King James 2000
Opposition to the Rebuilding
1But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we built the wall, he was angry, and felt great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
2And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they finish in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
3Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox goes up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
4Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a spoil in a land of captivity:
5And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before you: for they have provoked you to anger before the builders.
6So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half 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 walls of Jerusalem were being repaired, and that the breaks began to be closed, then they were very angry,
8And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
9Nevertheless 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 failing, 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 in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.
12And it came to pass, that when the Jews who dwelt near them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places where you shall return unto us they will be upon you.
13Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people according to 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 afraid of them: remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, 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 nothing, that we returned all of us to the wall, everyone unto his work.
16And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants worked in the work, and the other half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the armor; and the rulers supported all the house of Judah.
17They who built on the wall, and they that bore burdens, so burdened themselves, everyone with one of his hands worked in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
18For the builders, everyone had his sword girded by his side, and so built. 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 whatever place therefore you hear the sound of the trumpet, come you there unto us: our God shall fight for us.
21So we labored 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 labor during the day.
23So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.