Nehemiah Chapter 4 |
1When Sanballat and Tobiah, and the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that healing had come to the walls of Jerusalem, that the breached parts had begun to be filled, it angered them very much, 2and they all conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to throw it into confusion. 3Because of them we prayed to our God, and set up a watch over them day and night.
4Judah was saying,
“The strength of the basket-carrier has failed,
And there is so much rubble;
We are not able ourselves
To rebuild the wall.”
5And our foes were saying, “Before they know or see it, we shall be in among them and kill them, and put a stop to the work.” 6When the Jews living near them would arrive, they would tell us time and again “... from all the places where ... you shall come back to us....” 7I stationed, on the lower levels of the place, behind the walls, on the bare rock—I stationed the people by families with their swords, their lances, and their bows. 8Then I decided to exhort the nobles, the prefects, and the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them! Think of the great and awesome Lord, and fight for your brothers, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes!”
9When our enemies learned that it had become known to us, since God had thus frustrated their plan, we could all return to the wall, each to his work. 10From that day on, half my servants did work and half held lances and shields, bows and armor. And the officers stood behind the whole house of Judah 11who were rebuilding the wall. The basket-carriers were burdened, doing work with one hand while the other held a weapon. 12As for the builders, each had his sword girded at his side as he was building. The trumpeter stood beside me. 13I said to the nobles, the prefects, and the rest of the people, “There is much work and it is spread out; we are scattered over the wall, far from one another. 14When you hear a trumpet call, gather yourselves to me at that place; our God will fight for us!” 15And so we worked on, while half were holding lances, from the break of day until the stars appeared.
16I further said to the people at that time, “Let every man with his servant lodge in Jerusalem, that we may use the night to stand guard and the day to work.” 17Nor did I, my brothers, my servants, or the guards following me ever take off our clothes, [or] each his weapon, even at the water.