16 But from that day on, only half of my workers continued in the construction, while the other half held the spears, shields, bows, and body armor. Meanwhile, the leaders positioned themselves behind the whole house of Judah,
17 who were building the wall. The carriers did their work with a load in one hand and a weapon in the other.
18 The builders built with swords fastened in their belts, and the trumpeter stayed by my side.
19 Then I said to the officials, the officers, and the rest of the people, "The work is very spread out, and we are far apart from each other along the wall.
20 When you hear the trumpet sound, come and gather where we are. Our God will fight for us!"
21 So we continued the work, with half of them holding spears from dawn until dusk.
22 I also said to the people at that time, "Let every man and his servant spend the night in Jerusalem so that we can guard during the night and work during the day."
23 Neither I nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor my bodyguards took off our clothes, even when they sent for water.