View Nehemiah 4 in the note window.
The enemies scoff, but Nehemiah prays, and continues the work,
ver. 1 - 6.
To frustrate their design, he prays and sets a guard, ver. 7 - 13.
He encourages the workmen, and directs them how to proceed, ver. 14 - 18.
His farther directions, ver. 19 - 23.
2: In a day - Do they intend to begin, and finish the work, all in
one day? For if they spend any long time about it, they cannot think that
we will suffer them to do it. The stones - Will they pick up their broken
stones out of the ruins, and patch them together. Burnt - Which stones
were burnt, and broken, by the Chaldeans when they took the city.
4: A prey - Give them for a prey to their enemies, and let these
carry them into the land of captivity.
5: Cover not - Let their wickedness be in thy sight, so as to bring
down judgments upon them, that either they may be reformed, or others
may be warned by their example. God is said to cover or hide sin when
he forbears to punish it. Provoked thee - They have not only provoked us
builders, but thee also.
6: The half - Unto half its height.
10: Judah - The Jews now dwelling in Judah, some of them
being partly terrified by their enemies, and partly wearied with
continual labour. Rubbish - More than we are able suddenly to remove.
Not able - Being forced to spend our time in removing the rubbish, and
therefore we must desist for a season.
12: By them - Or, among them: whereby they came to the knowledge
of their counsels. Tho' these had not zeal enough to help in the work,
yet they had some concern for their brethren. Ten tribes - Very often, a
certain number for an uncertain. Be upon you - They will invade you every
way, by which we can come to you, or you to us; therefore keep watches on
13: Behind - Within the walls where they were not yet raised to
their due height, and therefore most liable to the enemies assault.
Higher - Upon the tops of the walls where they were finished, and the
towers which were built here and there upon the wall; whence they
might shoot arrows, or throw stones.
14: Looked - He looked up, engaged God for him, and put himself and
his cause under the Divine protection. That was his way, and should be
ours: all his cares, all his griefs, all his fears he spread before God.
Great and terrible - You think your enemies are great and terrible.
But what are they in comparison of God? Especially in opposition to him?
16: From that time forth - Lest our enemies should repeat their
enterprize. My servants - Of my domestick servants, and of my guards.
Held, &c. - All their weapons: they stood in their arms prepared for
battle. Were behind - To encourage them in their work, sometimes to
assist with their own hands: and to direct and command them in case
of an assault. Judah - The Jews who were upon the wall.
17: A Weapon - This is to be taken figuratively; being a proverbial
speech, as when they say of a man pretending kindness, he carries bread
in one hand, and a stone in another. Thus must we work out our
salvation, with the weapons of our warfare in our hands. For in every
duty we must expect opposition from our spiritual enemies.
18: Sounded - To call the people together, when, and where it was
23: Washing - When they were to wash and cleanse themselves from some
impurity, which might befal them or their garments.