1 But it came to
pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he
was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria,
and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves?
will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they
revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are
3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that
which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their
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
5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted
out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before
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.
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 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
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 are 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 cause
the work to cease.
12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them
came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye
shall return unto us they will be upon you.
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 unto the nobles, and
to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye 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
unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we
returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.
16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of
my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them
held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons;
and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
17 They which builded 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 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side,
and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
19 And I said unto 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 ye hear the sound of the trumpet,
resort ye thither unto us: 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 till the stars appeared.
22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every
one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night
they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.
23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men
of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes,
saving that every one put them off for washing.
1 And there was
a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren
2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters,
are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat,
3 Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands,
vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the
4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the
king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.
5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children
as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and
our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are
brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to
redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.
6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and
the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of
his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.
8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our
brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will
ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then
held they their peace, and found nothing to answer.
9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk
in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen
10 I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact
of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury.
11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands,
their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the
hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and
the oil, that ye exact of them.
12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing
of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests,
and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this
13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man
from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this
promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the
congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people
did according to this promise.
14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor
in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the
two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve
years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable
unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside
forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule
over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought
we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto
17 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the
Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the
heathen that are about us.
18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six
choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten
days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not
I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon
19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I
have done for this people.
1 Now it came to
pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and
the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall,
and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time
I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)
2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let
us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of
Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great
work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease,
whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered
them after the same manner.
5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the
fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and
Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for
which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their
king, according to these words.
7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at
Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it
be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore,
and let us take counsel together.
8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done
as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.
9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be
weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore,
O God, strengthen my hands.
10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah
the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us
meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let
us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay
thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there,
that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life?
I will not go in.
12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that
he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat
had hired him.
13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so,
and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report,
that they might reproach me.
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to
these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest
of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the
month Elul, in fifty and two days.
16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof,
and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they
were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that
this work was wrought of our God.
17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters
unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.
18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was
the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan
had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.
19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered
my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.