Then I came to 1the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen.
But when 2Sanballat the Horonite and 3Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.
4So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days.
Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode.
I went out by night by 5the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to 6the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem 7that were broken down 8and its gates that had been destroyed by fire.
Then I went on to 9the Fountain Gate and to 10the King's Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass.
Then I went up in the night 11by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned.
And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.
Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in, 12how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer 13suffer derision."
And I told them 14of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, "Let us rise up and build."15So they strengthened their hands for the good work.
But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and 16Geshem the Arab heard of it, 17they jeered at us and despised us and said, "What is this thing that you are doing? 18Are you rebelling against the king?"
Then I replied to them, 19"The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem."