Nehemiah 4:23

23 We all slept in our clothes - I, my brothers, my workmen, and the guards backing me up. And each one kept his spear in his hand, even when getting water.

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 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F7 Ebr. Concord. Partic. p. 322.

Nehemiah 4:23 In-Context

21 And so we kept working, from first light until the stars came out, half of us holding lances.
22 I also instructed the people, "Each person and his helper is to stay inside Jerusalem - guards by night and workmen by day."
23 We all slept in our clothes - I, my brothers, my workmen, and the guards backing me up. And each one kept his spear in his hand, even when getting water.