Work Is Ridiculed
1 Now F27 it came about that when Sanballat R88 heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. 2 He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the R89 wealthy F28 men of Samaria and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty R90 F29 rubble even the burned ones?" 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, "Even what they are building--if R91 a fox should jump F30 on it, he would break their stone wall down!"
4 Hear, R92 O our God, how we are despised! Return R93 their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity. 5 Do not forgive R94 F31 their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before You, for they have demoralized F32 the builders.
6 So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind F33 to work.
7 Now F34 when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair F35 of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. 8 All of them conspired R95 together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.
9 But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set R96 up a guard against them day and night.
10 Thus in F36 Judah it was said,
"The strength of the burden bearers is failing,
Yet there is much rubbish; F37
And we ourselves are unable
To rebuild the wall." 11 Our enemies said, "They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work." 12 When the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, "They F38 will come up against us from every place where you may turn," 13 then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed F39 places, and I stationed R97 the people in families with their swords, spears and bows. 14 When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: "Do R98 not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight R99 for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses."
15 When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God R100 had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. 16 From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the F40 trumpeter stood near me. 19 I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. 20 "At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally F41 to us there. Our R101 God will fight for us."
21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn F42 until the stars appeared. F43 22 At that time I also said to the people, "Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day." 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.
F27: Ch 3:33 in Heb
F28: Or army
F29: Lit heaps of dust
F30: Lit go up
F31: Lit cover
F32: Lit offended against
F33: Lit heart
F34: Ch 4:1 in Heb
F35: Lit healing
F36: Lit Judah said
F37: Lit dust
F38: So Gr; Hebrew omits they...up
F39: Lit bare
F40: Lit he who sounded the trumpet
F41: Lit assemble yourselves
F42: Lit rising of the dawn
F43: Lit came out
R88: Nehemiah 2:10
R89: Ezra 4:9,10
R90: Nehemiah 4:10
R91: Lamentations 5:18
R92: Psalms 123:3,4
R93: Psalms 79:12
R94: Psalms 69:27,28; Jeremiah 18:23
R95: Psalms 83:3
R96: Nehemiah 4:11
R97: Nehemiah 4:17,18
R98: Numbers 14:9; Deuteronomy 1:29,30
R99: 2 Samuel 10:12
R100: 2 Samuel 17:14
R101: Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 1:30