Nehemiah 4 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Those Against the Rebuilding
4 When Sanballat heard we were rebuilding the wall, he was very angry, even furious. He ·made fun of [mocked; ridiculed] the Jewish people. 2 He said to his ·friends [colleagues; L brothers] and ·those with power in [or the army/aristocracy of] Samaria, “What are these ·weak [feeble; pathetic] Jews doing? Will they ·rebuild the wall [or leave it all to God]? Will they offer sacrifices? Can they finish it in one day? Can they ·bring stones back to life from piles of trash and ashes [revive stones from piles of rubble—burnt stones at that]?”
3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was ·next to Sanballat [L beside him], said, “If a fox climbed up on the stone wall they are building, it would break it down.”
4 I prayed, “Hear us, our God. We are ·hated [despised]. Turn the ·insults [taunts; sneers] of Sanballat and Tobiah back on their own heads. ·Let them be captured and stolen like valuables [Send them as plunder to a land of exile]. 5 Do not ·hide [cover; ignore] their guilt or ·take away [blot out] their sins so that you can’t see them, because they have ·insulted [deeply offended; or demoralized] the builders.”
6 So we rebuilt [L and connected/joined together] the wall to half its height, because the people were ·willing to [enthusiastic in their; L had a heart to] work.
7 But Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the people from Ashdod were very angry when they heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls were continuing and that the ·holes [gaps; breaches] in the wall were being closed. 8 So they all made plans to come to Jerusalem and fight and ·stir up trouble [cause confusion/a disturbance]. 9 But we prayed to our God and appointed guards ·to watch for [L against] them day and night.
10 The people of Judah said, “The ·workers are getting tired [strength of the laborers is failing]. There is so much ·trash [debris; rubble] we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11 And our enemies said, “·The Jews [L They] won’t know or see anything until we come among them and kill them and stop the work.”
12 Then the Jewish people who lived near our enemies came and ·told [warned] us repeatedly [L ten times], “·Everywhere you turn [From every direction], the enemy will attack us.” 13 So I ·put [stationed] people behind the lowest places along the wall—the ·open [exposed] places—and I ·put families together [stationed people by families] with their swords, spears, and bows. 14 ·Then I looked around and [After an inspection, I] stood up and said to the ·important men [nobles], the ·leaders [officials], and the rest of the people: “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and ·powerful [awesome; glorious]. Fight for your brothers, your sons and daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
15 Then our enemies heard that we knew about their plans and that God had ·ruined [frustrated; thwarted] their plans. So we all went back to the wall, each to his own work.
16 From that day on, half my people worked on the wall. The other half was ready with spears, shields, bows, and armor. The ·officers [leaders] stood in back of the ·people [L house] of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried ·materials [loads] did their work with one hand and carried a weapon with the other. 18 Each builder wore his sword at his side as he ·worked [built]. The trumpeter [C to signal an attack] stayed next to me.
19 Then I said to the ·important people [nobles], the ·leaders [officials], and everyone else, “This is ·a very big job [demanding work]. We are spread out along the wall so that we are far apart. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, ·assemble there [rally to us here]. Our God will fight for us.”
21 So we continued to work with half the men holding spears from ·sunrise [dawn] till the stars came out. 22 At that time I also said to the people, “Let every man and his ·helper [servant] stay inside Jerusalem at night. They can be our guards at night and workmen during the day.” 23 Neither I, my ·brothers [colleagues], my ·workers [servants], nor the guards with me ever ·took off [changed] our clothes. Each person carried his weapon even when he went for water.
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