The Workmen Guard against the Adversaries
4 1 And it cometh to pass, when Sanballat hath heard that we are building the wall, that it is displeasing to him, and he is very angry and mocketh at the Jews, 2 and saith before his brethren and the force of Samaria, yea, he saith, 'What 'are' the weak Jews doing? are they left to themselves? do they sacrifice? do they complete in a day? do they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish?—and they burnt!' 3 And Tobiah the Ammonite 'is' by him and saith, 'Also, that which they are building—if a fox doth go up, then it hath broken down their stone wall.' 4 Hear, O our God, for we have been despised; and turn back their reproach on their own head, and give them for a spoil in a land of captivity; 5 and do not cover over their iniquity, and their sin from before Thee let not be blotted out, for they have provoked to anger—over-against those building. 6 And we build the wall, and all the wall is joined—unto its half, and the people have a heart to work.
7 And it cometh to pass, when Sanballat hath heard, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, that lengthening hath gone up to the walls of Jerusalem, that the breeches have begun to be stopped, then it is very displeasing to them, 8 and they conspire, all of them together, to come in to fight against Jerusalem, and to do to it injury. 9 And we pray unto our God, and appoint a watch against them, by day and by night, because of them. 10 And Judah saith, 'The power of the burden-bearers hath become feeble, and the rubbish 'is' abundant, and we are not able to build on the wall.' 11 And our adversaries say, 'They do not know, nor see, till that we come in to their midst, and have slain them, and caused the work to cease.' 12 And it cometh to pass, when the Jews have come who are dwelling near them, that they say to us ten times from all the places whither ye return—'they are' against us. 13 And I appoint at the lowest of the places, at the back of the wall, in the clear places, yea, I appoint the people, by their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I see, and rise up, and say unto the freemen, and unto the prefects, and unto the rest of the people, 'Be not afraid of them; the Lord, the great and the fearful, remember ye, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.' 15 And it cometh to pass, when our enemies have heard that it hath been known to us, and God doth frustrate their counsel, and we turn back, all of us, unto the wall, each unto his work;
16 yea, it cometh to pass, from that day, half of my servants are working in the business, and half of them are keeping hold of both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the heads 'are' behind all the house of Judah. 17 The builders on the wall, and the bearers of the burden, those lading, 'each' with one of his hands is working in the business, and one is laying hold of the missile. 18 And the builders 'are' each with his sword, girded on his loins, and building, and he who is blowing with a trumpet 'is' beside me. 19 And I say unto the freemen, and unto the prefects, and unto the rest of the people, 'The work is abundant, and large, and we are separated on the wall, far off one from another; 20 in the place that ye hear the voice of the trumpet thither ye are gathered unto us; our God doth fight for us.' 21 And we are working in the business, and half of them are keeping hold of the spears, from the going up of the dawn till the coming forth of the stars. 22 Also, at that time I said to the people, 'Let each with his servant lodge in the midst of Jerusalem, and they have been to us by night a guard, and by day 'for' the work:' 23 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.
The Payment of Interest Abolished
5 1 And there is a great cry of the people and their wives, concerning their brethren the Jews, 2 yea, there are who are saying, 'Our sons, and our daughters, we—are many, and we receive corn, and eat, and live.' 3 And there are who are saying, 'Our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses, we are pledging, and we receive corn for the famine.' 4 And there are who are saying, 'We have borrowed money for the tribute of the king, 'on' our fields, and our vineyards; 5 and now, as the flesh of our brethren 'is' our flesh, as their sons 'are' our sons, and lo, we are subduing our sons and our daughters for servants, and there are of our daughters subdued, and our hand hath no might, and our fields and our vineyards 'are' to others.'
6 And it is very displeasing to me when I have heard their cry and these words, 7 and my heart reigneth over me, and I strive with the freemen, and with the prefects, and say to them, 'Usury one upon another ye are exacting;' and I set against them a great assembly, 8 and say to them, 'We have acquired our brethren the Jews, those sold to the nations, according to the ability that 'is' in us, and ye also sell your brethren, and they have been sold to us!' and they are silent, and have not found a word. 9 And I say, 'Not good 'is' the thing that ye are doing; in the fear of our God do ye not walk, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies? 10 And also, I, my brethren, and my servants, are exacting of them silver and corn; let us leave off, I pray you, this usury. 11 Give back, I pray you, to them, as to-day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive-yards, and their houses, and the hundredth 'part' of the money, and of the corn, of the new wine, and of the oil, that ye are exacting of them.' 12 And they say, 'We give back, and of them we seek nothing; so we do as thou art saying.' And I call the priests, and cause them to swear to do according to this thing; 13 also, my lap I have shaken, and I say, 'Thus doth God shake out every man, who doth not perform this thing, from his house, and from his labour; yea, thus is he shaken out and empty;' and all the assembly say, 'Amen,' and praise Jehovah; and the people do according to this thing.
14 Also, from the day that he appointed me to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the thirty and second year of Artaxerxes the king—twelve years—I, and my brethren, the bread of the governor have not eaten: 15 the former governors who 'are' before me have made themselves heavy on the people, and take of them in bread and wine, besides in silver forty shekels; also, their servants have ruled over the people—and I have not done so, because of the fear of God. 16 And also, in the work of this wall I have done mightily, even a field we have not bought, and all my servants are gathered there for the work; 17 and of the Jews, and of the prefects, a hundred and fifty men, and those coming in unto us of the nations that 'are' round about us, 'are' at my table; 18 and that which hath been prepared for one day 'is' one ox, six fat sheep, also fowls have been prepared for me, and once in ten days of all wines abundantly, and with this, the bread of the governor I have not sought, for heavy is the service on this people. 19 Remember for me, O my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.
The Plots of the Adversaries
6 1 And it cometh to pass, when it hath been heard by Sanballat, and Tobiah, and by Geshem the Arabian, and by the rest of our enemies, that I have builded the wall, and there hath not been left in it a breach, (also, till that time the doors I had not set up in the gates,) 2 that Sanballat sendeth, also Geshem, unto me, saying, 'Come and we meet together in the villages, in the valley of Ono;' and they are thinking to do to me evil. 3 And I send unto them messengers, saying, 'A great work I am doing, and I am not able to come down; why doth the work cease when I let it alone, and have come down unto you?' 4 and they send unto me, according to this word, four times, and I return them 'word' according to this word. 5 And Sanballat sendeth unto me, according to this word, a fifth time, his servant, and an open letter in his hand; 6 it is written in it, 'Among the nations it hath been heard, and Gashmu is saying: Thou and the Jews are thinking to rebel, therefore thou art building the wall, and thou hast been to them for a king—according to these words! 7 And also, prophets thou hast appointed to call for thee in Jerusalem, saying, A king 'is' in Judah, and now it is heard by the king according to these words; and now come, and we take counsel together.' 8 And I send unto him, saying, 'It hath not been according to these words that thou art saying, for from thine own heart thou art devising them;' 9 for all of them are making us afraid, saying, 'Their hands are too feeble for the work, and it is not done;' and now, strengthen Thou my hands.
10 And I have entered the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabeel—and he is restrained—and he saith, 'Let us meet at the house of God, at the inside of the temple, and we shut the doors of the temple, for they are coming in to slay thee—yea, by night they are coming in to slay thee.' 11 And I say, 'A man such as I—doth he flee? and who as I, that doth go in unto the temple, and live?—I do not go in.' 12 And I discern, and lo, God hath not sent him, for in the prophecy he hath spoken unto me both Tobiah and Sanballat hired him, 13 so that he 'is' an hireling, that I may fear and do so, and I had sinned, and it had been to them for an evil name that they may reproach me. 14 Be mindful, O my God, of Tobiah, and of Sanballat, according to these his works, and also, of Noadiah the prophetess, and of the rest of the prophets who have been making me afraid.
15 And the wall is completed in the twenty and fifth of Elul, on the fifty and second day; 16 and it cometh to pass, when all our enemies have heard, and all the nations who are round about us see, that they fall greatly in their own eyes, and know that by our God hath this work been done. 17 Also, in those days the freemen of Judah are multiplying their letters going unto Tobiah, and those of Tobiah are coming in unto them; 18 for many in Judah are sworn to him, for he 'is' son-in-law to Shechaniah son of Arah, and Jehohanan his son hath taken the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechiah; 19 also, his good deeds they have been saying before me, and my words they have been taking out to him; letters hath Tobiah sent to make me afraid.