Nehemiah 2:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, "How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?" It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.

New Living Translation
The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, "How long will you be gone? When will you return?" After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.

English Standard Version
And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time.

New American Standard Bible
Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, "How long will your journey be, and when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time.

King James Bible
And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The king, with the queen seated beside him, asked me, "How long will your journey take, and when will you return?" So I gave him a definite time, and it pleased the king to send me.

International Standard Version
With his queen seated beside him, the king asked me, "How long will your journey take, and when will you return?" The king thought it was a good idea to send me, so I presented him with a prepared plan.

NET Bible
Then the king, with his consort sitting beside him, replied, "How long would your trip take, and when would you return?" Since the king was amenable to dispatching me, I gave him a time.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then, while the queen was sitting beside him, the king asked me, "How long will you be gone, and when will you come back?" When I gave him a specific date, he was willing to let me go.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the king said unto me (the queen also sitting by him), For how long shall thy journey be, and when wilt thou return? So the matter pleased the king, and he sent me; and I set him a time.

King James 2000 Bible
And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

American King James Version
And the king said to me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

American Standard Version
And the king said unto me (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the king said to me, and the queen that sat by him: For how long shall thy journey be, and when wilt thou return? And it pleased the king, and he sent me: and I fixed him a time.

Darby Bible Translation
And the king said to me -- the queen also sitting by him, -- For how long shall thy journey be, and when wilt thou return? And it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

English Revised Version
And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the king said to me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

World English Bible
The king said to me (the queen was also sitting by him), "For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

Young's Literal Translation
And the king saith to me (and the queen is sitting near him), 'How long is thy journey? and when dost thou return?' and it is good before the king, and he sendeth me away, and I set to him a time.
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 6. - The queen. It appears from Ctesias ('Exc. Pers.,' § 44) that Artaxerxes Longimanus had but one legitimate wife - a certain Damaspia. Nothing more is known of her besides this mention, and the fact that she died on the same day as her husband. (The Septuagint rendering of hashegal by ἡ παλλακὴ is wrong.) Sitting by him. Not an unusual circumstance. Though, when the monarch entertained guests, the queen remained in her private apartments (Esther 1:9-12), yet on other occasions she frequently took her meals with him ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 3. p. 214). I set him a time. Nehemiah probably mentioned some such time as a year, or two years - such a space as would suffice for the double journey, and the restoration of the fortifications. He stayed away, however, as he tells us (Nehemiah 5:14), twelve years, obtaining no doubt from time to time an extension of his leave (Bertheau).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the king said unto me, the queen also sitting by him,.... Which it seems was not very common for the queens of Persia to dine with the kings their husbands; though this may be observed, not so much for the singularity of it, as for the providence of God in it, that so it should be, she having a good respect for Nehemiah, and the Jewish nation, and forwarded the king in his grant to him: if this king was Darius Hystaspis, this his queen was Atossa, daughter of Cyrus (q), who might be the more friendly to the Jews, on account of her father's great regard unto them:

for how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? what time would he ask to do this business in? this shows the king had a great respect for him, and was loath to part with him, at least for any great length of time:

so it pleased the king to send me, when he promised to return unto him, not in twelve years, which was the time of his government in Judea, but in a lesser space, perhaps a year at most, since in less than two months the wall of Jerusalem was finished; and it may be that he then returned to the king of Persia, who sent him again under the character of a governor, finding it was for his interest to have such a man in those parts.

(q) Herodot. Polymnia, sive l. 7. c. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6-9. the queen also sitting by him—As the Persian monarchs did not admit their wives to be present at their state festivals, this must have been a private occasion. The queen referred to was probably Esther, whose presence would tend greatly to embolden Nehemiah in stating his request; and through her influence, powerfully exerted it may be supposed, also by her sympathy with the patriotic design, his petition was granted, to go as deputy governor of Judea, accompanied by a military guard, and invested with full powers to obtain materials for the building in Jerusalem, as well as to get all requisite aid in promoting his enterprise.

I set him a time—Considering the great despatch made in raising the walls, it is probable that this leave of absence was limited at first to a year or six months, after which he returned to his duties in Shushan. The circumstance of fixing a set time for his return, as well as entrusting so important a work as the refortification of Jerusalem to his care, proves the high favor and confidence Nehemiah enjoyed at the Persian court, and the great estimation in which his services were held. At a later period he received a new commission for the better settlement of the affairs of Judea and remained governor of that province for twelve years (Ne 5:14).

Nehemiah 2:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem
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." 6Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, "How long will your journey be, and when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. 7And I said to the king, "If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah,…
Cross References
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 13:6
But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission
Treasury of Scripture

And the king said to me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

the queen. Heb. the wife (It was probably Esther who was present at this time, and who seconded Nehemiah's request.)

So it pleased

Nehemiah 2:4 Then the king said to me, For what do you make request? So I prayed …

Nehemiah 1:11 O LORD, I beseech you, let now your ear be attentive to the prayer …

Isaiah 58:12 And they that shall be of you shall build the old waste places: you …

Isaiah 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former …

Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; …

I set him a time (It is probable that this time was no more than six months, or a year; after which he either returned, or had his leave of absence lengthened, as we find he was twelve years governor of the Jews.)

Nehemiah 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor …

Nehemiah 13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth …

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