Psalm 137:1-6 and Nehemiah 2:1-8
1 A Psalm of David: to Jeremiah. Above the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept, while we remembered Zion.
2 By the willow trees, in their midst, we hung up our instruments.
3 For, in that place, those who led us into captivity questioned us about the words of the songs. And those who carried us away said: "Sing us a hymn from the songs of Zion."
4 How can we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?
5 If I ever forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten.
6 May my tongue adhere to my jaws, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem first, as the beginning of my joy.
1 Now it happened that, in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of king Artaxerxes, wine was before him; and I lifted up the wine, and I gave it to the king. And I was like someone languishing before his face.
2 And the king said to me: "Why is your expression sad, though you do not appear to be sick? This is not without cause, but some evil, I know not what, is in your heart." And I was struck with an exceedingly great fear.
3 And I said to the king: "O king, live forever. Why should my expression not be mournful, since the city of the house of the sepulchers of my father is desolate, and its gates have been burned with fire?"
4 And the king said to me: "What would you request?" And I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said to the king: "If it seems good to the king, and if your servant is pleasing before your face: that you would send me into Judea, to the city of the sepulcher of my father. And I will rebuild it."
6 And the king said to me, with the queen who was sitting beside him: "Until what time will your journey be, and when will you return?" And it was pleasing before the countenance of the king, and so he sent me. And I established a time for him.
7 And I said to the king: "If it seems good to the king, may he give me letters to the governors of the region beyond the river, so that they may lead me through, until I arrive in Judea,
8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, so that he may give me timber, in order that I may be able to cover the gates of the tower of the house, and the walls of the city, and the house that I will enter." And the king granted to me in accord with the good hand of my God, who is with me.
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