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who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
References for Nehemiah 4:17
and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
References for Nehemiah 4:18
Then 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.
Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
References for Nehemiah 4:20
So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
At 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.”
Neither 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.
References for Nehemiah 4:23
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(New International Version Bible Online)