1 But when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth and took great indignation and mocked the Jews 2 and said before his brethren and the soldiers of Samaria, "What do these impotent Jews? Shall they be thus suffered? Shall they offer? Shall they perform it in one day? Shall they make the stones whole again that are brought to dust, and burnt?" 3 And Tobiah the Ammonite beside him said, "Let them build on: if a fox go up, he shall break down their stony wall."
4 Hear, O thou our God, how we are despised! Turn their shame upon their own head, that thou mayest give them over into despising in the land of their captivity. 5 Cover not their wickedness, and let not their sin be put out from thy presence: for they have provoked the builders.
6 Yet builded we the wall, and joined it whole together, unto the half height. And the people were well minded to labour.
7 But when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that they had begun to stop up the gaps, they were very wroth; 8 and conspired all together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to make a hindrance therein. 9 Nevertheless, we made our prayer unto our God, and set watchmen upon the wall day and night over against them.
10 And Judah said, "The strength of the bearers is too feeble, and there is too much dust, we are not able to build on the wall."
11 And our adversaries thought, "They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and hinder the work." 12 But when the Jews that dwelt beside them came out of all the places where they dwelt about us, and told us - as good as ten times - 13 then set I the people after their kindreds with their swords, spears, and bows beneath, in the low places behind the wall; 14 and looked, and gat me up, and said unto the chief men and rulers, and to the other people, "Be not ye afraid of them, but think rather upon the great LORD, which ought to be feared; and fight for your brethren, sons, daughters, wives, and houses."
15 Nevertheless, when our enemies heard that we had gotten word of it, God brought their counsel to nought, and we turned all again to the wall, every one unto his labour. 16 And from that time forth it came to pass, that the half part of the young men did the labour, and the other half part held spears, shields, bows, and breastplates: and the rulers stood behind all the house of Judah, 17 which builded on the wall, and bare burdens from those that laded them. With one hand did they the work, and with the other held they their weapon. 18 And everyone that builded, had his sword gird by his side, and so builded they. And the trumpeters stood beside me. 19 And I said unto the principal men, and rulers, and to the other people, "The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. 20 Look in what place now ye hear the noise of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us. Our God shall fight for us, 21 and we will be laboring in the work." And the half part of them held the spears from the morning spring, till the stars came forth. 22 And at the same time said I unto the people, "Every one abide with his servant at Jerusalem, that in the night season we may give attendance to the watch, and to labour on the daytime." 23 As for me and my brethren, and my servants, and the men of the watch behind me, we put never off our clothes, so much as to wash ourselves.