Q S 4:1-23. Opposition. Wrath. Fighting. T 5:1-5. Grievance. T 5:6-19. Redress. S 6:1-14. Opposition. Compromise.
S U1 1-3. Opposition. Wrath and mockery. V1 4,5. Prayer. W1 6. Perseverance. U2 7,8. Opposition. Conspiracy to fight. V2 9. Prayer. W2 10. Despondency. U3 11. Opposition. Hostility. V3 12. Warning. W3 13-23. Encouragement. Sword and towel.
1 And it came to pass, that when Sanballat (see 2:10) heard that we were building the wall, he was wroth (the 3rd form of opposition. See 2:10), and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
2 And he spoke before his brethren and the force of Samaria, and said, "What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify (see Ex. 23:5) themselves? will they sacrifice? (showing that no altar was as yet built or sacrificial worship being carried on) will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?"
3 Now Tobiah (see 2:10) the Ammonite was by him, and he said, "Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall."
4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: (Nehemiah's prayer an echo of Ps. 120; 121; 123:3,4; 124;125; 127; 129. In accord with that dispensation.)
5 And conceal not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before You: for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.
6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
(In Heb. text ch. 4 begins here)
7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be repaired (see 2 Chron. 24:13), then they were very wroth,
8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to cause a miscarriage.
9 Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch (the result of the prayer) against them day and night, because of them.
10 And Judah said, "The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we shall not able to build the wall."
11 And our adversaries said, "They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and suspend the work."
12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt close them came, they said to us ten times (cp. Gen. 31:7), "From all quarters to which you will turn [they will be] upon us."
W3 s 13. Weapons. t 14,15. Encouragement to nobles, &c. u 16-18-. Division of labor and defense. s -18. Trumpets. t 19,20. Encouragement to nobles, &c. u 21-23. Division of labor and guard.
13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
14 And I looked, and rose up, and said to the nobles, and to the rulers (see 2:16), and to the rest of the people, "Be not you afraid of them: remember the LORD, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to naught (cp. Job 5:12. Ps. 33:10), that we returned all of us to the wall, every man to his work.
16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my young men wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
17 They which built on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
18 And the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so built.
And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
19 And I said to the nobles, 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 you hear the sound of the trumpet, resort you there unto us: our God shall fight for us."
21 So we labored in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.
22 Likewise at the same time said I to the people, "Let every one with his servant pass the night within Jerusalem (few, or no homes yet. See 7:4; 13:21), that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labor on the day."
23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard (the Persian guard attached to Nehemiah) which followed me, none of us put off our clothes; each man went with his weapon [and his] water (the water may have been required for making of the mortar), saving that every one put them off for washing.