Nehemiah 2:2
New International Version
so the king asked me, "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart." I was very much afraid,

New Living Translation
So the king asked me, "Why are you looking so sad? You don't look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled." Then I was terrified,

English Standard Version
And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid.

Berean Study Bible
so the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, though you are not ill? This could only be sadness of the heart.” I was overwhelmed with fear

New American Standard Bible
So the king said to me, "Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart." Then I was very much afraid.

King James Bible
Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

Christian Standard Bible
so the king said to me, "Why are you sad, when you aren't sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart." I was overwhelmed with fear

Contemporary English Version
So the king said, "Why do you look so sad? You're not sick. Something must be bothering you." Even though I was frightened,

Good News Translation
so he asked, "Why are you looking so sad? You aren't sick, so it must be that you're unhappy." I was startled

Holman Christian Standard Bible
so the king said to me, "Why are you sad, when you aren't sick? This is nothing but depression." I was overwhelmed with fear

International Standard Version
The king asked me, "Why do you look so troubled, since you're not ill? This cannot be anything else but troubles of the heart." Then I was filled with fear.

NET Bible
So the king said to me, "Why do you appear to be depressed when you aren't sick? What can this be other than sadness of heart?" This made me very fearful.

New Heart English Bible
The king said to me, "Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart." Then I was very much afraid.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The king asked me, "Why do you look so sad? You aren't sick, are you? You must be troubled about something." (I was really afraid.)

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the king said unto me: 'Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart.' Then I was very sore afraid.

New American Standard 1977
So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid.

Jubilee Bible 2000
the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? This is nothing else but brokenness of heart. Then I was very sore afraid

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore the king said unto me, Why is your countenance sad, seeing you are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very much afraid,

American King James Version
Why the king said to me, Why is your countenance sad, seeing you are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

American Standard Version
And the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And the king said to me, Why is thy countenance sad, and dost thou not control thyself? and now this is nothing but sorrow of heart. Then I was very much alarmed,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the king said to me: Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou dost not appear to be sick? this is not without cause, but some evil, I know not what, is in thy heart. And I was seized with an exceeding great fear:

Darby Bible Translation
And the king said to me, Why is thy face sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sadness of heart. And I was very sore afraid.

English Revised Version
And the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid.

Webster's Bible Translation
Wherefore the king said to me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing but sorrow of heart. Then I was very greatly afraid,

World English Bible
The king said to me, "Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing else but sorrow of heart." Then I was very much afraid.

Young's Literal Translation
and the king saith to me, 'Wherefore is thy face sad, and thou not sick? this is nothing except sadness of heart;' and I fear very much,
Study Bible
Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem
1Now in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence, 2so the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, though you are not ill? This could only be sadness of the heart.” I was overwhelmed with fear 3and replied to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should I not be sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”…
Cross References
Genesis 40:7
So he asked Pharaoh's officials who were in custody with him in his master's house, "Why are your faces so downcast today?"

Proverbs 15:13
A joyful heart makes a cheerful countenance, but sorrow of the heart crushes the spirit.

Treasury of Scripture

Why the king said to me, Why is your countenance sad, seeing you are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

Why is thy

Genesis 40:7
And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?

sorrow

Proverbs 15:13
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.







Lexicon
so the king
הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ (ham·me·leḵ)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4428: A king

said
וַיֹּאמֶר֩ (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

to me,
לִ֨י (lî)
Preposition | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew

“Why [is]
מַדּ֣וּעַ ׀ (mad·dū·a‘)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4069: Why? for what reason?

your face
פָּנֶ֣יךָ (pā·ne·ḵā)
Noun - common plural construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6440: The face

sad,
רָעִ֗ים (rā·‘îm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7451: Bad, evil

though you [are]
וְאַתָּה֙ (wə·’at·tāh)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 859: Thou and thee, ye and you

not
אֵֽינְךָ֣ (’ê·nə·ḵā)
Adverb | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

ill?
חוֹלֶ֔ה (ḥō·w·leh)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2470: To be weak or sick

This
זֶ֔ה (zeh)
Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2088: This, that

could only be
אֵ֣ין (’ên)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

sadness
רֹ֣עַֽ (rō·a‘)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 7455: Badness, evil

of the heart.”
לֵ֑ב (lêḇ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre

I was overwhelmed with fear
וָאִירָ֖א (wā·’î·rā)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3372: To fear, to revere, caus, to frighten
(2) Then I was very sore afraid.--Waiting on Providence, Nehemiah had discharged his duties for three months without being sad in the king's presence; but on this day his sorrow could not be repressed. His fear sprang from the king's abrupt inquiry. A sad countenance was never tolerated in the royal presence; and, though Artaxerxes was of a milder character than any other Persian monarch, the tone of his question showed that in this respect he was not an exception.

Verse 2. - The king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad? This "kindly question" put by the great king to his humble retainer is his best claim to the favourable judgment of later ages. History puts him before us as a weak monarch, one who could compromise the royal dignity by making terms with a revolted subject, while he disgraced it by breaking faith with a conquered enemy. But if weak as a king, as a man he was kind-hearted and gentle. Few Persian monarchs would have been sufficiently interested in their attendants to notice whether they were sad or no; fewer still would have shown sympathy on such an occasion. A Xerxes might have ordered the culprit to instant execution. Longimanus feels compassion, and wishes to assuage the grief of his servant. Then I was very sore afraid. Notwithstanding the king's kind and compassionate words, Nehemiah feels his danger. He has looked sad in the king's presence. He is about to ask permission to quit the court. These are both sins against the fundamental doctrine of Persian court life, that to bask in the light of the royal countenance is the height of felicity. Will the king be displeased, refuse his request, dismiss him from his post, cast him into prison, or will he pardon his rudeness and allow his request? 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.
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