Nehemiah 4:23

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.

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 We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard.
22 I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day.
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.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or Each carried his weapon in his right hand. Hebrew reads Each his weapon the water. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.