Nehemiah 4:23

23 Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.a

Read Nehemiah 4:23 Using Other Translations

So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.
So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each kept his weapon at his right hand.
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.

What does Nehemiah 4:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
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.
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