Nehemiah 3:15-5:13 New Life Version (NLV)
15 Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, the leader of Mizpah, did the needed work on the Well Gate. He built it, covered it, and hung its doors with its iron pieces. And he built the wall of the Pool of Shelah at the King’s Garden as far as the steps that go down from the City of David. 16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, leader of half of Beth-zur, did the needed work as far as David’s grave, and as far as the Man-made Pool and the House of the Powerful Men.
Levites Who Worked on the Wall
17 After him the Levites did the needed work, led by Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, the leader of half of Keilah, did the needed work for his part of the city. 18 After him their brothers did the needed work, led by Bavvai the son of Henadad, leader of the other half of Keilah. 19 Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, the leader of Mizpah, did the needed work on another part, in front of the hill up to the place where the things for battle were kept at the turn of the wall. 20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai did the needed work with much care on another part, from the turn of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the head religious leader. 21 After him Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz did the needed work on another part from the door of Eliashib’s house to the end of the house.
Religious Leaders Who Worked on the Wall
22 After him the religious leaders, the men of the valley, did the needed work. 23 After them Benjamin and Hasshub did the needed work in front of their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, son of Ananiah, did the needed work beside his house. 24 After him Binnui the son of Henadad did the needed work on another part, from the house of Azariah as far as the turn of the wall, and to the corner. 25 Palal the son of Uzai did the needed work in front of the turn of the wall and the tower which stands out from the upper house of the king, by the open space of the house soldiers. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh 26 and the servants of the house of worship living in Ophel did the needed work as far as the front of the Water Gate on the east and the tall tower. 27 After him the Tekoites did the needed work on another part in front of the tall tower and as far as the wall of Ophel.
28 The religious leaders did the needed work above the Horse Gate. Each one worked in front of his house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer did the needed work in front of his house. And after him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, did the needed work. 30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, did the needed work on another part. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah did the needed work in front of his own room. 31 After him Malchijah, one of the men who worked with gold, did the needed work as far as the house of the servants of the Lord’s house and of the traders. He worked in front of the Master Gate and as far as the upper room of the corner. 32 The gold-workers and the traders did the needed work between the upper room of the corner and the Sheep Gate.
Working and Watching at the Same Time
4 When Sanballat heard that we were building the wall again, he became very angry. He was filled with anger and he made fun of the Jews. 2 He said to his brothers and the rich men of Samaria, “What are these weak Jews doing? Are they going to build things again for themselves? Will they give gifts on the altar in worship? Will they finish in a day? Will they get good stones for building from the dust, seeing they are burned?” 3 Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and said, “If a fox would jump on what they build, he would break their stone wall down!”
4 Hear, O our God, how we are hated! Return their shame on their own heads. Let them be taken as servants to a strange land. 5 Do not forgive their sin. Do not let their sin be covered from Your eyes. For they have made much fun of the builders. 6 But we built the wall, and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
7 When Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the work of building the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the broken places began to be closed, they were very angry. 8 And all of them made plans together to come and fight against Jerusalem and cause trouble in it. 9 But we prayed to our God because of them. And we had men watching for them day and night. 10 So in Judah it was said, “Those who carry the loads are becoming weaker, and there is much dust. We are not able to work on the wall.” 11 Those who hated us said, “They will not know it or see us until we are among them, kill them, and stop the work.” 12 When the Jews who lived by them came, they told us ten times, “They will come up against us from all the places where they live.” 13 So I put men in the lowest parts of the places behind the wall, in the open places. I put the people in place by their families with their swords, spears and bows. 14 When I saw their fear, I got up and said to the rulers and leaders and the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord Who is great and honored with fear. And fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
15 When those who hated us heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought trouble to their plan, then all of us returned to the wall. Each one returned to his work. 16 From that day on, half of my servants did the work while half of them held the spears, battle-coverings, bows, and battle-clothes. And the captains stood behind the whole house of Judah. 17 Those who were building the wall and those who carried loads did their work with one hand, and held something to fight with in the other hand. 18 Each builder wore his sword at his side as he built. The man who blew the horn stood beside me. 19 I said to the rulers, leaders, and the rest of the people, “There is very much work to do, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. 20 In whatever place you hear the sound of the horn, gather together to us there. Our God will fight for us.”
21 So we did the work with half of them holding spears from sunrise until the stars came out. 22 At that time I also said to the people, “Let every man and his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so they may watch for us during the night and work during the day.” 23 So none of us, I, my brothers, my servants, or the soldiers who followed me, took off our clothes. Each man kept something to fight with in his hand, even when he went to wash.
Help for Poor People
5 Now the people and their wives began to cry in a loud voice against their Jewish brothers. 2 For some said, “We, our sons and our daughters are many. Let us get grain, that we may eat and live.” 3 And some said, “We are giving up our fields, our grape-vines and our houses, that we might get grain because of no food.” 4 Others said, “We have taken money from others to pay the king’s tax on our fields and our grape-vines, and we must pay back this money. 5 Our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers. Our children are like their children. Yet we are made to sell our sons and daughters to work for others. Some of our daughters have already been sold and taken away. We cannot do anything, because our fields and vines belong to others.”
6 I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7 I thought about it, and spoke sharp words to the rulers and leaders. I said to them, “You are making the people pay back more money than you give them to use!” So I gathered many people together against them. 8 And I said to them, “As we have been able, we have bought and freed our Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations. But you would even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us!” They were quiet and could not find a word to say. 9 So I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God to stop the nations who hate us from putting us to shame? 10 I, my brothers and my servants are giving them money and grain. Let us stop making them pay back more than they are given. 11 Return to them this very day their fields, vines, olive trees, and houses. Also return to them one-hundredth part of the money, grain, new wine, and oil, that you have been making them pay.” 12 Then they said, “We will give these back and will ask nothing from them. We will do just as you say.” So I called the religious leaders, and had them promise that they would keep their word. 13 I shook out the front of my clothing and said, “So may God shake out every man from his house and from all he has worked for, who does not keep this promise. So may he be shaken out and made empty.” And all the people said, “Let it be so!” and praised the Lord. Then they did as they had promised.