We continued to build the wall. All of it was joined together, and it reached half of its intended height because the people were eager to work.
7a But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the people of Ashdod heard that the work on the walls was progressing and the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
They plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to create a disturbance in it.
So we prayed to our God and set a guard as protection against them day and night.
But in Judah it was said, "The carrier's strength is failing, for there is too much rubble. We are unable to rebuild the wall!"
Meanwhile, our enemies were saying: "Before they know or see anything, we can be in their midst and start to kill them. We'll stop the work!"
Now the Jews who were living near them came and said to us again and again,b"You must return to us!"c
So I took up a position in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall in an open area.d Then I stationed the people by families, and they had their swords, spears, and bows.
After reviewing this, I stood up and said to the officials, the officers, and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them! Remember that the LORD is great and awesome! Fight for your families, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses!"
Then our enemies heard that we had found out and that God had spoiled their plans. So we all returned to doing our own work on the wall.