1 Now it happened that, when Sanballat had heard that we were building the wall, he was very angry. And having been moved exceedingly, he ridiculed the Jews.
2 And he said, before his brothers and a crowd of the Samaritans: “What are the foolish Jews doing? Can it be that the Gentiles will allow them? Will they sacrifice and finish in one day? Do they have the ability to make stones out of piles of dust that have been burned up?”
3 Then too, Tobiah, an Ammonite, his assistant, said: “Let them build. When the fox climbs, he will leap over their stone wall.”
4 Listen, O our God, for we have become an object of contempt. Turn their reproach upon their own head, and grant that they may be despised in a land of captivity.
5 May you not conceal their iniquity, and may their sin not be wiped away, before your face, for they have ridiculed those who are building.
6 And so we built the wall, and we joined it together, even to the unfinished portion. And the heart of the people was stirred up for the work.
7 Now it happened that, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabs, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites had heard that the walls of Jerusalem had been closed, and that the breaches had begun to be repaired, they were exceedingly angry.
8 And they all gathered together, so that they might go forth and fight against Jerusalem, and so that they might prepare ambushes.
9 And we prayed to our God, and we stationed guards upon the wall, day and night, against them.
10 Then Judah said: “The strength of those who carry has diminished, and the amount of material is very great, and so we will not be able to build the wall.”
11 And our enemies said: “Let them neither know, nor realize, until we arrive in their midst, and kill them, and cause the work to cease.”
12 Now it happened that, on ten occasions, some Jews arrived who were living near them, from all the places from which they came to us, and they told us this.
13 So I stationed the people in order, in places behind the wall, all around it, with their swords, and lances, and bows.
14 And I gazed around, and I rose up. And I said to the nobles, and to the magistrates, and to the rest of the common people: “Do not be afraid before their face. Remember the great and terrible Lord, and fight on behalf of your brothers, your sons and your daughters, and your wives and your households.”
15 Then it happened that, when our enemies had heard that it had been reported to us, God defeated their counsel. And we all returned to the walls, each one to his own work.
16 And it happened that, from that day, half of their young men were doing the work, and half were prepared for war with lances, and shields, and bows, and armor. And the leaders were behind them in all the house of Judah.
17 As for those building the wall, and carrying the burdens, and setting things in place: one of his hands was doing the work, and the other was holding a sword.
18 For each one of the builders was girded with a sword at the waist. And they were building, and they were sounding a trumpet beside me.
Rebuilding the Jerusalem Wall
19 And I said to the nobles, and to the magistrates, and to the rest of the common people: “The work is great and wide, and we are separated on the wall far from one another.
20 At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rush to that place for us. Our God will fight on our behalf.
21 And so let us accomplish the work. And let one half part of us hold spears, from the ascent of dawn until the stars come out.”
22 Also at that time, I said to the people: “Let each one with his servant remain in the midst of Jerusalem. And let us take turns, throughout the night and day, in doing the work.”
23 But I and my brothers, and my servants, and the guards who were behind me, we did not take off our clothes; each one only removed his clothes to wash.