Work Is Ridiculed
1Now it came about that when ASanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. He spoke in the presence of his brothers and Athe 1wealthy 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 2Bdusty rubble even the burned ones?” Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, “Even what they are buildingAif a fox should 1jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!”
AHear, O our God, how we are despised! BReturn their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity. Do not 1Aforgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before You, for they have 2demoralized the builders.
So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a 1mind to work.
1Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the 2repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. All of them Aconspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.
Discouragement Overcome
But we prayed to our God, and because of them we Aset up a guard against them day and night.
10 Thus 1in Judah it was said,
“The strength of the burden bearers is failing,
Yet there is much 2rubbish;
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, “1They 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 1exposed places, and I Astationed 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: “ADo not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and Bfight 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 AGod 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 1the 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, 1rally to us there. AOur God will fight for us.”
21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from 1dawn until the stars 2appeared. 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.
1 4:1 Ch 3:33 in Heb A 4:1 Neh 2:10 A 4:2 Ezra 4:9, 10 1 4:2 Or army 2 4:2 Lit heaps of dust B 4:2 Neh 4:10 A 4:3 Lam 5:18 1 4:3 Lit go up A 4:4 Ps 123:3, 4 B 4:4 Ps 79:12 1 4:5 Lit cover A 4:5 Ps 69:27, 28; Jer 18:23 2 4:5 Lit offended against 1 4:6 Lit heart 1 4:7 Ch 4:1 in Heb 2 4:7 Lit healing A 4:8 Ps 83:3 A 4:9 Neh 4:11 1 4:10 Lit Judah said 2 4:10 Lit dust 1 4:12 So Gr; Heb omits they...up 1 4:13 Lit bare A 4:13 Neh 4:17, 18 A 4:14 Num 14:9; Deut 1:29, 30 B 4:14 2 Sam 10:12 A 4:15 2 Sam 17:14 1 4:18 Lit he who sounded the trumpet 1 4:20 Lit assemble yourselves A 4:20 Ex 14:14; Deut 1:30 1 4:21 Lit rising of the dawn 2 4:21 Lit came out