11I went on to Jerusalem, and for three days 12I did not tell anyone what God had inspired me to do for Jerusalem. Then in the middle of the night I got up and went out, taking a few of my companions with me. The only animal we took was the donkey that I rode on. 13It was still night as I left the city through the Valley Gate on the west and went south past Dragon's Fountain to the Rubbish Gate. As I went, I inspected the broken walls of the city and the gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14Then on the east side of the city I went north to the Fountain Gate and the King's Pool. The donkey I was riding could not find any path through the rubble, 15so I went down into the valley of the Kidron and rode along, looking at the wall. Then I returned the way I had come and went back into the city through the Valley Gate.
16None of the local officials knew where I had been or what I had been doing. So far I had not said anything to any of my fellow-Jews — the priests, the leaders, the officials, or anyone else who would be taking part in the work. 17But now I said to them, “See what trouble we are in because Jerusalem is in ruins and its gates are destroyed! Let's rebuild the city walls and put an end to our disgrace.” 18And I told them how God had been with me and helped me, and what the emperor had said to me.
They responded, “Let's start rebuilding!” And they got ready to start the work.
4May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice!
5Show a gentle attitude towards everyone. The Lord is coming soon. 6Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. 7And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
8In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable. 9Put into practice what you learnt and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.