But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah
who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.
All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm.
Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!”
We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard.
I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day.
During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water.