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Nehemiah 4 Names of God Bible (NOG)

Sanballat Ridicules the Jews

[a]When Sanballat heard we were rebuilding the wall, he became enraged and made fun of the Jews. In front of his allies and the army from Samaria, he said, “What do these miserable Jews think they’re doing? Can they rebuild it by themselves? Are they going to offer sacrifices? Can they finish it in a day? Will they get the stones out of the rubbish heaps, burned as these stones are, and give them new strength?”

Tobiah the Ammonite, who was beside Sanballat, said, “Even a fox would make their stone wall collapse if it walked on top of what they’re building!”

Nehemiah Overcomes Opposition from Sanballat

Nehemiah prayed, “Our Elohim, hear us. We are despised. Turn their insults back on them, and let them be robbed in the land where they are prisoners. Don’t ignore their guilt, and don’t let their sins disappear from your records. They have insulted you in front of these builders.”

So we rebuilt the wall, which was rebuilt to about half its original height. The people worked with determination.

When Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the people from Ashdod heard that the repair work on the walls of Jerusalem was making progress and that the gaps were being filled in, they became furious. All of them plotted to attack Jerusalem to create confusion. But we prayed to our Elohim and set guards to protect us day and night.

10 Then the people of Judah said, “The work crews are worn out, and there is too much rubble. We can’t continue to rebuild the wall.”

11 Our enemies said, “Before they know what is happening or see a thing, we will be right in the middle of them. We’ll kill them and bring the work to an end.”

12 Jews who were living near our enemies warned us ten times that our enemies would attack us from every direction.[b]

13 That is why I positioned people by their families behind the wall where it was lowest and most exposed. The people were armed with swords, spears, and bows. 14 I looked them over and proceeded to tell the nobles, the leaders, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of our enemies. Remember how great and awe-inspiring Adonay is. Fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

15 When our enemies heard that we knew about their plots and that Elohim had prevented their plans from being successful, we all went back to the work on the wall. Each person performed his own job. 16 From that day on, half of my men worked on the wall, and the other half were wearing body armor and holding spears, shields, and bows. The leaders stood behind all the Judeans 17 who were rebuilding the wall. The workers who were carrying loads did the work with one hand and held their weapons with the other, 18 and each builder had his sword fastened to his side. The man who was supposed to sound the trumpet alarm was with me. 19 I told the nobles, the leaders, and the rest of the people, “So much work has to be done in different places that we are widely separated from one another on the wall. 20 When you hear the trumpet, assemble around me. Our Elohim will fight for us!”

21 So we continued to work. Half of us held spears from early dawn until the stars came out. 22 At that time I told the people, “Every man and his servant should stay overnight in Jerusalem so that we can set a guard at night and work during the day.” 23 My brothers, my servants, and the guards assigned to me never changed their clothes. Neither did I. We each kept our weapons at hand.

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 4:1 Nehemiah 4:1–23 in English Bibles is Nehemiah 3:33–4:17 in the Hebrew Bible.
  2. Nehemiah 4:12 Hebrew meaning of this verse uncertain.
Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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]

Footnotes:

  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)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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