And it happened in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, wine was before him. And I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence before.
And the king said to me, Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart. Then I was very much afraid.
And I said to the king, Let the king live forever. Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?
And the king said to me, For what do you ask? So I prayed to the God of Heaven, and I said to the king, If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I pray that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, so that I may build it.
And the king said to me (the queen also sitting by him), For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a time.
The Persian King Artaxerxes ruled from 465-423 BC, so the month Nisan of the 20th year of his reign was about march/april of the year 446 BC.