Nehemiah Chapter 4 to 5 : American Standard Version
1But it came to pass that, when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? 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 rubbish, seeing they are burned? 3Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they are building, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall. 4Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn back their reproach upon their own head, and give them up for a spoil in a land of captivity; 5and 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. 6So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto half the height thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
7But it came to pass that, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth; 8and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein. 9But we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. 10And 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. 11And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come into the midst of them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. 12And it came to pass that, when the Jews that dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times from all places, Ye must return unto us. 13Therefore set I in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I set there the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14And 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, who is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
15And 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. 16And it came to pass from that time forth, that half of my servants wrought in the work, and half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. 17They all builded the wall and they that bare burdens laded themselves; every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other held his weapon; 18and the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. 19And 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: 20in what place soever ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us; our God will fight for us.
21So we wrought in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. 22Likewise 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 may labor in the day. 23So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard that followed me, none of us put off our clothes, every one went with his weapon to the water.
5 Nehemiah 5
1Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. 2For there were that said, We, our sons and our daughters, are many: let us get grain, that we may eat and live. 3Some also there were that said, We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses: let us get grain, because of the dearth. 4There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute upon our fields and our vineyards. 5Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already: neither is it in our power to help it; for other men have our fields and our vineyards.
6And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7Then I consulted with myself, and contended with the nobles and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I held a great assembly against them. 8And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, that were sold unto the nations; and would ye even sell your brethren, and should they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found never a word. 9Also I said, The thing that ye do is not good: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies? 10And I likewise, my brethren and my servants, do lend them money and grain. I pray you, let us leave off this usury. 11Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 12Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do, even as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they would do according to this promise. 13Also I shook out my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that performeth not this promise; even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the assembly said, Amen, and praised Jehovah. And the people did according to this promise.
14Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. 15But the former governors that were before me were chargeable unto the people, and took of them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God. 16Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work. 17Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, a hundred and fifty men, besides those that came unto us from among the nations that were round about us. 18Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this I demanded not the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. 19Remember unto me, O my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.