Nehemiah 4:23

23 And I, my brothers,[a] my men, and the guards with me never took off our clothes. Each carried his weapon, even when washing.[b]

Nehemiah 4:23 Meaning and Commentary

Nehemiah 4:23

So neither I, nor my brethren
The nobles and rulers:

nor my servants;
his domestic servants that waited upon him:

nor the men of the guard which followed me;
his bodyguard, which attended him as a commissioner of the king of Persia for state and grandeur:

none of us put off our clothes;
at night when they laid themselves down to sleep, but laid in, them, that they might be ready upon an alarm made:

saving that everyone put them off for washing;
not for common washing, because dirty, but for washing on account of ceremonial uncleanness, which required washing both of bodies and garments, see ( Leviticus 15:5-10 ) , &c. and the Vulgate Latin version expresses it by baptism, as the apostle calls such ceremonial ablutions in ( Hebrews 6:2 ) ( 9:10 ) . It is in the margin of our Bibles, "everyone went with his weapon for water"; when he went to Siloam, or any other place, for water, he took a weapon with him to defend himself upon occasion; which is no bad sense of the words. Noldius F7 renders the words, "everyone with his weapon (and) water"; both were at his bolster, ready, if wanted, see ( 1 Samuel 26:11 1 Samuel 26:12 ) .


F7 Ebr. Concord. Partic. p. 322.

Nehemiah 4:23 In-Context

21 So we continued the work, while half of the men were holding spears from daybreak until the stars came out.
22 At that time, I also said to the people, "Let everyone and his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem, so that they can stand guard by night and work by day."
23 And I, my brothers, my men, and the guards with me never took off our clothes. Each carried his weapon, even when washing.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Neh 1:2
  • [b]. Lit Each his weapon the water; Hb obscure
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