Nehemiah 2:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven,

New Living Translation
The king asked, "Well, how can I help you?" With a prayer to the God of heaven,

English Standard Version
Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.

New American Standard Bible
Then the king said to me, "What would you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven.

King James Bible
Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the king asked me, "What is your request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven

International Standard Version
The king answered, "What do you want?" So I prayed to the God of heaven

NET Bible
The king responded, "What is it you are seeking?" Then I quickly prayed to the God of heaven

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"What do you want?" the king asked me. So I prayed to the God of heaven,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of the heavens.

King James 2000 Bible
Then the king said unto me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

American King James Version
Then the king said to me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

American Standard Version
Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then the king said to me: For what dost thou make request? And I prayed to the God of heaven,

Darby Bible Translation
And the king said to me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of the heavens.

English Revised Version
Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then the king said to me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

World English Bible
Then the king said to me, "For what do you make request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Young's Literal Translation
And the king saith to me, 'For what art thou seeking?' and I pray unto the God of the heavens,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-8 Our prayers must be seconded with serious endeavours, else we mock God. We are not limited to certain moments in our addresses to the King of kings, but have liberty to go to him at all times; approaches to the throne of grace are never out of season. But the sense of God's displeasure and the afflictions of his people, are causes of sorrow to the children of God, under which no earthly delights can comfort. The king encouraged Nehemiah to tell his mind. This gave him boldness to speak; much more may the invitation Christ has given us to pray, and the promise that we shall speed, encourage us to come boldly to the throne of grace. Nehemiah prayed to the God of heaven, as infinitely above even this mighty monarch. He lifted up his heart to that God who understands the language of the heart. Nor should we ever engage in any pursuit in which it would be wrong for us thus to seek and expect the Divine direction, assistance, and blessing. There was an immediate answer to his prayer; for the seed of Jacob never sought the God of Jacob in vain.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? Artaxerxes understood that a complaint was contained in Nehemiah's speech, and that he must have a request to make. With gracious kindliness he facilitates its utterance. So I prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah was emphatically a man of prayer. In every danger, in every difficulty, still more at any crisis, prayer rose to his lips (see Nehemiah 4:4, 9; Nehemiah 5:19; Nehemiah 6:9, 14; Nehemiah 13:14, etc.). Sometimes, as now, the prayer was offered silently and swiftly.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then the king said unto me, for what dost thou make request?.... The king supposed that there was a meaning in those looks and words of his, that he had a favour to ask of him, and therefore encourages him to it; or the king of himself moved this, as being desirous of doing anything for him he would propose, to make him easy:

so I prayed to the God of heaven; secretly, in an ejaculatory way, giving him thanks for thus disposing the king's heart towards him, and entreating he might be directed what to ask, and in a proper manner, and that he might succeed.



Nehemiah 2:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem
3I said to the king, "Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?" 4Then the king said to me, "What would you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5I said to the king, "If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it."…
Cross References
Nehemiah 1:4
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

Nehemiah 2:5
and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it."

Nehemiah 2:20
I answered them by saying, "The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it."
Treasury of Scripture

Then the king said to me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

For what

1 Kings 3:5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God …

Esther 5:3,6 Then said the king to her, What will you, queen Esther? and what …

Esther 7:2 And the king said again to Esther on the second day at the banquet …

Mark 10:51 And Jesus answered and said to him, What will you that I should do …

So I prayed

Nehemiah 1:4,11 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and …

2 Samuel 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators …

Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication …

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