Nehemiah 2:8
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New International Version
And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?" And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.

New Living Translation
And please give me a letter addressed to Asaph, the manager of the king's forest, instructing him to give me timber. I will need it to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for myself." And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me.

English Standard Version
and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

Berean Study Bible
And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house I will occupy.” And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.

New American Standard Bible
and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go." And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.

King James Bible
And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Christian Standard Bible
And let me have a letter written to Asaph, keeper of the king's forest, so that he will give me timber to rebuild the gates of the temple's fortress, the city wall, and the home where I will live." The king granted my requests, for the gracious hand of my God was on me.

Contemporary English Version
I will need timber to rebuild the gates of the fortress near the temple and more timber to construct the city wall and to build a place for me to live. And so, I would appreciate a letter to Asaph, who is in charge of the royal forest." God was good to me, and the king did everything I asked.

Good News Translation
I asked also for a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal forests, instructing him to supply me with timber for the gates of the fort that guards the Temple, for the city walls, and for the house I was to live in. The emperor gave me all I asked for, because God was with me.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And let me have a letter written to Asaph, keeper of the king's forest, so that he will give me timber to rebuild the gates of the temple's fortress, the city wall, and the home where I will live." The king granted my requests, for I was graciously strengthened by my God.

International Standard Version
along with a letter to Asaph, the royal Commissioner of Forests, so that he will supply me with timber to craft beams for the gatehouses of the Temple, for the city walls, and for the house in which I will be living." The king granted this for me, according to the good hand of my God.

NET Bible
and a letter for Asaph the keeper of the king's nature preserve, so that he will give me timber for beams for the gates of the fortress adjacent to the temple and for the city wall and for the house to which I go." So the king granted me these requests, for the good hand of my God was on me.

New Heart English Bible
and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into." The king granted my requests, because of the good hand of my God on me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Also, let me have a letter addressed to Asaph, the supervisor of Your Majesty's forest. In the letter order him to give me wood for the gates of the fortress near the temple, for the city wall, and for the house I'll move into." (The king let me have the letters, because God was guiding me.)

JPS Tanakh 1917
and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's park, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertaineth to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into.' And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

New American Standard 1977
and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and a letter unto Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace of the house and for the wall of the city and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of the LORD upon me.

King James 2000 Bible
And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which pertains to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the temple that I shall enter into. And the king so granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

American King James Version
And a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God on me.

American Standard Version
and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertaineth to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, to give me timber that I may cover the gates of the tower of the house, and the walls of the city, and the house that I shall enter into. And the king gave me according to the good hand of my God with me.

Darby Bible Translation
and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which [appertains] to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

English Revised Version
and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertaineth to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Webster's Bible Translation
And a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

World English Bible
and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into." The king granted my requests, because of the good hand of my God on me.

Young's Literal Translation
and a letter unto Asaph, keeper of the paradise that the king hath, that he give to me trees for beams for the gates of the palace that the house hath, and for the wall of the city, and for the house into which I enter;' and the king giveth to me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
Study Bible
Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem
7I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may letters be given to me for the governors west of the Euphrates, so that they will grant me safe passage until I reach Judah. 8And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house I will occupy .” And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests. 9Then I went to the governors west of the Euphrates and gave them the king's letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.…
Cross References
Ezra 7:6
this Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted Ezra all his requests, for the hand of the LORD his God was upon him.

Ezra 7:9
He had begun the journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him.

Nehemiah 2:18
I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me, and what the king had said to me. "Let us start rebuilding," they replied, and they set their hands to this good work.

Nehemiah 7:2
Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah the commander of the fortress, because he was a faithful man who feared God more than most.

Ecclesiastes 2:5
I made myself gardens and parks and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees.

Ecclesiastes 2:6
I built reservoirs to water my groves of flourishing trees.

Treasury of Scripture

And a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God on me.

the wall

Nehemiah 2:17 Then said I to them, You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem …

Nehemiah 3:1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, …

the house

Nehemiah 3:7 And next to them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, …

Nehemiah 7:2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, …

the king

Nehemiah 2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good on me; as also …

Genesis 32:28 And he said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: …

Ezra 5:5 But the eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, that they …

Ezra 6:22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the …

Ezra 7:6,9,27,28 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the …

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: …

Isaiah 66:14 And when you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall …

Daniel 1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince …

Acts 7:10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor …

Acts 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing …

2 Corinthians 8:16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart …







(8) Keeper of the king's forest.--Asaph, a Jew, was keeper of an artificial park or pleasure ground near Jerusalem: the Persian pardes, whence our "Paradise." It was well planted with trees, as timber was to be supplied from it "for the gates of the palace," rather the fortress, which protected "the house," or temple, and was known in Roman times as Antonia; also for the city walls; also "for the house that I shall enter into," that is, Nehemiah's own house, for his being appointed governor is pre-supposed.

Verse 8. - The king's forest. Patrick supposes the forest on Mount Lebanon to be intended; but Nehemiah would scarcely have desired to transport timber for ordinary building purposes from such a distance. Moreover, the word used is one not applicable to a natural forest, but only to a park, or pleasure-ground planted with trees, and surrounded by a fence or wall. The word is pardes, the Hebrew representative of that Persian term which the Greeks rendered by παράδεισος, whence our "paradise." We must understand a royal park in the vicinity of Jerusalem, of which a Jew, Asaph, was the keeper. The palace which appertained to the house. The "house" here spoken of is undoubtedly the temple; and the birah, appertaining to it is, almost certainly, the fortress at the north-west angle of the temple area, which at once commanded and protected it. Josephus says ('Ant. Jud.,' 15:11, § 4) that this fortress was called Βάρις originally. In Roman times it was known as the "Turris Antonia." The house that I shall enter into. The governor's residence. Nehemiah assumes that the powers for which he asks involve his being appointed governor of Judaea. The king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me. Through God's special favour towards me, the king was induced to grant my request.

CHAPTER 2:9-11 NEHEMIAH'S JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM (Nehemiah 3:9-11). On his way to Jerusalem, Nehemiah would pass through the provinces of various Persian satraps and governors. To those beyond the Euphrates he carried letters, which he took care to deliver, though by doing so he aroused the hostility of San-ballat. Being accompanied by an escort of Persian soldiers, he experienced neither difficulty nor danger by the way, but effected his journey in about three months. And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest,.... The forest or mountain of Lebanon, which, because of its odoriferous and fruit bearing trees, was more like an orchard or paradise, as this word signifies, and so it is translated in Ecclesiastes 2:5 and at the extreme part of it, it seems, there was a city called Paradisus (r); such an officer as here was among the Romans, called Saltuarius (s), and is now among us:

that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertaineth to the house; not the king's palace near the temple, for that might have occasioned suspicion in the king, that his view was to set up himself as king in Judea; but for the gates of the courts adjoining to the temple, and of the wall of the outward court, and of the wall which was to encompass the mountain of the house, the whole circumference of it:

and for the wall of the city; to make gates of in various places for that, where they stood before:

and for the house which I shall enter into; and dwell in during his stay at Jerusalem:

and the king granted me; all the above favours:

according to the good hand of my God upon me; the kind providence of God, which wrought on the heart of the king, and disposed it towards him, and overruled all things for good.

(r) Ptolem. Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 23. (s) Vid. Servium in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 2. ver. 485. 8. according to the good hand of my God upon me—The piety of Nehemiah appears in every circumstance. The conception of his patriotic design, the favorable disposition of the king, and the success of the undertaking are all ascribed to God.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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