New International Version

Nehemiah 4:1-23

Opposition to the Rebuilding

In Hebrew texts 4:1-6 is numbered 3:33-38, and 4:7-23 is numbered 4:1-17. 1When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, 2and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”

3Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”

4Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. 5Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of4:5 Or have aroused your anger before the builders.

6So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.

7But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

10Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”

11Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”

12Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”

13Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

15When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.

16From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.

19Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

21So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 22At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” 23Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.4:23 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

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Nehemiasʼ Bog 4:1-17

1Men da Sanballat og Tobija så, at arbejdet på muren skred godt frem, og at de gabende huller blev repareret, blev de urolige og sendte bud om det til araberne, ammonitterne og ashdoditterne. 2De dannede en sammensværgelse og lagde planer om at angribe Jerusalem for at sætte en stopper for arbejdet. 3Men vi bad til vores Gud og satte vagtposter ved muren nat og dag.

4Judæerne klagede over, at de, der skulle bære materialerne, var udmattede, og at der var så mange murbrokker, at de ikke kunne komme frem. 5Samtidig planlagde vores fjender et overraskelsesangreb og sagde: „Før de når at se sig om, står vi midt i byen. Så slår vi dem ihjel og sætter en stopper for arbejdet!” 6Men de arbejdere, der boede i de omliggende landsbyer, røbede deres planer og sagde gang på gang: „Fjenderne gør sig klar til at angribe os fra alle sider.”

7Derfor opstillede jeg folkene familie for familie bevæbnet med sværd, spyd og buer bag ved muren på de steder, hvor den var lavest. 8Da jeg så, hvor bange de var, sammenkaldte jeg lederne og folket og holdt en lille tale til dem: „I skal ikke være bange!” sagde jeg. „Husk på, at den almægtige Gud er med os! Så vær ved godt mod og kæmp for jeres slægtninge, sønner, døtre, koner og hjem!”

9Da vores fjender blev klar over, at vi var blevet advaret, og at Gud havde forpurret deres planer om et overraskelsesangreb, vendte vi tilbage til arbejdet på muren. 10Men fra da af arbejdede vi altid i to hold. Mens halvdelen af folket var i gang, stod den anden halvdel sammen med lederne bag ved dem og holdt vagt i fuld rustning, bevæbnet med spyd, skjolde og buer. 11De, der slæbte sten, var også bevæbnet. De brugte den ene hånd til at bære sten og holdt spyddet i den anden. 12De, der byggede på muren, havde deres sværd i bæltet, mens de arbejdede. Hornblæseren holdt sig hele tiden tæt ved mig, parat til at blæse alarm.

13„Det er et omfattende projekt, vi er i gang med,” forklarede jeg folket og deres ledere, „og vi er spredt ud over et stort område. 14Så snart der bliver blæst alarm, skal I straks samle jer der, hvor lyden kommer fra. Så vil vores Gud kæmpe for os!”

15Således arbejdede vi fra daggry til solnedgang, mens halvdelen altid stod vagt. 16Jeg gav ordre til, at alle, der boede uden for muren, skulle overnatte inde i byen, så de og deres tjenestefolk kunne deltage i arbejdet om dagen og holde vagt om natten. 17Både jeg selv og mine folk sov med tøjet på, og vi gik aldrig nogen steder ubevæbnet.4,17 Eller: „Vi slap aldrig vores våben, selv når vi drak vand.” Teksten er uklar.