1 But it came to pass that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was wroth and took great indignation and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? Is this to be permitted them? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish on time? Will they resurrect the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which were burned? 3 Now Tobiah, the Ammonite, was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox were to go up it, he would 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 their captivity. 5 And do not cover their iniquity, nor let their sin be blotted out from before thee, for they have become angry against the builders.
6 But we built the wall, and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof, for the people were motivated to work.
7 And it came to pass when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabians and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were sound and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth 8 and conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem and to hinder it. 9 Nevertheless, we made our prayer unto our God and set a watch over the builders 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 are not able to build the wall.
11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know or see until we come in the midst among them and slay them and cause the work to cease. 12 But it came to pass, that when the Jews who dwelt among them came, they advised us ten times of all the places from which they would come upon us. 13 Therefore, I set in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I set the people by families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 Then I looked and rose up and said unto the nobles and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, Do not be afraid of them: remember the Lord, who 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 we had understood it, God brought their counsel to nought, and we returned all of us to the wall, each one unto his work. 16 And it came to pass from that time forth that half of the young men wrought in the work, and the other half of them held spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail; and the princes were behind all the house of Judah. 17 Those that built on the wall and those that bore burdens and those that laded wrought with one hand in the work and with the other held a weapon. 18 For the builders, each one had his sword girded by his side, and so they built. And he that sounded the shofar was by me. 19 And I said unto the principals 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 whatever place that you hear the voice of the shofar, join us there; our God shall fight for us. 21 So we laboured in the work, and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared. 22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let each one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that by night they may be a guard to us, and labour by day. 23 So neither I nor my brethren nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us put off our clothes, each one put them off only for washing.