1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.
6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.
12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.
13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the LORD, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.
16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
17 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.
18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
19 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.
20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.
21 So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.
22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.
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.
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The book of Nehemiah is a historical book in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. It is believed to have been written by Nehemiah himself, who was a Jewish leader and cupbearer to King Artaxerxes I of Persia. The book is set during the time when the Jewish people had been exiled to Babylon but were now allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their city and the temple.
Chapter 4 of the book of Nehemiah continues the story of the rebuilding of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah. In the previous chapters, Nehemiah had received permission from King Artaxerxes to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and had arrived in Jerusalem to begin the work. However, the Jews faced opposition from their enemies who did not want to see Jerusalem restored. In this chapter, we see how Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem faced this opposition and overcame it with determination and faith in God.
1. Opposition and Challenges
One of the main themes of chapter 4 is the opposition and challenges faced by Nehemiah and the Jews in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. The enemies of the Jews, Sanballat and Tobiah, were determined to stop the rebuilding project and they used various tactics to discourage and intimidate the Jews. They mocked and ridiculed them, and even plotted to attack them and stop the work by force. This theme of opposition and challenges is a common theme throughout the book of Nehemiah, as the Jews faced many obstacles in their efforts to rebuild Jerusalem.
2. Unity and Cooperation
Another important theme in this chapter is the unity and cooperation of the Jewish people in the face of opposition. Despite the challenges they faced, the Jews remained united and worked together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. In verse 6, it is mentioned that “the people had a mind to work” and they all worked together to complete the task. This unity and cooperation were crucial in overcoming the obstacles they faced and completing the rebuilding project.
3. Faith and Trust in God
The book of Nehemiah is also a testament to the faith and trust the Jewish people had in God. Throughout the book, we see how Nehemiah prayed to God for strength and guidance, and how the people turned to God in times of difficulty. In chapter 4, when the Jews faced threats and attacks from their enemies, they turned to God in prayer and trusted in His protection. This theme of faith and trust in God is a constant thread throughout the entire book of Nehemiah.
Chapter 4 of the book of Nehemiah has several important lessons and meanings that are still relevant to us today.
1. Overcoming Challenges and Opposition
One of the main lessons we can learn from this chapter is how to overcome challenges and opposition in our lives. Just like Nehemiah and the Jews faced opposition from their enemies, we also face challenges and obstacles in our lives. However, this chapter teaches us that with determination, unity, and faith in God, we can overcome any challenge that comes our way. The story of the rebuilding of Jerusalem is a powerful reminder that no obstacle is too great to overcome with God on our side.
2. The Power of Unity and Cooperation
Another important lesson from this chapter is the power of unity and cooperation. The Jews were able to complete the rebuilding project because they worked together and remained united in the face of opposition. In today’s society, we can often achieve more when we work together rather than trying to do things alone. This chapter reminds us of the importance of unity and cooperation in achieving our goals and overcoming challenges.
3. Faith and Trust in God
The book of Nehemiah is a testament to the power of faith and trust in God. In chapter 4, we see how the Jews turned to God in prayer and trusted in His protection when they faced threats and attacks from their enemies. This chapter teaches us the importance of having faith in God and trusting in His plans, even when we face difficulties and challenges. It is a reminder that with God on our side, we can overcome any obstacle.
Chapter 4 of the book of Nehemiah is a significant chapter in the story of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. It highlights the challenges and opposition faced by Nehemiah and the Jews, but also shows how they overcame these obstacles through unity, faith, and trust in God. This chapter teaches us valuable lessons about overcoming challenges in our own lives and the power of unity, cooperation, and faith in God. It is a powerful reminder that with God on our side, nothing is impossible.