1. Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the residents of Azotus saw that the repair of the wall was advancing, and that we had begun covering the holes.
2. They were greatly enraged, and all of them agreed to attack Jerusalem and humiliate me.
3. So we prayed to our God, and set a guard day and night.
4. The people of Judah said, "The strength of the bearers is already failing, and much debris still remains; we can never rebuild the wall."
5. And our enemies said, "We will take them by surprise before they know it. We will kill them and stop their work."
6. But some Jews who lived with them came to notify us about this. Ten times they said to us, "From all the places where they live, they shall set out against us."
7. So I ordered that people be sta-tioned behind the wall, there in the lowest part. I stationed them by families, with their swords, spears, and bows.
8. They were afraid, but I stood up and said to the nobles, the counselors and the rest of the people, "Remember the Lord, great and magnificent, and fight for your brothers, sons and daughters, wives and homes."
9. When our enemies learned that we had been notified, that God willed that their plans be thwarted, we all returned to the wall, each one to his work.
10. But from that day on, only half of my men worked while the other half, with bows, spears, shields and armor, stood behind all the people of Judah
11. building the wall. The bearers picked up their loads with one hand because they held a weapon with the other hand.
12. Each of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he worked. Beside me was the man assigned to sound the trumpet.
13. I told the nobles, the counselors and the rest of the people, "The extent of the work is great and we are scattered along the wall, far from one another,
14. so when you hear the sound of the horn, come to our aid at once and our God shall fight for us."
15. So we scheduled the work from daybreak till the stars came out, half of us with weapons in hand.
16. I also said to the people, "Everyone shall spend the night within Jerusalem, with his servants. So we may keep guard by night and work by day."
17. Yet my brothers, my men, the men of the guard who followed me, and I did not take off our clothes when we slept. Everyone kept his weapon with him.