Nehemiah 4:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard that followed me, none of us put off our garments: every one had his weapon on his right side.

World English Bible
So neither I, nor my brothers, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes. Everyone took his weapon to the water.

Young's Literal Translation
and there are none -- I and my brethren and my servants, the men of the guard who are after me -- there are none of us putting off our garments, each hath his vessel of water.

Nehemiah 4:23 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

None of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing - The Hebrew for all this is only אין אנחנו פשטים בגדינו איש שלחו המים ein anachnu poshetim begadeynu ish shilcho hammayim; which Montanus translates, Non nos exuentes vestes nostras, vir missile suum aquas; "We, not putting off our garments, a man his dart to the waters." Of this latter clause what sense can be made? Let us hear what the ancient versions say.

The Vulgate, Unusquisque tantum nudabatur ad baptismum, "Every one stripped himself for the bath."

The Septuagint omit the latter part of this clause, And there was none of us who put off his garments.

The Syriac, "None of us put off his clothes for a month each in his turn.

The Arabic, "Nor did we put off our clothes, but with our arms, at the end of a month."

There is a remarkable reading in one of De Rossi's MSS. אין אנחנו פשטים בגדינו משלחהעל המים, We did not lay aside our garments, but in order to send them to the washing. This is most likely the sense of the place.

It is curious to see how our old versions translate the place.

Coverdale: We put never of our clothes, so much as to wash ourselves. - 1535.

Becke: We put never of our clothes, so muche as to washe ourselves. - 1549.

Cardmarden: We put never of oure clothes no more than the other dyd theyr harnesse, save onely bycause of the water. - 1566.

This shows how all interpreters have been puzzled with this vexatious clause.

The reading from De Rossi's MS., given above, is the most likely to be the true one, because it gives a good sense, which cannot be found in the Hebrew text as it now stands. The general meaning is sufficiently evident; they worked nearly day and night, only had their hours by turns for repose; this did not permit them time sufficient to undress themselves in order to take regular sleep, therefore they only put off their clothes when they were obliged to get them washed.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

So neither I

Nehemiah 5:16 Yes, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither to the work.

Nehemiah 7:2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man...

Judges 9:48 And Abimelech got him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an ax in his hand...

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain...

saving that, etc. or, every one went with his weapon for water

Judges 5:11 They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water...

(The original of this obscure clause is ish shilcho hammayim, which is rendered by Montanus, vir missile suum aquas, 'a man his dart to the waters,' of which it is difficult to make sense. It is wholly omitted by the LXX.; and one of De Rossi's MSS. reads, meshallachah al hammayim, 'in order to send them to the water.')

Discouragements and Courage
'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
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Heathen Plots
[This chapter is based on Nehemiah 6.] Sanballat and his confederates dared not make open war upon the Jews; but with increasing malice they continued their secret efforts to discourage, perplex, and injure them. The wall about Jerusalem was rapidly approaching completion. When it should be finished and its gates set up, these enemies of Israel could not hope to force an entrance into the city. They were the more eager, therefore, to stop the work without further delay. At last they devised a plan
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Nehemiah 4:22
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."

Nehemiah 5:1
Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews.

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