17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,

Read Nehemiah 4:17 Using Other Translations

They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other.
who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.