THE BOOK OF
Nehemiah 4 ©
While the enemies scoff at God’s people, Nehemiah prays unto God and advances the work, v. 1. etc. The enemies, hearing of the successful progress of the work, combine together to fight against Jerusalem and to hinder the work, ere they would be aware of it, 7, etc. Likewise verse 11. But Nehemiah, being told about it, sets a strong watch against them, encourages the people, and so frustrates the design of the enemies, 12. Returns to the work, appoints both his own servants and all the rest of the workmen, to work with the one hand and to hold the weapon with the other, and gives several military orders and commissions, 16.
BUT it came to pass, that when 1Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was 2wroth, and took 3great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
And he spake 4before his brethren and the 5army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? 6will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end 7in a day? will they 8revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down 9their stone wall.
Hear, O our God; 10for we are 11despised: and turn their 12reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the 13land of captivity:
And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out 14from before thee: for they have provoked 15thee to anger before the 16builders.
So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the 17half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
¶But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the 18Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard 19that the walls of Jerusalem 20were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and toa hinder 21it.
Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch 22against them day and night, 23because of them.
And 24Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is 25decayed, and there is much 26rubbish; so that we are 27not able to build the wall.
And our adversaries said, 28They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.
And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us 29ten times, From all places 30whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.
¶Therefore set I 31in the lower places behind the wall, and on the 32higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the 33nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Beb not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.
And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my 34servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were 35behind all the house of Judah.
They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, 36every one with 37one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a 38weapon.
For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
¶And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, 39one far from another.
In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: ourc God shall fight for us.
So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from 40the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.
Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge 41within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.
So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which 42followed me, none of us put off 43our clothes, 44saving that every one put them off for washing.