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Nehemiah 4 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

7 The building of Jerusalem is hindered, 15 but God breaketh their enterprise. 17 The Jews build with one hand, and hold their weapons in the other.

But when Sanballat heard that we built the wall, then was he wroth and sore grieved, and mocked the Jews,

And said before his [a]brethren and the army of Samaria, thus he said, What do these [b]weak Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they finish it in a day? will they make the stones whole again out of the heaps of dust, seeing they are burnt?

And Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and said, Although they build, yet if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stony wall.

[c]Hear, O our God (for we are despised) and turn their shame upon their own head, and give them unto a prey [d]in the land of their captivity,

And cover not their [e]iniquity, neither let their sin be put out in thy presence: for they have provoked us before the builders.

So we built the wall, and all the wall was joined unto the [f]half thereof, and the heart of the people was to work.

¶ But when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodims heard that the walls of Jerusalem were repaired, (for the breaches began to be stopped) then they were very wroth,

And conspired all together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to [g]hinder them.

Then we prayed unto our God, and set watchmen by them, day and night, because of them.

10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers is weakened, and there is much earth, so that we are not able to build the wall.

11 Also our adversaries had said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come into the midst of them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

12 But when the Jews (which dwelt beside them) came, they told us [h]ten times, [i]From all places, whence ye shall return, they will be upon us.

13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall upon the tops of the stones, and placed the people by their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

14 Then I beheld, and rose up, and said unto the princes, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not afraid of them: [j]remember the great Lord, and fearful, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

15 And when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, then God brought their counsel to nought, and we turned all again to the wall, every one unto his work.

16 And from that day half of the young men did the labor, and the other half part of them held the spears, and shields, and bows, and habergeons: and the Rulers stood [k]behind all the house of Judah.

17 They that built on the wall, and they that bare burdens, and they that laded, did the work with one hand, and with the other held the sword.

18 For every one of the builders had his sword girded on his loins, and so built: and he that blew the trumpet, was beside me.

19 Then said I unto the Princes, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.

20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, [l]resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

21 So we labored in the work, and half of them held the spears, from the appearing of the morning, till the stars came forth.

22 And at the same time said I unto the people, Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that they may be a watch for us in the night, and labor in the day.

23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the ward (which followed me) none of us did put off our clothes, save everyone put them off [m]for washing.


  1. Nehemiah 4:2 Of his companions that dwelt in Samaria.
  2. Nehemiah 4:2 Thus the wicked that consider not that God’s power is ever in a readiness for the defense of his, mock them as though they were weak and feeble.
  3. Nehemiah 4:4 This is the remedy that the children of God have against the derision and threatenings of their enemies, to flee to God by prayer.
  4. Nehemiah 4:4 Let them be spoiled and led away captive.
  5. Nehemiah 4:5 Let the plagues declare to the world that they set themselves against thee and against thy Church: that he prayeth only having respect to God’s glory and not for any private affection, or grudge.
  6. Nehemiah 4:6 Or, half height.
  7. Nehemiah 4:8 Hebrew, make to stay, meaning the people.
  8. Nehemiah 4:12 That is, oftentimes.
  9. Nehemiah 4:12 They which brought the tidings, said thus, When you leave your work, and go either to eat or to rest, your enemies will assail you.
  10. Nehemiah 4:14 Who is ever at hand to deliver his out of danger: and therefore seeing they should fight for the maintenance of God’s glory, and for the preservation of their own lives and of theirs, he encourageth them to play the valiant men.
  11. Nehemiah 4:16 To oversee them and to encourage them to their work.
  12. Nehemiah 4:20 Meaning, to resist their enemies, if need required.
  13. Nehemiah 4:23 That is, when they purified themselves, or else when they washed their clothes.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

נחמיה 4 The Westminster Leningrad Codex (WLC)

וַיְהִ֣י כַאֲשֶׁ֣ר שָׁמַ֣ע סַנְבַלַּ֡ט וְ֠טוֹבִיָּה וְהָעַרְבִ֨ים וְהָעַמֹּנִ֜ים וְהָאַשְׁדּוֹדִ֗ים כִּֽי־עָלְתָ֤ה אֲרוּכָה֙ לְחֹמ֣וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֔ם כִּי־הֵחֵ֥לּוּ הַפְּרֻצִ֖ים לְהִסָּתֵ֑ם וַיִּ֥חַר לָהֶ֖ם מְאֹֽד׃

וַיִּקְשְׁר֤וּ כֻלָּם֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו לָב֖וֹא לְהִלָּחֵ֣ם בִּירוּשָׁלִָ֑ם וְלַעֲשׂ֥וֹת ל֖וֹ תּוֹעָֽה׃

וַנִּתְפַּלֵּ֖ל אֶל־אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ וַנַּעֲמִ֨יד מִשְׁמָ֧ר עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם יוֹמָ֥ם וָלַ֖יְלָה מִפְּנֵיהֶֽם׃

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוּדָ֗ה כָּשַׁל֙ כֹּ֣חַ הַסַּבָּ֔ל וְהֶעָפָ֖ר הַרְבֵּ֑ה וַאֲנַ֙חְנוּ֙ לֹ֣א נוּכַ֔ל לִבְנ֖וֹת בַּחוֹמָֽה׃

וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ צָרֵ֗ינוּ לֹ֤א יֵדְעוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א יִרְא֔וּ עַ֛ד אֲשֶׁר־נָב֥וֹא אֶל־תּוֹכָ֖ם וַהֲרַגְנ֑וּם וְהִשְׁבַּ֖תְנוּ אֶת־הַמְּלָאכָֽה׃

וַֽיְהִי֙ כַּאֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣אוּ הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים הַיֹּשְׁבִ֖ים אֶצְלָ֑ם וַיֹּ֤אמְרוּ לָ֙נוּ֙ עֶ֣שֶׂר פְּעָמִ֔ים מִכָּל־הַמְּקֹמ֖וֹת אֲשֶׁר־תָּשׁ֥וּבוּ עָלֵֽינוּ׃

וָֽאַעֲמִ֞יד מִֽתַּחְתִּיּ֧וֹת לַמָּק֛וֹם מֵאַחֲרֵ֥י לַחוֹמָ֖ה ׳בַּצְּחִחִיִּים׳ ״בַּצְּחִיחִ֑ים״ וָֽאַעֲמִ֤יד אֶת־הָעָם֙ לְמִשְׁפָּח֔וֹת עִם־חַרְבֹתֵיהֶ֛ם רָמְחֵיהֶ֖ם וְקַשְּׁתֹתֵיהֶֽם׃

וָאֵ֣רֶא וָאָק֗וּם וָאֹמַ֞ר אֶל־הַחֹרִ֤ים וְאֶל־הַסְּגָנִים֙ וְאֶל־יֶ֣תֶר הָעָ֔ם אַל־תִּֽירְא֖וּ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם אֶת־אֲדֹנָ֞י הַגָּד֤וֹל וְהַנּוֹרָא֙ זְכֹ֔רוּ וְהִֽלָּחֲמ֗וּ עַל־אֲחֵיכֶם֙ בְּנֵיכֶ֣ם וּבְנֹתֵיכֶ֔ם נְשֵׁיכֶ֖ם וּבָתֵּיכֶֽם׃ פ

וַיְהִ֞י כַּֽאֲשֶׁר־שָׁמְע֤וּ אוֹיְבֵ֙ינוּ֙ כִּי־נ֣וֹדַֽע לָ֔נוּ וַיָּ֥פֶר הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־עֲצָתָ֑ם ׳וַנָּשׁוּב׳ ״וַנָּ֤שָׁב״ כֻּלָּ֙נוּ֙ אֶל־הַ֣חוֹמָ֔ה אִ֖ישׁ אֶל־מְלַאכְתּֽוֹ׃

10 וַיְהִ֣י׀ מִן־הַיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא חֲצִ֣י נְעָרַי֮ עֹשִׂ֣ים בַּמְּלָאכָה֒ וְחֶצְיָ֗ם מַחֲזִיקִים֙ וְהָרְמָחִ֣ים הַמָּגִנִּ֔ים וְהַקְּשָׁת֖וֹת וְהַשִּׁרְיֹנִ֑ים וְהַ֨שָּׂרִ֔ים אַחֲרֵ֖י כָּל־בֵּ֥ית יְהוּדָֽה׃

11 הַבּוֹנִ֧ים בַּחוֹמָ֛ה וְהַנֹּשְׂאִ֥ים בַּסֶּ֖בֶל עֹמְשִׂ֑ים בְּאַחַ֤ת יָדוֹ֙ עֹשֶׂ֣ה בַמְּלָאכָ֔ה וְאַחַ֖ת מַחֲזֶ֥קֶת הַשָּֽׁלַח׃

12 וְהַ֨בּוֹנִ֔ים אִ֥ישׁ חַרְבּ֛וֹ אֲסוּרִ֥ים עַל־מָתְנָ֖יו וּבוֹנִ֑ים וְהַתּוֹקֵ֥עַ בַּשּׁוֹפָ֖ר אֶצְלִֽי׃

13 וָאֹמַ֞ר אֶל־הַחֹרִ֤ים וְאֶל־הַסְּגָנִים֙ וְאֶל־יֶ֣תֶר הָעָ֔ם הַמְּלָאכָ֥ה הַרְבֵּ֖ה וּרְחָבָ֑ה וַאֲנַ֗חְנוּ נִפְרָדִים֙ עַל־הַ֣חוֹמָ֔ה רְחוֹקִ֖ים אִ֥ישׁ מֵאָחִֽיו׃

14 בִּמְק֗וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ אֶת־ק֣וֹל הַשּׁוֹפָ֔ר שָׁ֖מָּה תִּקָּבְצ֣וּ אֵלֵ֑ינוּ אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יִלָּ֥חֶם לָֽנוּ׃

15 וַאֲנַ֖חְנוּ עֹשִׂ֣ים בַּמְּלָאכָ֑ה וְחֶצְיָ֗ם מַחֲזִיקִים֙ בָּֽרְמָחִ֔ים מֵעֲל֣וֹת הַשַּׁ֔חַר עַ֖ד צֵ֥את הַכּוֹכָבִֽים׃

16 גַּ֣ם בָּעֵ֤ת הַהִיא֙ אָמַ֣רְתִּי לָעָ֔ם אִ֣ישׁ וְנַעֲר֔וֹ יָלִ֖ינוּ בְּת֣וֹךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם וְהָֽיוּ־לָ֧נוּ הַלַּ֛יְלָה מִשְׁמָ֖ר וְהַיּ֥וֹם מְלָאכָֽה׃

17 וְאֵ֨ין אֲנִ֜י וְאַחַ֣י וּנְעָרַ֗י וְאַנְשֵׁ֤י הַמִּשְׁמָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַחֲרַ֔י אֵין־אֲנַ֥חְנוּ פֹשְׁטִ֖ים בְּגָדֵ֑ינוּ אִ֖ישׁ שִׁלְח֥וֹ הַמָּֽיִם׃ ס

Nehemiah 4 New International Version (NIV)

Opposition to the Rebuilding

[a]When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”

Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”

Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of[b] the builders.

So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.

But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”

11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”

12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”

13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.

16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.

19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

21 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 22 At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” 23 Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.[c]


  1. Nehemiah 4:1 In Hebrew texts 4:1-6 is numbered 3:33-38, and 4:7-23 is numbered 4:1-17.
  2. Nehemiah 4:5 Or have aroused your anger before
  3. Nehemiah 4:23 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

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