THE words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.



AND it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

2 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,

3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

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

5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

6 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.

7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;

8 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.

9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.

10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.

12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.

15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.

16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.

17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?

20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.



THEN Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

2 And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.

3 But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

4 And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.

5 And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.

6 Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

7 And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river.

8 Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall.

9 And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.

10 And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.

11 Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hashub the son of Pahath-moab, repaired the other piece, and the tower of the furnaces.

12 And next unto him repaired Shallum the son of Halohesh, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.

13 The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.

14 But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth-haccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

15 But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col-hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king’s garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.

16 After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of the half part of Beth-zur, unto the place over against the sepulchres of David, and to the pool that was made, and unto the house of the mighty.

17 After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next unto him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of the half part of Keilah, in his part.

18 After him repaired their brethren, Bavai the son of Henadad, the ruler of the half part of Keilah.

19 And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another piece over against the going up to the armoury at the turning of the wall.

20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired the other piece, from the turning of the wall unto the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.

21 After him repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah the son of Koz another piece, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.

22 And after him repaired the priests, the men of the plain.

23 After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house.

24 After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another piece, from the house of Azariah unto the turning of the wall, even unto the corner.

25 Palal the son of Uzai, over against the turning of the wall, and the tower which lieth out from the king’s high house, that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh.

26 Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.

27 After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lieth out, even unto the wall of Ophel.

28 From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.

29 After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate.

30 After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.

31 After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith’s son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner.

32 And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.



BUT it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:

5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,

8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

19 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.

20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

21 So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.

22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.

23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.



AND there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.

2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live.

3 Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth.

4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.

5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.

6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.

7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.

8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer.

9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?

10 I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury.

11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them.

12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.

13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise.

14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.

15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.

16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.

17 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.

18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.

19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.



NOW it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)

2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.

3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.

5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;

6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.

7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.

8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.

9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.

11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.

12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.

14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.

18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.

19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.



NOW it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,

2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.

3 And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house.

4 Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.

5 And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,

6 These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;

7 Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;

8 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.

9 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.

10 The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two.

11 The children of Pahath-moab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen.

12 The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.

13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five.

14 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.

15 The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight.

16 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight.

17 The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two.

18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven.

19 The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven.

20 The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five.

21 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.

22 The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight.

23 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four.

24 The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve.

25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and five.

26 The men of Beth-lehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight.

27 The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.

28 The men of Beth-azmaveth, forty and two.

29 The men of Kirjath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three.

30 The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one.

31 The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two.

32 The men of Beth-el and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.

33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.

34 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.

35 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.

36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.

37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one.

38 The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.

39 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.

40 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.

41 The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.

42 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.

43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four.

44 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight.

45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight.

46 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth,

47 The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,

48 The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,

49 The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,

50 The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,

51 The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,

52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,

53 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,

54 The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,

55 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,

56 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.

57 The children of Solomon’s servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,

58 The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,

59 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.

60 All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon’s servants, were three hundred ninety and two.

61 And these were they which went up also from Tel-melah, Tel-haresha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father’s house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel.

62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.

63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.

64 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.

65 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.

66 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,

67 Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.

68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:

69 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.

70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests’ garments.

71 And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver.

72 And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priests’ garments.

73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.



AND all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.

2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.

5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.

8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.

10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

13 And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.

14 And they found written in the law which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:

15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.

16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.

17 And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.

18 Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.



NOW in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.

2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.

3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.

4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the Lord their God.

5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.

6 Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

7 Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;

8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:

9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;

10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.

11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.

12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.

13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:

14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:

15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.

16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,

17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;

19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.

20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.

21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.

22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.

23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.

24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would.

25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.

26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.

27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.

28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;

29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.

31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.

33 Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:

34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.

35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.

36 Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it:

37 And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.

38 And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.



NOW those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah,

2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

3 Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah,

4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests.

9 And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel;

10 And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

11 Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah,

12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

13 Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.

14 The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani,

15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

17 Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur,

18 Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai,

19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

21 Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua,

22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub,

24 Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek,

25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

26 And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan,

27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;

29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes;

30 And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:

31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.

32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God;

33 For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.

34 And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the law:

35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the Lord:

36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:

37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.



AND the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities.

2 And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.

3 Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon’s servants.

4 And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah; Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel, of the children of Perez;

5 And Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Col-hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.

6 All the sons of Perez that dwelt at Jerusalem were four hundred threescore and eight valiant men.

7 And these are the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah.

8 And after him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty and eight.

9 And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer: and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.

10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin.

11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, was the ruler of the house of God.

12 And their brethren that did the work of the house were eight hundred twenty and two: and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah,

13 And his brethren, chief of the fathers, two hundred forty and two: and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,

14 And their brethren, mighty men of valour, an hundred twenty and eight: and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men.

15 Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hashub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;

16 And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites, had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God.

17 And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.

18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred fourscore and four.

19 Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates, were an hundred seventy and two.

20 And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.

21 But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel: and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.

22 The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micha. Of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God.

23 For it was the king’s commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.

24 And Pethahiah the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king’s hand in all matters concerning the people.

25 And for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjath-arba, and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon, and in the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel, and in the villages thereof,

26 And at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Beth-phelet,

27 And at Hazar-shual, and at Beer-sheba, and in the villages thereof,

28 And at Ziklag, and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof,

29 And at En-rimmon, and at Zareah, and at Jarmuth,

30 Zanoah, Adullam, and in their villages, at Lachish, and the fields thereof, at Azekah, and in the villages thereof. And they dwelt from Beer-sheba unto the valley of Hinnom.

31 The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija, and Beth-el, and in their villages,

32 And at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,

33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,

34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,

35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.

36 And of the Levites were divisions in Judah, and in Benjamin.



NOW these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,

2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,

3 Shechaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

4 Iddo, Ginnetho, Abijah,

5 Miamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,

6 Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah,

7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brethren in the days of Jeshua.

8 Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, which was over the thanksgiving, he and his brethren.

9 Also Bakbukiah and Unni, their brethren, were over against them in the watches.

10 And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada,

11 And Joiada begat Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jaddua.

12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah;

13 Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;

14 Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph;

15 Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;

16 Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;

17 Of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai;

18 Of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;

19 And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;

20 Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;

21 Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel.

22 The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian.

23 The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib.

24 And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward.

25 Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the thresholds of the gates.

26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.

27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.

28 And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi;

29 Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem.

30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.

31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate:

32 And after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah,

33 And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,

34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,

35 And certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets; namely, Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph:

36 And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.

37 And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward.

38 And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall;

39 And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.

40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me:

41 And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;

42 And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.

43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.

44 And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited.

45 And both the singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and the ward of the purification, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son.

46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.

47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.



ON that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;

2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.

3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:

5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.

6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:

7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.

9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.

10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.

11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.

13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.

14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.

15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.

16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?

18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.

20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.

21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.

22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:

24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people.

25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.

26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.

27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?

28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.

30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;

31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.

Translated by Donald Rayfield
Illustrated by Henrik Hrinevski

Publishing House „Merani"

ილია ჭავჭავაძე

მეფე დიმიტრი თავდადებული

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გამომცემლობა „მერანი“


Ilia Chavchavadze (1837-1907), then Prince, now Saint, was one of the three great
figures in Georgian poetry and prose of his time who had earned the right to be known by his
Christian name alone. Of those three (the others being Akaki Tsereteli and Vazha Pshavela) he
was perhaps not the deepest or the most intensive, but he was certainly the broadest and the most
outgoing. His prose ranges from colourful and critical fiction - for example, the story 'kaciaadamiani ?!' ('Is he human ?!') - to persuasive political essays; his poetry from romantic lyrics to
didactic narratives.
Ilia reserved his greatest energy for civic action - social change, political representation,
once this became possible in the Russian empire - and despite his aristocratic background stood
for a unified, revitalised autonomous Georgia that would be liberal, Christian and parliamentary.
For this he was killed. Whether the bullets were fired by agents of the Tsarist's secret
police or by a gang of Bolsheviks was, and is once more, disputed. Either side may have
assassinated him to discredit the other. Or, like Prime Minister Stolypin, he was too outstanding
a figure to be tolerated and his assassin was working for both the extreme right and the extreme
All Ilia's poetry had a purpose: to awaken the Georgian reader from his self-absorbed
torpor into a sense of past ideals and glory. If he idealized Orthodox Christianity and the national
spirit of the feudal Georgian kingdom it was to give a structure to the newly educated Georgian
that Ilia was helping to bring about with his newspapers ('Iveria') and schools. There is almost
nothing egocentric in his work: it was destined to foster talent however unlikely. (The young
Jughashvili, Stalin, had his first poem published by Ilia Chavchavadze).
'King Dimitri's Sacrifice' (literally: King Dimitri who laid down his head) is one of the
finest and most typical of Ilia's narratives. Framed as a folk poem sung by a blind musician, it is
meant as a window to another world. Its language is deliberately exalted even archaic, yet
alternating imagery of nobility with didactic Christian wisdom. Above all, it is a modern
reinterpretation of feudalism, where the duty of king to vassal is tragically even greater than the
general duty of the subject.
Ilia Chavchavadze's poetics incorporate much that stems from Shota Rustaveli's 'Knight
in the Panther's Skin': virtuosity of rhyme, symmetry, alternation of aphorism and narrative. He
also learnt from the Russian romantics, from Lermontov and from Aleksei Tolstoy, how to
combineplasticaly and lyricism with storystelling, but above all how to use a recreated mediaeval
world as a critique of modern times.
This translation takes as few liberties as possible with Ilia's text, but allows for the more
laconic nature and the sparser rhymes of English by reducing four Georgian lines to two English
Donald Rayfield

ილია ჭავჭავაძე (1837-1907) - სიცოცხლეში თავადი, აწ კი წმინდანად
შერაცხული - თავისი დროის ქართულ პოეზიასა და პროზაში იმ სამ უდიდეს
ფიგურათაგანია, რომელთაც მოიპოვეს უფლება ოდენ სახელით მოხსენიებისა. ამ
სამში (დანარჩენი ორია აკაკი წერეთელი და ვაჟა-ფშაველა) სიღრმით ან ძალით ილია
იქნებ ისე არ გამოირჩეოდეს, მაგრამ იგი უდავოდ ყველაზე ფართოა: მის პროზაში
ერთმანეთს ენაცვლება მხატვრული და ამავე დროს კრიტიკული გამონაგონი (მაგ.,
„კაცია ადამიანი?!“) და შთამაგონებელი პოლიტიკური ნარკვევები, ხოლო პოეზიაში რომანტიკული ლირიკა და დიდაქტიკური პოემები.
ილიამ უზარმაზარი ენერგია შეალია საზოგადოებრივ საქმიანობას - იქნება ის
სოციალური რეოფრმა თუ პოლიტიკური მოღვაწეობა სახელმწიფო სათათბიროში,
რისი შესაძლებლობაც მას ერთხელ მიეცა რუსეთის იმპერიაში. თავისი
არისტოკრატიული წარმოშობის მიუხედავად, ილიას იდეალი იყო ერთიანი,
განახლებული, დამოუკიდებელი საქართველო, რომელიც უნდა გამხდარიყო
ლიბერალური, ქრისტიანული და პარლამენტური.
ამიტომაც მოკლეს ილია. ვისმა ტყვიამ განგმირა იგი - ცარისტული „ოხრანკის“
აგენტებისა თუ ბოლშევიკების ხროვისა - იყო და კვლავაც რჩება დავის საგნად.
ორივე მხარეს შეეძლო ჩაედინა ეს ბოროტმოქმედება, რათა შემდეგ იგი
ერთმანეთისათვის გადაებრალებინა. ილია, ისევე როგორც პრემიერ-მინისტრი
სტოლიპინი, მეტისმეტად მნიშვნელოვანი ფიგურა იყო საიმისოდ, რომ დაეზოგათ:
მისი მკვლელობა ორსავე მხარეს ხელს აძლევდა - უკიდურეს მემარჯვენეებსაც და
უკიდურეს მემარცხენეებსაც.
ილიას მთელს პოეზიას ერთი მიზანი ჰქონდა: დაეხსნა განთითოებული
ქართველი მკითხველი უშფოთველი ძილის ტყვეობისაგან წარსული იდეალებისა და
ძველი დიდების განახლების იდეით. და თუ იგი აიდიალებდა ფეოდალური
საქართველოს მართლმადიდებლურ ქრისტიანობასა და ეროვნულ სულს, - მხოლოდ
იმიტომ, რომ ამას უნდა წარმოეშვა ახლებურად განათლებული ქართველი, რასაც
ილია ხელს უწყობდა თავისი გაზეთებითა („ივერია“) და სკოლებით. ეგოცენტრიზმს
მის ნაწერებში ადგილი არ ურჩება: მისი შემოქმედება მოწოდებული იყო
განევითარებინა ნიჭი, თუმცა იგი ყოველთვის როდი უმართლებდა (ჭაბუკ
ჯუღაშვილს - სტალინს - ლექსი პირველად ილია ჭავჭავაძემ დაუბეჭდა).
„მეფე დიმიტრი თავდადებული“ ილიას ერთ-ერთი საუკეთესო და ტიპიური
პოემაა. ბრმა მეფანდურის მიერ დამღერებული ხალხური ლექსის ჩარჩო ახალ
სამყაროში გაჭრილი სარკმელია. მისი ენა საგანგებოდ ზეაწეულია, არქაულიც კი,
კეთილშობილურ ხატოვანებას ერწყმის დიდაქტიკური ქრისტიანული სიბრძნე. ეს
არის, უწინარეს ყოვლისა, ფეოდალიზმის თანამედროვე რეინტერპრეტაცია, როცა
მეფის ვასალური მოვალეობა ტრაგიკულად უფრო მძიმეა, ვიდრე ქვეშევრდომისა.
ილია ჭავჭავაძის პოეტიკა დიდად არის დავალებული შოთა რუსთაველის
„ვეფხისტყაოსნისაგან“ - სარითმო ოსტატობით, სიმეტრიით, აფორიზმებისა და
თხრობის მონაცვლეობით; ზოგი რამ პოეტმა შეითვისა რუსი რომანტიკოსებისაგანაც
- ლერმონტოვისა და ალექსეი ტოლსტოისაგან: პლასტიკურობისა და ლირიკულობის
შერწყმა თხრობის ხელოვნებასთან, რაც მთავარია, შუასაუკუნეობრივი სამყაროს
გაცოცხლება თანამედროვე ეპოქის განსასჯელად.

ეს თარგმანი ილიას ტექსტს შეძლებისდაგვარად ზედმიწევნით მიჰყვება.
ერთადერთი თავისუფლება ისაა, რომ თარგმანი ფორმით უფრო ლაკონიურია და
რითმაც - უფრო იშვიათი: ქართული კატრენები ინგლისურად ორ-ორი სტრიქონითაა

დონალდ რეიფილდი

მეფე დიმიტრი თავდადებული
(ვუძღვნი თ. პეტრე ნაკაშიძეს)

უქმე დღე იყო, ტვირთმძიმეი და დამაშვრალი,
საყდრის წინ ჯგუფად ხალხი იდგა და ჰყაყანებდა;
იქავე ახლოს, ცაცხვის ხის ქვეშ ერთი საწყალი
ბრმა მეფანტურე იჯდა ცალკედ და მდუმარებდა.
„ეჰ, რას ჰყაყანებთ, - დაიძახა ყმაწვილმა ბიჭმა,შინაც ძლივს ვუძლებთ დღე-მუდამის ჭირს, ვაგლახობას!
აქ მაინც ცოტად ფრთა გაშალოს გულის წადილმა...
ბრმა მეფანტურევ, გვითხარ რამე, მამა-შვილობას!
გვითხარი რამე, ბერო-კაცო, ნასმენ-ნახული,
ეგებ გულს ჟანგი მოაშორო კარგის ამბითა...
კარგს მთქმელს ტყვედ რჩების ნატკივარი გული ჩაგრული,
გული, გაზრდილი ვაებითა, წვით და დაგვითა“.
ბრმა მეფანტურე გაიმართა მაშინვე წელში,
სახე ღრუბლვილი გაუნათლდა რაღაც მადლითა;
მისწვდა, აიღო თვის უბრალო ფანტური ხელში,
დაჰკრა ფანტურსა და დამღერა ნელისა ხმითა:

(Dedicated to Petre Nakashidze)
A day of rest: by the church
Work worn people gathered to chat.
Under a lime tree, silent, apart,
A blind pandora player sat.
'Oh, stop the cackle,' one lad called out,
'We've worries enough about our plight.
Here we can let our fancies roam:
Blind player, by our ancestors, stand and recite!

Tell us, old man, of things that have happened,
Give us a tale, take the rust off our souls.
Good stories distract the heart from its sorrows,
A heart that's reared in worry and woe.'
The pandora player sat up straight,
Grace transformed his clouded face.
He reached out and raised his pandora,
Struck the strings and sang without haste:

„მოდით, შვილნო, აქ მოგროვდით,
გეტყვით გულის გასათბობსა, ვინ ვიყავით, რა ვიყავით
ჩვენ ქართველნი წინა დროსა.
იმ დროს, როცა ქართვლის ბედი
ჩვენ ქართველთვე გვეპყრა ხელში,
როცა მამულისშვილობა
სასახელოდ იყო ჩვენში,
შვილნო, თქვენნი წინაპარნი
ეგრე გულქვად როდი იყვნენ...
ძმა ძმასა და მამა შვილსა
მამულს ხოლმე შესწირავდნენ.
შვილის ყოლა გლეხს თუ თავადს
მარტო მისთვის გვიხაროდა,
რომ მამულსა მეომარი
მით ერთი ემატებოდა.
ტკბილსა ძუძუს დედა შვილსა
იმ იმედით აწოვებდა,
რომ სიცოცხლით ან სიკვდილით
ის მამულს ასახელებდა.
უწინ ქართველს უხაროდა
მამულისთვის მტერთან ომი,
ან მოჰკლავდა, ან თავის-თავს
შეაკლავდა როგორც ლომი.
მამულისთვის ვის ახსოვდა
განსაცდელი განსაცდელში!
ტრფობა გვქონდა გულში აბჯრად

Gather round for a heart-warming story
Of what we Georgians used to be.
When Georgia's fate was in Georgian hands,
When love of our country was our glory,
Were your forefathers' hearts like flints?
Fathers gave sons, brothers-rothers
For their country. Every birth
Meant one more warrior, peasant or prince.
A mother hoped as she suckled her boy
That his life or death would serve the homeland.
To sky or be slaughtered like a lion:
War with the foe was a Georgian's joy.
In the fatherland's trials, our own were forgotten.
Love armoured our hearts, we had swords, not knives.
და სატევრად - ხმალი ხელში.
ეგრეთ, შვილნო, აქ სცხოვრებდა
უწინდელი ქართვლის შვილი,
მის მუდამი ნატვრა იყო
ან სახელი, ან სიკვდილი.
მათ მომდევარს ყოველს თქვენგანს
ჰყვანდა დიდი წინაპარი...
რჯულის დაცვა, მიწა-წყლისა
მის მოწამედ თქვენ წინ არი...
„ეხლა რა ვართ? საწველ ფურად
თავი ჩვენი გადვიქციეთ.
ის სახელი, ის დიდება,
ის ოჯახი დავაქციეთ...
რაც ვყოფილვართ, ის აღარ ვართ,
რაც ვართ, ის ნუღარ ვიქნებით...
ღმერთი გვიხსნის, თუ შვილთ მაინც
გზად და ხიდადა გავედებით.
წინა კაცი უკანასი
ხიდიაო, ნათქომია,
დღეის ვაგლახს ამით დასძლევს,

ვინცა ხვალისა მდომია.
- ტყუილია სულთქმა, უში,
კაცი უნდა კაცად იყვეს,
სანთელსავით თვით დაიწვას
Thus, children, lived a Georgian man.
Good fame or death was always the motto.
Great were the men who have you for posterity:
The proof in their fight for faith and territory.
And now? We're only cows for milking:
We've lost renown and family tradition.
We aren't what we were. Let's not be what we are:
God saves those who serve as paths for their children.
A man is a bridge for those in the rear,
Set your sights on tomorrow to cope with today.
Sighs and groans are no use: men must be men.
Light up the way and burn like a flare.

და სხვას კი გზას უნათვიდეს.
ამით იყო საქართველო
უძლეველი და ძლიერი,
ამით ედგა მტერს გულდაგულ
ეს პატარა ქართვლის ერი.
„ყური მიგდეთ, გეტყვით ამბავს
უტყუარსა და მართალსა:
ერთი მეფე თურმე ჰყვანდათ
უწინ ჩვენ მამა-პაპასა.
დიმიტრი ერქვა სახელად,
მხარ-ბეჭ-პრტყელი, ტანმაღალი,
ჯირითში თუ მშვილდ-ისარში
არავინ ჰყვანდა ბადალი.
კაცი იყო, მეფე-კაცი,
თვალად, ტანად მშვენიერი,
გარეთ რისხვით მტრისა მსრველი,

შინ მოწყალე, ღვთისნიერი.
ღამით თერმე ჩაიცვამდა
უბრალო კაბა-ჯუბასა,
წავა და ინახულებდა
საწყალის ხალხის უბანსა.
მოივლიდა ქვრივს და ოხერს,
დავრდომილსა და ობოლსა,
თავის ხელით ურიგებდა
მოწყალებას და საზრდოსა.
This faith gave Georgia unbeatable might.
Unscathed by its foes in unequal fight.
Now listen closely: this is truth, not romance.
Our forefathers once were ruled by a king,
Dimitri by name, broad-shouldered, tall, strong.
Unmatched in prowess with arrows or lance.
Regal indeed, fine in gaze and in figure,
To hostile outsiders a scourge, to his own.
Compassionate, godly, he put on at night
A humble runic to visit the beggars.
He helped the widowed and the orphaned,
Gave alms and food to the destitute,

ვის რაც გულში დარდი ჰქონდა წავა - იმას შესჩივლებდა,
გლახის, ობლის, ჩაგრულისას
სარჩლსა არ ითაკილებდა.
ყველგან იმის სამეფოში
თხა და მგელი ერთად სძოვდა,
ერი, ბერი, ობოლ-ქვრივი
სულ იმის დღეს ჰლოცულობდა.
„მის დროს იყო ყეინობა,
მეფე ყეისნ ჰმორჩილებდა,
მაგრამ თავის ქვეყნის საქმეს

თვის ნებაზედ განაგებდა.
ერთხელ ყეინს აეშალა
თათარივე კაცი ერთი,
იმძლავრა და გადიყენა
ნახევარი სათათრეთი.
მეფე ჩვენი ყეინს თურმე
არ გადუდგა სხვასავითა...
ვაჟი-კაცის წესი არის კაცს შეჰრჩება ძმასავითა.
შეიბნენ და შეიჭიდნენ
ყეინი და გადგომილი;
ძმას ძმის ძვალი ატეხინეს,
მამის სისხლსა ღვრიდა შვილი.
Heard the complaints of anyone grieving,
Consoled the distressed, relieved the paupers.
Wolf and goal in his realm grazed together;
Church and laymen bid him live forever.
Dimitri then ruled his realm as a vassal
To the Mongol Khan, who was overlord.
A rebel arose among the Mongols
And took half the Khanate over in battle.
Our king kept faith with the Khan, unlike others:
Real men stick loyally to their liege.
While Khan and rebel wrestled for power,
Sons slaughtered fathers, brothers smashed brothers.
დამარცხდა ბოლოს ყეინი,
გამდგარმა აკი აჯობა,
ის მოკლა და თვით დაიპყრო
სათათრეთის ბატონობა.
ის ხომ მოკლა, მის ცოლ-შვილიც
ცხენსა კუდით ათრევინა,
საცა კი მის მომხრე იყო,
თავები დააყრევინა.

„ჯერი მიდგა ჩვენს მეფეზეც...
- „რატომ მე არ მომიდგაო,
იმას ცოცხალს არ გავუშვებ,
თუ პირში სული მიდგაო“.
გაუგზავნა მოციქული:
-„გამოცხადდი ჩემ-წინ შენო,
თუ არ მოხვალ, შენს ქვეყანას
ნაცარ-ტუტას ავადენო“.
დაგვიღონდა მეფე ქველი,
იმ ურჯულოს მიხვდა წადილს,
ისიც იცის, - იმ ღვთის-რისხვას
ჯართ სიმრავლეს შესწევს ქადილს.
რა ჰქმნას? თითონც მამაცია,
მამაციც ჰყავს ჯარი, ერი,
მარგამ ერთს რომ ასი გცემდეს,
კლდეც რომ იყო, გაგტეხს მტერი.
The Khan lost and was killed. The rebel fought
To take the Khanate. He dragged to pieces
The Khan's wife and child by horses' tails
And beheaded those loyal to the first Khan's court.
Our king was next. 'Does he resist us?
As I breathe, he must die; the new Khan said
And sent a message, 'Come and explain,
Or I turn your country to dust and cinders.'
Our brave king, dejected, caught the infidel's gist:
The horde was God's wrath and no idle threat.
Army and people were as brave as their king,
But one against hundreds, though rock, can't resist.
დიდს ჩავარდა საგონებელს,
შეუდგა ბჭობას, რჩევასა...
-„წავალ - მომკლავს, - და არ წავალ ამიოხრებს ქვეყანასა“.
ბოლოს ბრძანა: - „თავს მოვუყრი
მღვდელმთავართ და დიდებულთა,

ოცჯერ ზომვა, ერთხელ ჭრაო წესია მეფეთ ქებულთა.
ვნახოთ ერთი, რას მეტყვიან, წასვლას, თუ წაუსვლელობას?
ორში ერთს რას აირჩევენ, მეფის, თუ ქვეყნის დამხობას?“
„ბრძანა და მსწრაფლ შეიყარნენ
დიდებულნი, მღვდელთმათარნი,
ვეზირნი და ნაზირები,
ბჭე-მდივნები, სპასალარნი.
წადგა მეფე კრების წინა
თამამად და დიდებულად;
ყველამ, დიდმა და პატარამ
თაყვანი სცეს ბატონს ყმურად.
ასე ჰშვენის მეფე იმ დღეს
ტანად, თვალად, იერითა,
მნახველთ თვალი ვერ გაიძღეს
იმის ჭვრეტით, ყურებითა.
Dimitri grew thoughtful and sought for advice:
'I die, if I go; my land dies if I don't.'
Then he ordered, 'I call for my lords and high priests:
"Think cunning, strike hard," is a kingly device.
Will they advise my staying or going,
The fall of the king or the country's ruin?'
He quickly summoned nobles, high priests,
Viziers, judges, field commanders.
Majestic, proud, he received the respect
Of all his vassals, greatest and least.
They could not sate their ears or eyes
With the handsome Dimirri's speech and figure.

უბრძანა თუ: - „დიდებულნო,
საქმე მძიმე მაქვს თქვენთანა...

ის დღეა დღეს, - ან მე ვიყო,
ან ჩვენი ტურფა ქვეყანა.
შეიტყობდით, მომივიდა
ყეინისა მოციქული,
აქ მოდიო, მე მიბარებს
ჩემზედ გაბოროტებული.
თუ არ მოხვალ, მე მოვალო,
აგიოხრებ ქვეყანასა,
საცა კი ფეხს დავადგამო,
ავადენ ნაცარ-ტუტასა.
თუ წავედი, თქვენც ხომ იცით,
მე სიკვდილი არ ამცდება...
თქვენ რას მირჩევთ, მართალი სთქვით,
მართლის თქმაა ერთგულება“.
„დიდებულნი წინ წამოდგნენ
ამ ამბით შეწუხებულნი,
მივიდნენ და თაყვანი-სცეს,
აემღვრიათ მწარედ გულნი.
- „მეფევ! ნეტა რა გვიბრძანე,
რა ასმინე ყურსა ჩვენსა!..
თუ შენ მოგკვლენ, შენს სანაცვლოდ
რაღა დარჩეს ერსა შენსა?!

'My lords,' he said, 'the matter is grave:
Either myself or the country survives.
Hear the message the Khan has sent us:
"Come as I bid.'" (I have made him bitter.)
"If not, I shall devastate your land
And make your country rubble and cinders."
If I go, as you know, death is my fate.
Frankness is loyal: let your counsel be straight.'
The nobles listened, stepped forward, filled
With bitter forebodings by this news.

'We cannot, o King, believe our ears:
What becomes of your country if you are killed?
თუ შენ აღარ გვეყოლები,
რად გვინდა სახლი, ქონება...
ჩვენ შენისთანა დიმიტრი
სხვა არვინ დაგვებადება.
მოვიდეს, რომ იმუქრება
ის ურჯულო სისხლის-მსმელი,
მოვიდეს და წინ დახვდების
შენი ერთგული ქართველი.
მტრის მუქარას ერი შენი,
გვითხარ, როდის გაჰქცევია,
გვითხარ, როდის ქვეყნის მტრის წინ
ქართლს უკან დაუწევია!
ბრძანე და იმ მუქარასა
ჩვენს მოსისხლეს შევანანებთ,
ან შევმუსრავთ მამა-პაპებრ,
ან მეფისთვის თავსა დავდებთ.
სირცხვილია ერისათვის,
თავის მეფე მისცეს მტერსა...
მეფევ, სირცხვილს ნუ შეაჭმევ
ერსა შენსა შემნატვრელსა.
ნუ, ნუ გვაჭმევ ემაგ სირცხვილს,
წამყოლს შვილის-შვილამდიე...
აქ მოვიდეს, მის დახვედრა
ამ ჩვენს ქედზედ დააჭდიე“.
What use it you're killed are our homes and chattel?
There'll be no second Dimitri born.
Let the bloodthirsty heathen come as he says
And try your loyal men in battle.
Have Georgians yet fled from enemy threat?
Have Georgians ever withdrawn from the field?
Speak: like our forefathers, we'll make him repent,
Or for our king our blood be shed.
Yield our king to the foe? Do not vex
Your brooding subjects' loving hearts.

Do not dishonour ourselves and our children:
Let his sabres be tested against our necks'.
„ეხლა წადგა სპასალარი...
- „მეფევ, რაც სთქვეს, მართალია.
შენ წახვიდე, შენ იქ მოგკლან, ჩვენ წელზედ გვერტყას ხმალია?!
თუნდ რომ დავრჩეთ, ვინ რას გვეტყვის,
რით ჩავრეცხოთ ეს სირცხვილი?
არა, მეფევ!... ძველებს უთქვამთ, სახელიო, ან სიკვდილი.
ნუ შეგვიშლი მამათ ანდერძს,
სირცხვილისგან დაგვიხსენი!...
მეფეს ვფიცავ, - მამა-პაპებრ
დღესაც გასჭრის ხმალი ჩვენი“.
ბატომა თავი ჩაჰკიდა
გვირგვინოსანი, ცხებული,
დიდ ხანს იყო დაღონებით
ეგრე თავჩაკიდებული...
„ბოლოს ბრძანა: - „ეს ქვეყანა
ღვთისაგან მაქვს მონაბარი...
მე დავრჩე და იგი წახდეს,
მითხარით, რა მადლი არი!
ათი ერთზე რომ მოვიდეს,
მუქარას მტერს შევანანებ:
რა ვქნა, - ასი ერთზედ მოვა,
ამას ვწუხვარ და ვვალალებ.
'King, you are right: you would only be murdered,'
The commander spoke our. 'Don't: we have swords?
Unavenged, kingless? The sages taught
That life without honour is always a burden.
Keep our ancestors' code, spare us disgrace,
And like theirs, I swear, our swords will strike.'
King Dimitri bowed his annointed head;

Dejected, he hid for a while his face...
At last he spoke: 'This land is God's trust.
Should I live and it perish, where is the grace?
One against ten we could smash the foe's threat.
But one against hundreds... That's why I'm aghast.

ჩვენი კაცი ერთი - ასსაც,
ვიცი, არ შეუშინდება,
მაგრამ ბოლოს სიმრავრე გვძლევს,
ხალხი ურგოდ გამიწყდება.
მერე უკაცურს ქვეყანას
დასწვავს, დაჰბუგავს, დაანგრევს,
საყდრებსა და მონასტრებსა
დააქცევს, მიანგრ-მოანგრევს.
ხატებს, მამათ სალოცავსა
წამურტლავს და შეგვიგინებს,
ამოიღებს მკვდრებს საფლავით,
ძაღლსა და ღორს ათრევინებს.
ქალწულთ-ქალზედ ძალით მივა,
წაჰბილწავს, ნამუსს დაუმხობს;
ორსულ დედაკაცებს კიდევ
მუცლებსა ხანჯლით დაუპობს.
დედას თავის ძუძუთა-შვილს
კბილით დააგლეჯინებს,
უსუსურს ბავშვებს ძნად ჩაშლის
და ზედ კალოს ალეწვინებს.
„ამდენი სული უბრალო
ტანჯვითა ამოწყდებიან,
საწყალის ხალხის ცოდვითა
ქვანიც კი ატირდებიან.

I know none of us would run from a hundred,
But all the same we'd be overwhelmed.

A desolate land would be ashes and rubble,
Churches and abbeys demolished and plundered.
Our ancestors' shrines would all be defiled,
Our dead dug up, dragged by dogs and pigs,
Virgins, wives besmirched and raped,
Pregnant women disembowelled,
Mothers forced to eat their first-born,
Babies flailed and threshed like corn.
So many innocents would undergo torment
That the stones would weep for the fate of the poor.
ქვეყნის ამოდენი ცოდვა
ჩემს თავზედ დატრიალდება,
წაწყმდება აქაც და იქაც
დიმიტრი მეფის ხსენება!
ეს სულ რისთვის? მარტო მისთვის,
რომ მე შიშსა გავექეცი,
ჩემი თავი გადვირჩინე
და ერი კი წყალს მივეცი.
მე მეფე ვარ და მეფობის
რიგიც ვიცი, რაში არი...
ფუ, იმ მწყემსსა, თავს უშველოს,
მგელს დაუგდოს თავის ცხვარი...
სირცხვილს ამბობთ! - რა სირცხვილი?
მე ვეძლევი ნებით მტერსა,
ჩემს სიცოცხლეს, ჩემსა სისხლსა
თითონ ვწირავ მე ჩემს ერსა.
თუ სიკვდილი სახელად გაქვთ
მაგდენს ჩემთვის - ერისათვის,
მაშ რად მიშლით თავდადებას
მე ერთს - მთელის ერისათვის!..
არა! წავალ, არ დავდგები,
დე ასრულდეს ნება ღვთისა,
ხორცი მოკვდეს, სული ცხონდეს
მეფის თქვენის დიმიტრისა.
My country's agony would be on my head,

King Dimitri's name would be abhorrent.
For what? Sparing me fear involves
Deserting my people, letting them perish.
A king knows his duty. Shame on the shepherd
Who runs and leaves his sheep to the wolves.
Is it shame to surrender myself to the foe?
I let my blood flow for my people's sake.
If their dying for me is justified,
My dying for them is all the more so.
No, I go at once, at God's behest.
King Dimitri dies, but his soul is blessed.
„შენ რას ბრძანებ, მღვდელმთავარო?
სიტყვა შენი გვიღირს ძვირად:
მართებს თუ არ ერისათვის
მეფეს თავი გასაწირად?
ატირდა და მოახსენა:
„ჰე, მეფეო, მე თქმა მიჭირს,
მართალს ვიტყვი, თუმცა შენთვის
სული მიწუხს, გული მიტირს.
მეფევ, თავი უნდა დასდო
ერისა და ქვეყნისათვის,
ღმერთს შესცოდავს, ვინც გამკიცხავს
მე ამ მწარე რჩევისათვის.
მეფევ, რაკი ბედმან დაგდო
შენ ეგ მძიმე საზღაური,
სხვას უკეთეს ვერას გირჩევს
სიყვარული ბატონ-ყმური...
ვსტირ და გირჩევ თავგანწირვას,
რაკი რომ ეს დღე გვეწია, მოყვასთათვის თავდადება
ქრისტე-ღმერთის ანდერძია.
ვსტირ და გირჩევ ღვთის სახელით
ხორცი დასთმო სულისათვის,
უკვდავება არ დაჰკარგო
წუთის-სოფლის გულისათვის!..“

Now give me your valued words, high priest:
Should the king lay down his life, or no?'
The high priest wept. 'It's hard to speak,
I speak in anguish, for my own heart bleeds.
King, your country requires your sacrifice:
It's a sin against God to spurn my words.
Fate exacts a bitter toll:
No loving vassal can give better advice.
This evil day I weep, but urge
You, die for others like Jesus Christ.
Let flesh in God's name yield to spirit,
Don't forgo heaven for the sake of this earth.'
„მეფეს ძლიერ მოეწონა
მღვდელმთავრისა სიტყვა ბრძნული,
წარდგა ისევ კრებულის წინ
უფრო გათამამებული:
„დიდებულნო, ხომ ისმინეთ,
რაც სთქვა წმინდა მღვდელმთავარმა!..
მოყვასთათვის თავდადება
გვიბრძანაო მაცხოვარმა.
ნუ გადმიყვანთ ღვთისა სიტყვას,
ერს მეფე ვერ ვუღალატებ!..
წავალ და, თუ ღმერთს სწადიან,
ერისათვის თავსა დავსდებ.
მე წავალ და ეს ქვეყანა
თქვენ უნდა გებარებოდეს,
ღარიბს ისე მოუაროთ,
რომ მდიდარს არ შენატროდეს.
გლეხს თუ თავადს, დიდს თუ მცირეს
მადლი თანასწორ მოჰფინოთ,
ობოლი, ქვრივი, უძლური
ძლიერს არ დამიჩაგვრინოთ.
თუ დავბრუნდი, თქვენს სამსახურს

გადაგიხდით ორად ერთსა,
თუ არა და - სული ჩემი
შეავედრეთ მაღალ ღმერთსა“.
ატირდა და აატირა
ყველა კაცი იქა მდგომი:
გულის სილბო სიტურფეა,
თუ კაცია სხვაფრივ ლომი.
The king approved the priest's wise thought;
Prouder still, he addressed the gathering:
'Lords, you have heard the holy priest:
We must die for others, our Redeemer taught.
Let not the people nor God be betrayed,
I lay down my life if that is God's wish.
I commend this country to your care:
Let the rich give the poor no cause for hate.
Spread wealth regardless of might or station.
See to the destitute, not the powerful.
If I come back, I pay you twice over;
If not, pray to God for my salvation.
He wept and all who heard him wept
A lion of a man should have a soft: heart.
მართალს ვაჟკაცს ის ამშვენებს,
როცა გულითაც ლბილია;
რკინის კაცის თვალში ცრემლი
დიდსულოვნობის შვილია.
„ბრძანა და მსწრაფლ დაიშალა
დიდებულთა იგი კრება...
უხმო მხლებელთ და უბრძანა
წასასვლელად მომზადება.
სთქვა და ურდოს კიდეც წავა
მეფე იგი უშიშარი,
თქმულა: გმირის კაცისათვის
თქმა და ქმნაო ერთი არი.

გაათავეს სამზადისი
და მოვიდა დღეც წასვლისა;
ვით ჯინჭველა ჰფუსფუსებდნენ
შინა-ყმანი სასახლისა.
ხმა გავარდა ქალაქშიაც:
მეფე ჩვენთვის სდებს თავსაო,
უშლიდნენ არ დაიშალა, ვერ ვუღალატებ ხალხსაო.
შეიძრა მთელი ქალაქი,
ხალხი ეცა ერთმანეთსა,
მოზღვავდა და იგრიალა
და მიაწყდა სასახლესა.
A tear in die eye of an iron man
Is testament to his spirit's depth.
The lords dispersed, for his speech was done.
His attendants had to prepare to travel.
The fearless king was now off to the Horde:
A hero's words and actions are one.
Like ants the palace servants fussed.
The day dawned. Rumours filled the town.
'The king insists on sacrifice,
He won't betray the people's trust.'
The city seethed, crowds came to stare,
Broke down the palace gates and saw
მივიდნენ, ნახეს, მზად არი
რაზმი მეფის ამალისა,
სულ სავსეა ცხენოსნებით
მოედანი სასახლისა.
წინათ ბარგით გაეგზავნათ
ჯორი, ცხენი დატვირთული,
აქ ვინც იყო, სალთად იყო,
ტურფად კაზმულ-დარახტული.
„თავადნი და აზნაურნი

სულ ოქროს და ვერცხლში ისხდნენ,
ვერ იტყოდი, ვინ ვის სჯობდა, ყველა ასე კარგნი იყვნენ.
წყობით იდგნენ და ისმოდა
აბჯრისა და რახტის ჟღერა.
საამოა გაწყობილის
ვაჟკაცების რაზმის მზერა!
კაცი თვალს ვერ აშორებდა
მხედარსა და იმის ცხენსა,
თვით წუნი წუნს ვერ დასდებდა
მათს სიკეთეს, სიტურფესა.
მარქაფად ცხენს ბევრს სხვასაცა
რაზმ-გარეთა ატარებდნენ,
მათი მხედნი დიდებულნი
მეფეს სასახლეში ახლდნენ.
The squadron ready to escort him.
Acclaim and grief echoed in the square.
The baggage went first on pack-horse and mule.
The horsemen followed, their bridles bejewelled.
Lords and gentry in silver and gold
Outshone one another. When they mounted
Armour and bridles clanged and tinkled,
Ranks of horsemen superb to behold.
Riders and horses were a sight without peer,
No blemish marred their lofty beauty.
Ridden by courtiers of the king,
A reserve of horses stood in the rear.
იმ ცხენების მორთულობა
კაცს უშურველს შურს მოჰგვრიდა,
მძიმე რახტით დატვირთულნი
თითო-თითო სოფლად ჰღირდა.
მაგრამ მათში ერთი იყო
თეთრი ცხენი არაბული,
უკეთესს ვერ ინატრებდა
კაცის უძღომელი გული.

მეფისა იყო ის ცხენი,
თამამი - თითქო ვეფხვია,
იმის უზანგში მეფის მეტს
ვერავის შეედგა ფეხია.
ამაყი იყო ლომსავით
და ნაზი როგორც შველია,
სხვა მას ვერ იმორჩილებდა თუ არ ბატონის ხელია.
ცეცხლს აფრქვევდა თვალთაგანა,
ჰქუხდა, სჭექდა, მრისხანებდა,
თითქო ლოდინს ჰთაკილობსო,
ჰშფოთავდა და ტოტსა სცემდა.
„გამობრძანდა ბოლოს მეფეც,
თან გამოჰყვნენ დიდებულნი,
ხმალ-კაპარჭით გაწყობილნი,
სამგზავროდ გამზადებულნი.
The horses' splendour raised gasps of delight;
Each one with its tackle was worth a village.
But what surprassed the most covetous dreams
Was one fine horse, an Arab white.
This, the king's horse, as fierce as a panther,
Let none but the king put foot in stirrup.
Proud as a lion, soft as a fawn,
By Dimitri alone it could be tamed.
Its eyes flashed lightning, it longed to move,
Reared up and pawed the ground with his hooves.
Ready with sabre, bow and arrow,
The lords moved off behind their king.
მეფეს ახლდა მხარმარჯვნივა
გულმწუხარე მღვდელმთავარი
და მხარმარცხნივ შუბლშეკრული
ჯავრით სავსე სპასალარი.

მღვდელმთავარი სწუხს და ჰვაებს
მეფის თავგადადებასა,
სპასალარი კი ჰთაკილობს
უომრად დამარცხებასა.
ხალხიც დაჰხვდა თავის მეფეს
ვიშითა და წუხილითა,
მეფეს გული ამოუჯდა
მათთვის გულის-ტკივილითა.
„უბრძანა თუ: - „რასა სწუხხართ?
იქმნას, რაც კი საქმნელია!..
ერისათვის თავდადება
მეფისათვის სახელია.
რაც მომივა, მომივიდეს,
მე იმისთვის არ ვინაღვლო...
თქვენ ჭირს დაგხსნით... დეე ვიქმნე
მე ქვეყნის ჭირის სანაცვლო“.
ხმა ჩაუწყდა, ვეღარ-რა სთქვა,
მოეგუბა თვალში ცრემლი...
თქმულა: ქვასაცა მაგარსა
გასტეხს ტყვიის რბილი გრდემლი.
მოუმატა ხალხმაც სულთქმა,
ხმა გაისმა ქვითინისა,
გულსა ჰკლავდა გლოვა, ვიში
ობლისა და ქვრივ-ოხრისა.
On his left the angry commander frowned,
On his right the high priest was struck with sorrow.
The priest lamented Dimitri the martyr,
The commander defeat without a fight.
The crowd responded with cries of dismay
That made their plight for the king all the harder.
'What has to be, will be done,' he declared.
'Rejoice, this is renown for a king.
I am not downcast: let it be.
Through me my country will be spared.'
He broke off. Tears welled in his eyes.
A leaden anvil can break a rock.

The grief-stricken crowd sighed, then sobbed;
Orphans and widows voiced desperate cries.
„უცებ მეფემ თვალი მოჰკრა,
ხალხი გაირღვა შუაზედ,
ორს მარჯვე ბიჭს ბერი-კაცი
მოჰყავთ მის წინ მოედანზედ.
მოჰყავთ ცახცახით, ხანხალით
ჩაჩანაკი და ბებერი,
მკერდზედ სცემდა თოვლივითა
მოხუცებულს თეთრი წვერი.
მოვიდნენ და გააჩერეს
ის მოხუცი მეფის წინა,
ბიჭები კვლავ მხრებში უსხდნენ,
თუმც ყავარჯენს დაებჯინა.
ის ამ ქვეყნის აღარ იყო,
ფეხი ედგა სამარეში,
მაგრამ მაინც კი უცემდა
ადრინდელი გული მკერდში.
„მოახსენა: - „ჰე, მეფეო,
ნუ შემრისხავ ერთგულ ყმასა!
მე ხომ მხედავ, გარდასრულვარ,
სამარიდამ გაძლევ ხმასა.
მეფევ, კისრად აგიღია
ტვირთი ჩვენის შავის ბედის,
ბედისწერას მისცემიხარ
უბედურის ჩვენის ქვეყნის.
The crowd divided as the king's men neared;
Two strong lads carried an old man through.
Frail and trembling, he was brought to the square.
His chest was covered by a long white beard.
Propped on a stick, a lad at each shoulder,
The old man was set before the king.

Though not long for this world, a foot in the grave.
His fervent heart had grown no older.
'I speak to you, King, from beyond the tomb.
Swallow your wrath with a loyal vassal:
Our grim fate's burden hangs on our neck.
You have been pledged to our country's doom.
ვიცით, რომ არ შეშინდება
გული მეფის დიმიტრისა,
როცა ნდომობს თავგანწირვას
დიდი საქმე ქვეყნის ხსნისა.
მაგრამ ჩვენ რა გვეშველება,
ჩვენ, მეფეო, შენთ დამკარგველთ?
მამობასა ვიღა უზამს
შენგან დაობლებულ ქართველთ?
ერს ოფლის მღვრელს და ტვირთმძიმეს
ჭირსა ლხინად ვიღა გვიქცევს?
წუთისოფლის მძიმე უღელს
შენებრ, მეფევ, ვინ გაგვიწევს?
ამას ვსტირით, რომ მიდიხარ
და აობლებ შენსა ერსა,
ჩვენს ბედსა და მშვიდობასა
ვეღარ მოუმართავ ხელსა.
ჩემებრ უძლურს, გაჭირვებულს
მწედ ვეღარ მიეშველები,
ღარიბს, ობოლს, ქვრივს და ოხერს
პატრონად არ ეყოლები!
„ნუ სწუხხართო!.. განა, მეფევ,
ჩვენს ხელთ არის ეხლა გული?
რკინაც იყოს - მაინც დასდნეს
ამებრ ცეცხლში ჩაგდებული.
Dimitri in heart, we know, is not feeble
When our nation's cause demands his death.
But what use if you die? Whose manly deeds

Will hold together your fatherless people?
Who'll turn to delight our toil without cease?
Who'll lighten the yoke of our earthly life?
I weep, for you're making a nation of orphans,
For you'll guide us no longer to happiness and peace.
Helpless and troubled, we have succour no more:
Their patron's deserted the widows, the poor.
Courage, King! Faint-hearted, are we?
Our blazing hearts would smelt their iron!
გულს რად გვიკლავ? რად მიდიხარ?
ნუთუ, მეფევ, ხსნა არ არი!..
ქუდზედ კაცი დაუძახე,
მოაგროვე სპა და ჯარი.
ცოტა ვართ, მაგრამ კარგნი ვართ,
ვინც კია, ყველა დევია...
ბევრჯერ უნახავს ქართვლის მტერს,
რომ ცოტაც ბევრის მძლევია.
აჰა, მეფევ, ორი ბიჭი,
მხრებში რომ ამომჯდომია,
ორივ ჩემი შვილი არი,
ერთი მეორის მჯობია;
მიირთვი და ინაცვალე,
ჩემს ქვეყანას მტლად დაუდე!
ომში, მეფევ, გაჩვენებენ,
რა ლომებს ჰზრდის ქართვლის ბუდე.
შეჰკრიბე დიდი, პატარა,
გაუძეღ წინამძღოლადა,
მტერს წინ დახვდი... ვინც უკუ-დგეს,
დედა შეერთოს ცოლადა!
ჩვენს საქართველოს, ჰე, მეფევ,
ბევრი რამ გადაჰხედია,
მაგრამ უომრად მტრისა წინ
არ წაუხრია ქედია.
ნურც დღეს ვიზამთ ამ საქმესა,
უომრად ნუ დავმარცხდებით,

თუ ვერა ვძლევთ, დავიხოცნეთ
სახელითა და დიდებით!..“
Why leave, for there's another course:
Summon your menfolk to the army.
Few, but brave, we can be like djinns.
We have often crushed the enemy's hordes.
The lads that support me are both my sons,
In strength and bravery matching twins.
Instead of yours, take the lives of these brothers.
War shows the lions that Georgia's raised.
Lead all our menfolk to meet the foe,
Let those that: hang back go to bed with their mothers.
In Georgia's past we have never, surely.
Bowed our necks to the foe without war.
Let's never accept defeat without battle:
Win or be slaughtered with fame and glory!'
„უბრძანა თუ: - ბერო-კაცო,
მესმის შენი ერთგულება...
შაბაშ ქართველს!.. გული თურმე
სამარემდე გულად ჰრჩება.
მაგრამ გეტყვი: ჯარს არ შევკრებ,
არ ვინდომებ სისხლის ღვრასა,
მარტო ჩემის გულისათვის
არ შევაკლავ მტერს ათასსა.
ჩვენის ქვეყნის შავი ბედი
როგორც ტაროსი იცვლება,
დრო მოვა და თქვენი თავი
უფრო მეტად დასჭირდება.
მე ერთი ვარ, თქვენ მრავალი,
გვიჯობს ერთით ბევრის რჩენა;
თუ თქვენ მე არ გემეტებით,
მე რად გაგიმეტოდ თქვენა?..
განა თითონ ქრისტე-ღმერთსა
გადარჩენა არ ძალ ედვა,

არ ინება და ქვეყნისთვის
ღმერთი იყო და ჯვარს ეცვა“.
„მაშ რად არის მეფე მეფედ,
თუ არ ქვეყნის ჭირთა მძლეა?
თუნდაც მოჰკვდეს ქვეყნისათვის,
ეს სიკვდილი სიცოცხლეა.
They beat to the grave, these hearts of ours, and
I believe your loyalty, old man,
But I shan't call men up for a bloodbath
Nor let for my sake the foe kill ten thousand.
Our fate is fickle like the weather.
Your lives may yet be needed more.
If I can't be spared, then how can you be?
That many be saved by one man is better.
Could not Christ our Lord have set himself free?
For his people's salvation he was nailed to the tree.
A king must rescue his country from strife.
If he dies for his people he lives in their hearts
არ არის მკვდარი, ვინც მოჰკვდეს
და ხალხს შესწიროს დღენია,
მკვდრად იგი თქმულა, ვისაც აქ
სახელი არ დარჩენია.
არ დავიშლი, ვსთქვი და კიდეც
თავი უნდა გავიწირო,
ისე მოვკვდე, რომ ჩემ გამო
დედა შვილზედ არ ვატირო.
წავალ-მეთქი!.. თუ ღმერთს უნდა,
მოხდეს იგი, რაც მიმელის...
მაგრამ ჯავრი თან მიმყვება
საყვარელის ჩემის ქვეყნის.
ეჰ, რაც ჰსურდა, არ დასცალდა

ჩემს წყურვილსა სულისასა!..
აწ იქმნას ის, რაც სწადიან
განგებასა უფლისასა.
თქვენ ხომ მაინც აგცილდებათ
ხოცვა, ჟლეტა, სრვა და რბევა...
მე კი... მეყოს, თუ გამყვება
თქვენი ლოცვა და კურთხევა“.
„თითქო ზეცით ზარი იყო,
თითქო ღმერთი მოევლინა, ხალხი პირქვე მყის დაემხო
საკვირველის მეფის წინა...
A life laid down is not real death;
Only the inglorious can truly lose life.
I choose sacrifice, and that is enough.
I must die to spare all mothers' tears.
I go, then God decides what befalls:
In the wake of wrath comes my subjects' love.
The thirst of my soul cannot be quenched.
Let providence do what it desires.
You're safe from slaughter and pillage. For me
Your prayers and blessings soften the wrench.'
All fell to the ground, by the king amazed.
Struck as it were by thunder from heaven.
თურმე დიდებას მადლისას
კაცი მსწრაფლ დაუმონია,
ვით დიდს ბოროტს, ისეც დიდს მადლს
თავისი ზარი ჰქონია.
„მეფეს ერი შეეცოდა,
სთქვა: - „მეც ვწუხვარ, რომ გშორდებით.
ღმერთს ვსთხოვ, იყვნეთ ჩემს შემდეგა
მშვიდობით და გამარჯვებით.

ნურას გიკვირთ, რომ ქვეყნისთვის
მეფე თქვენი თავს არ ჰზოგავს!
ამასა იქმს ყველა, ვინც კი
ჭკუით სჭრის და გულით ჰზომავს.
მე მივდივარ!.. მეფე თქვენი
დიდს და მცირეს გეთხოვებით,
რაც დაგაკლეთ, ნუ შემრისხავთ
რაც შეგცოდეთ, შემინდევით“.
ბრძანა და ცხენიც მოართვეს,
ზედ მოახტა ვეფხვსავითა;
ცხენზედ იგი დალოცვილი
გამობრწყინდა მზესავითა.
მტერსაც კი რომ დაენახა,
თვალი გაუშტერდებოდა;
მისებრი ცხენზედ მოხდენა
ბევრს ვაჟკაცს ენატრებოდა.
The splendour of grace holds a man in thrall
Terror not of evil, but of such great grace.
The people aroused the king's compassion.
'I'm sad to go, God give you peace.
Don't be bewildered by what I do:
Reason and love dictate this action.
Your king says farewell, and he implores
All of you to forgive his sins.'
Dimitri, resplendent as the sun,
Lithe as a panther, lept on his horse.
His grandeur, mounted, was enough to stun
An enemy's eyes with envious wonder.
გამოეთხოვა ყველაკას,
ვინც კი შინ, სახლში ჰრჩებოდა,
სხვა კი ამხედრდა დიდკაცი
ყველა, ვინც უნდა ჰხლებოდა.
ამხედრდა თვით მღვდელმთავარიც,
შინ დარჩენა არ ინება,
შეევედრა თან წაყვანას

და მეფემაც დართო ნება.
წაბრძანდა და თან იახლა
ის ამალა და მხედრობა,
უკან მისტირს ერი, ბერი,
გლეხობა თუ დიდკაცობა.
„მინამ მეფე მიმავალი
ურდომდინა მივიდოდა,
იმისი მისვლის იმედი
ყეინსა გადასწყვეტოდა...
ებრძანა თავის სარდლისთვის:
- „შეკრიბე ჯარი, ლაშქრი,
წადი, დიმიტრი მომგვარე
ან ცოცხალი, ანუ მკვდარი;
თუ არა, იმის ქვეყანას
შეესიე და მოსრეო,
სულ ძირს დაეც, რაც წინ შეგხვდეს,
ქალაქი თუ სიმაგრეო“.
He took his leave of his palace courtiers.
The lords picked their arms up: the ride had begun.
The high priest refused to stay: he implored
The king to let him ride with them.
As squadron and king left the city,
Everyone wept, both peasant and lord.
While Dimitri rode to the Mongol Horde,
The Khan began to doubt his coming.
He ordered his generals, 'Gather an army.
Alive or dead, the king must be caught.
Destroy his land if you cannot find him,
Uproot and burn every town in your path.'
წინ შეხვდა მეფეს ეს ჯარი,
მრავალი და უთვალავი,
მაშინვე მიხვდა: აქაო
ამბავია რაღაც ავი.

უხმო მხლებელთ და უბრძანა:
- „ფიცსა გთხოვთ და უნდა მომცეთ:
თუ უკადრისი მაკადრონ,
თქვენ არავინ ხმა არ გასცეთ.
თავს დაიხოცთ, ვერას უზამთ,
ჯარია მოზღვავებული!
თქვენს სიკვდილსაც არ იკმარებს,
თქვენგნით გაბოროტებული, წავა და ხალხს ამოგვიჟლეტს,
აგვიოხრებს ქვეყანასა...
ნუთუ მთელს ხალხს ანაცვალებთ
ვაჟკაცთა თაკილობასა?!
ღმერთს აცადეთ... დეე იქმნას,
რაც ჩემს თავზე განგებულა!
საცა არა სჯობს, გაცლა სჯობსო,
ბრძენთაგანა ასე თქმულა.
კვლავ ფიცსა გთხოვთ: სისხლს ნუ დაღვრით,
ნუღარ დამიმძიმებთ სულსა!..
განკითხვის დღეს მეფეს ჰკითხვენ
ყმის სისხლს, უქმად დანთხეულსა!.
Then the paths of the Horde and Dimitri crossed:
The king knew that here were evil tidings.
His men did not speak, but he sought an oath:
If, unprovoked, they humiliate me,
Swear to keep silent. This horde will kill
Not only you, if roused to wrath,
But our people too, and ravage the land.
Brave men, thwarted, don't visit vexations
On innocent kinsmen. God's will in God's time.
"Discretion is valour," the wise understand.
Relieve my spirit, swear: no bloodshed,
Or the king bears the blame on the Day of Judgement.'
„რას იქმოდნენ? მისცეს ფიცი
გამწყრალთა, გაბრაზებულთა,

სირცხვილის ჭამა ირჩიეს
ქვეყნისთვის დავალებულთა.
ბევრმა იკრა გულში ხელი,
სთქვა გულმწარედ: „ვაი დედას!
დრო მოგვივა და ამ თათრებს
არ შევარჩენთ ჩვენს შერცხვენას!“
ბატონმა ბრძანა: - „ვინა ხართ?
წადით, ჰკითხეთ - რა სწადიან?
თუ მე უნდივართ, აქა ვარ,
ჰქმნან ის, რასაც მიქადიან...“
მალე დაბრუნდა უკანვე
მეფის კაცი მოციქული,
მოახსენა: - „სარდალს ვუთხარ,
მეფევ, შენი ბრძანებული;
მითხრა: - „მეფე შენი გვინდა,
თუ მოგვეცა თავის ნებით,
არას ვერჩით თქვენს ქვეყანას,
აქედამვე დავბრუნდებით...“
იამა, ბრძანა: - „მადლი ღმერთს,
რომ ქვეყანა გადმირჩება
და ცოდვილი ჩემი სისხლი
ამაოდ არ დაიღვრება“.
თვით წაბრძანდა სარდლისაკენ,
მის წინ შეაყენა ცხენი,
უბრძანა თუ: - „მე ვარ მეფე,
რაც გენებოს, იგი ჰქმენი“.
They were forced to swear it, however vexed,
For their fatherland they swallowed their pride.
Some clutched their breasts, saying, 'Woe to my mother,
Our shame's not avenged on Tatar necks.'
The king spoke, 'Ask them their demands,
If it's me they want, let them do their worst.'
His messenger left and then returned:
'I have seen their general at your command.
He said: "Should the king be surrendered,

We now withdraw and won't harm your land."
His land was safe; the king praised God.
'My sinful blood can be expended.'
In front of the general he checked his horse,
Saying, 'I am the king. Do as you like.'
მისცვივდნენ უკადრისადა,
ვით ძეს ღვთისას ურიანი,
შეჰკრეს, შეჰბაწრეს ტყვესავით
მეფე, ხელმწიფე სვიანი.
„მიჰგვარეს ყეინს ურჯულოს,
სისხლმსმელს ადამიანისას...
საღერღელი აეშალა,
ვით კრავის წინ მხეცსა ტყისას.
გაწყრა: - „როგორ გაბედო,
არ გადუდეგ ჩემს მოსისხლეს?
სთქვი პასუხი და იცოდე,
შენი განკითხვის დღეა დღეს.
იცოდე, რომ წინვე მითქვამს:
თავი უნდა მოგეკვეთოს!
ამის შეცვლა თითონ ღმერთმაც
ჩემმაც მე ვერ შემომბედოს.
მინამ მოგკლავ, მსურს აქ ჩემ-წინ
შეინანო ბრალი შენი,
აქ ჩემ ფეხთ-წინ აღიარო
შენვე შენი სიმუხთლენი...“
მეფემ უთხრა: - „შენისთანა
ჩემი რა გამკითხველია!
ნუ მოგაქვს თავი იმით, რომ
ძალა აღმართის მხვნელია.
They fell on him like the Jews on Christ;
The annointed king was bound with cords.
Like a lamb to a jungle leopard, he
Was brought to the bloodthirsty heathen Khan.

'How dared you stand up for my enemy?
Answer: today you're in jeopardy.
I've said already: your head must: roll.
Not even my God can alter this.
But first you must repent your guilt,
Purge at my feet your treacherous soul.'
The king said, 'Force can plough uphill,
But gives you no right to question me.
შენი-წინ მოთქმა რას მიქვიან?
რას მიქვიან შენანება?
ჩემი გამკითხველი არი
ნამუსი და ჩემი ნება.
ჰქმენ, რაც გინდა!.. მე არ გკითხავ, რად გწადს მომკვეთო თავიო...
სვავს ვინ ჰკითხავს, სისხლს რადა ჰსვამ.
სვავო, რადა ხარ სვავიო?..“
გაწყრა ყეინი ამაყი,
ეს როგორ გამიბედაო!
უბრძანა: - „ჰგვემეთ და სცემეთ,
ბნელეთს ჩააგდეთ ეგაო“.
წაიყვანეს მეფე ჩვენი
და საბნელეთში ჩააგდეს;
შემოარტყეს გარს მცველები,
კარს კლიტები დაადეს.
„სასჯელი დაუგვიანა
იმ ღვთის-მგმობელმა თათარმა,
მინამ მოაკვლევინებდა,
სცემა, ჰგვემა და აწამა;
აწამა, ვით სვავმა ტრედი,
მეფე იგი საკვირველი
და ვერ გაძღა მის წვალებით
ის უღვთო და სისხლის-მსმელი.
ერთხელ მეფე, ნაწამები
Why should I bother to speak or repent?
I answer to virtue and my own free will.

I shan't question why you see fit
To spill my blood: vultures are vultures.'
'How dare he speak like that?' raged the Khan,
'Beat him, throw him in a foul dark pit.'
Into a dungeon, surrounded by guards,
They threw our king, and the doors were barred.
The godless Khan would not behead
The good king rill he'd tortured him.
Like a vulture a dove, he tore at him,
Unsated by the blood he'd shed.
ძლიერად და ულმობელად,
ბნელში ეგდო ძალმიხდილი,
უპატრონოდ, უზრუნველად.
როცა ღონეზედ მოვიდა,
ადგა, მუხლი მოიყარა,
პირქვე დაემხო ლოცვითა
და ცრემლები გადმოჰყარა.
მოსთქვამდა თუ: - „ღმერთო, ღმერთო!
გთხოვ, მიწყალო, შემიბრალო,
რაც გადამხდა, განკითხვის დღეს
მადლად მე არ ჩამითვალო.
მე არა გთხოვ, - მანდ წამება
აქ წამებით შემიმცირო,
მე გთხოვ, - სისხლი აქ დაღვრილი
ჩემი სხვისთვის შეიწირო.
ღმერთო, ღმერთო!.. თვალ-წინ მიდგა
დიდ ტანჯული მე ძე შენი...
ვით ძით ყველა, ისეც ჩემით
ერი ჩემი დაიხსენი“.
Cruelly racked, the king lay sprawled,
Worn out, uncared for, in pitch dark.
He came to his senses, kneeled in tears,
Abased himself in prayer and called:
'Have pity on me, o merciful Father,
Let my sufferings when the Last Trump sounds

Lessen not mine, but my people's torment.
I beg my blood may atone for others.
I see, o God, your crucified Son:
Through mc, as through Him, let salvation be won.'
«უეცრად კარი გაიღო,
რკინით, კლიტით დაჭედილი;
ორი ვიღაც შემოვიდა
ფეხაკრებით, როგორც ჩრდილი.
მოვიდნენ და თაყვანი სცეს
მეფესა გაოცებულსა...
მერე იცნა, მისნი იყვნენ,
და ჩაიკრა ორივ გულსა,
მოახსენეს: - «შევისყიდეთ
და გავტეხეთ ქრთამით კარი...
ყველა მზაა!.. თავს უშველე,
აწ შენი ხსნა შენს ხელთ არი.
ნუღარ იცდი... თუ არ ეხლავ,
მერე გვიანღა იქნება:
ხვალ თავს გჭრიან, - ასეაო
ყეინისა თურმე ნება».
უბრძანა თუ: - «ადრეც მითქვამს,
არ გადვირჩენ სხვისით თავსა,
ჩემ-მაგიერ არ დავღუპავ
ჩემს ქვეყანას და ჩემს ხალხსა.
ჩემს გაქცევას ხომ ზედ მოჰყვა
ხალხის სრვა და ქვეყნის რბევა!
არა, არ ვიქ!.. ტყუილია
თათბირი და ყველა რჩევა!»
ბევრს ევედრნენ და არ გაჰყვა
მეფე თავის ერთგულ ყმათა...
ნეტა რა გულმა გაუძლო
მათ ხვეწნას და მუდარათა!
The iron door was suddenly unbarred;

Two men like shadows crept into the cell.
They bowed before the astonished king:
He knew them and clasped them to his heart.
'We've bribed the guards: now or never.
Everything's ready: save yourself.
Soon it's too late: the Khan has said,
Tomorrow your royal head will be severed.'
He told them, 'I shall not be rescued
At others' cost. I shan't allow
My land to pay for my escape.
Don't argue. I am resolute.'
The loyal men beseeched Dimitri,
But the king stayed deaf to their entreaties
«გათენდა დღე ზართ-ამახდელი,
ვაი იმა დღის დამსწრესა!
ტყვე მეფეს გამოიყვანეს
მოედანსა თავთ-საკვეთსა.
ხალხი, თამაშად მოსული,
ვით ჯინჭველა ირეოდა,
თვით ვეზირიც ყეინისა
იქ იყო და რიგს აწყობდა.
ვეზირს გვერდთ ედგა ჯალათი.
ერთი რაღაც საზარელი,
იღლიამდინ დაემკლავა
ძარღვიანი ტლანქი ხელი.
ამ ორ შუა ჩააყენეს
ფერმიხდილი წვალებითა...
დადგა მეფე... ღმერთს შეხედა
ნაღვლით სავსე თვალებითა.
მერე თვალი იმავ ნაღვლით
მოედანს შემოატარა...
ის ყოფა და ის ჯალათი
სანახავად შეეზარა...

Dawn brought an end to woe and fear.
They brought the prisoner to the scaffold.
Below, the square seethed like an anthill,
Surveyed by the Mongol Khan's vizier.
The executioner, his bare arm gnarled
Like a juniper root, stood by the block.
Between the two the king was flung,
Gazing to God, pallid, appalled.
Aghast at the axeman and the pomp,
Bitterly he surveyed the scene.
შეჰკრთა როგორც ხორციელი.
უმისოდაც ქანც-წყვეტილი,
დასუსტდა და წაბარბაცდა,
როგორც ერთი დაბნედილი.
მაგრამ ისევ თავს უშველა,
არ დაუთმო ხორცსა სული...
ამ დროს ტირილიც მოესმა,
ქვითინი გამწარებული...
გაოცდა და მიიხედ,
ჰნახა თვისნი დიდებულნი!..
სულ მთლად იქ მოგროვილიყვნენ,
ვინც კი იყვნენ თან ხლებულნი.
მღვდელმთავარიც მათთან იყო,
თავთ იცემდნენ, პირს იხოკდნენ,
მათის ცოდვით და ვაებით
ქვებიც კი ატირდებოდნენ.
თავისიანთ დანახვაზედ
მოაგონდა ყველაფერი,
სახლი, კარი, თვისი, ტომი,
ქვეყანა და თავის ერი...
ეჰა, გატყდა რკინის გული,
მეფე მაგითი იძლია!
ამას კი ვეღარ გაუძლო,
აქ კი ხორცმა სულსა სძლია!..
Mortally weakened, nearly fainting.
He trembled as though about to drop.

He summoned his spirit and daunted his fear.
Then heard the sound of violent sobbing.
Amazed, he saw his nobles gathered,
All those who'd shared his journey here.
The high priest too was loudly weeping.
Their grief could have squeezed the tears from a rock.
They reminded the king of his house and home.
His kith and kin, his land and people.
The king broke down. His heart, as tough
As iron, faltered. Spirit succombed.
მობრუნდა და ორსავ თვალზედ
კვნესით ხელი მიიფარა...
ვეზირს უთხრა: - «დამიხსენი»..
რაც გადამხდა, ისიც კმარა!..»
სთქვა და თქმული თვით შეჰზარდა...
სახელი არ წაიხდინა..
- «ჰა, ჯალათო!» - დაიძახა
და კისერი გაიწვდინა.
მანც აიღო ხელთ ნაჯახი,
ერთს წამს კისერს დაუსწორა,
დასცა და ერთის დაკვრითა
თავი ტანსა მოაშორა».

He covered his eyes and to the vizier
He groaned, 'Oh spare me, this is enough.
Then, horrified by what he'd said.
He shouted, 'Hey, hangman,' and proffered his neck.
The executioner aimed the axe
And with one blow removed his head.