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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?

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:3 lieth waste. Even though Ezra had been in Jerusalem for thirteen years, he had been so occupied with organizing the legal and judicial systems of Judah, as well as teaching the people their responsibilities under the laws of God, that he had not had time to deal with the infrastructure. The walls and other structures built many years previously had largely deteriorated, and the city was highly vulnerable to attack by its perennial enemies.

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