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]

Nehemiah 4:23 in Other Translations

KJV
23 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.
ESV
23 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.
NLT
23 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.
MSG
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.
CSB
23 And I, my brothers, my men, and the guards with me never took off our clothes. Each carried his weapon, even when washing.

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 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
22 At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.”
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.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.