4 But when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall he grew angry and fell into a great passion and made fun of the Judahites, 2** and said before his brothers and the Samaritan troops “What are those forlorn Judahites doing? will they stone themselves up? will they make sacrifices? will they finish in a day? will they resurrect the stones out of the heaps of earth, burned as they are?” 3** And Tobijah the ʽAmmonite was beside him and said “If they do build, if a fox reaches up it will break a hole in their stone wall.” 4 Hear it, our God, that we were an object of contempt, and bring their taunts back on their own heads, and let them be victims of plunder in a country of foreign servitude, 5 and do not cover up their guilt, and let their sin never be wiped out from before you, because they gave provocation before the builders.
6* But we built the wall, and the whole wall was connected halfway up, because the people’s hearts were in the work. 7* And when Sanballat and Tobijah and the Arabs and ʽAmmonites and Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were mending because the breaches had begun to be stopped, they were very angry 8 and all plotted together to come to make an armed attack on Jerusalem to throw it off its course. 9 But we prayed to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
10* And Judah said “The hod-carrier’s strength is breaking down; and there is a great deal of the rubbish and we cannot be building on the wall.” 11 And our foes said “They will not know nor see till we come in among them and kill them and stop the work.” 12 And when the Judahites that lived next them came in, they said to us ten times from all the places “You should come back to us.” 13* But I stationed the people by clans with their swords, pikes, and bows at places below the space back of the wall, on vacant lots; 14* and I looked them over, and I stood up and said to the nobles and the magnates and the rest of the people “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord, the great and terrible, and fight for your brothers, your sons and daughters, your wives and households.”
15 And when our enemies had heard that we had learned of it and God had balked their scheme, we all went back to the wall, each to his work. 16* And from that day half my men were working on the job and half were holding the pikes and shields and bows and coats of mail behind all the house of Judah 17* that were building on the wall; and those who carried the loads loaded up with one hand working on the job and one holding the throwing-spear; 18 and the builders each had his sword strapped to his waist as they built; and the man to blow the ram-horn was at my side. 19* And I said to the nobles and the magnates and the rest of the people “The work is extensive and there is a great deal of it, and we are far apart on the wall; 20 at whatever place you hear the sound of the ram-horn, gather to us there; our God will fight for us.” 21 And we worked on the job, and half of them held the pikes, from the coming up of the dawn to the coming out of the stars. 22 Also I said to the people at that time “Each one and his man should lodge for the night inside Jerusalem, and be a guard for us through the night and a working force through the day.” 23* And I and my brothers and my men and the men of the guard that had followed me did not take off our clothes; each one’s weapon, the water.