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The Blue Letter Bible

Nehemiah 4 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Enemies Oppose the Rebuilding
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:1 - [fn]Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews,
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:2 - saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices?[fn] Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?”
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:3 - Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!”
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:4 - Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land!
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:5 - Do not ignore their guilt. Do not blot out their sins, for they have provoked you to anger here in front of[fn] the builders.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:6 - At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:7 - [fn]But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:8 - They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:9 - But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:10 - Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:11 - Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.”
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:12 - The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:13 - So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:14 - Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:15 - When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:16 - But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:17 - who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:18 - All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:19 - Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:20 - When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!”
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:21 - We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:22 - I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day.
Unchecked Copy BoxNeh 4:23 - During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water.[fn]
NLT Footnotes
Verses 4:1-6 are numbered 3:33-38 in Hebrew text.
The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
Or for they have thrown insults in the face of.
Verses 4:7-23 are numbered 4:1-17 in Hebrew text.
The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
Or Each carried his weapon in his right hand. Hebrew reads Each his weapon the water. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

For more information on this translation, see the NLT Preface.

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