 knows his appointed time! 2 Like fish that are caught in a deadly 3 net, and like birds that are caught in a snare – just like them, all people 4 are ensnared 5 at an unfortunate 6 time that falls upon them suddenly.
Indeed, O Lord, 1 you have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. For diviners from the east are everywhere; 2 they consult omen readers like the Philistines do. 3 Plenty of foreigners are around. 4