Nehemiah 4:15-23

15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
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.[a]

Nehemiah 4:15-23 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO NEHEMIAH 4

This chapter relates, how the Jews, while building, were mocked by their enemies, to which no answer was returned but by prayer to God, and they went on notwithstanding in their work, Ne 4:1-6 and how that their enemies conspired against them, to hinder them by force of arms, Ne 4:7-12 to oppose which, both spiritual and temporal weapons were made use of, so that the work was still carried on, Ne 4:13-23.

Nehemiah 4:15-23 In-Context

13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
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.

Cross References 5

  • 1. S 2 Samuel 17:14; Job 5:12
  • 2. Psalms 149:6
  • 3. S Numbers 10:2
  • 4. Ezekiel 33:3
  • 5. S Exodus 14:14; S Deuteronomy 1:30; Deuteronomy 20:4; Joshua 10:14

Footnotes 1

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