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4. Opposition to Rebuilding

1And it came to pass that when Sanballat heard that we built the wall, he was angry and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. 2And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? shall they be permitted to go on? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, when they are burned? 3And Tobijah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox went up, it would break down their stone wall. -- 4Hear, our God, for we are despised, and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in a land of captivity! 5And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee; for they have provoked the builders. 6But we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together to the half thereof; for the people had a mind to work. 7And it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobijah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being repaired, that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, 8and conspired all of them together to come to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. 9Then we prayed to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. 10And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens faileth, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build at the wall. 11And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come into the midst of them and kill them, and put an end to the work. 12And it came to pass that when the Jews that dwelt by them came and told us so ten times, from all the places whence they returned to us, 13I set in the lower places behind the wall in exposed places, I even set the people, according to their families, with their swords, their spears and their bows. 14And I looked, and rose up, and said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not 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. 15And it came to pass that when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had defeated their counsel, we returned all of us to the wall, every one to his work. 16And from that time forth the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held the spears, and the shields, and the bows, and the corslets; and the captains were behind all the house of Judah. 17They that built on the wall, and they that bore burdens, with those that loaded, wrought in the work with one hand, and with the other they held a weapon. 18And the builders had every one his sword girded by his side, and built. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. 19And I said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and extended, and we are scattered upon the wall, one far from another: 20in what place ye hear the sound of the trumpet, thither shall ye assemble to us; our God will fight for us. 21And we laboured in the work; and half of them held the spears from the rising of the dawn till the stars appeared. 22Likewise at the same time I said to the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and [be for] labour in the day. 23And neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard that followed me, none of us put off our garments: every one had his weapon on his right side.

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The John Calvin commentary does not cover Nehemiah 4.




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