歷史順序讀經表 : 第240天
尼希米記 5:14 Chinese New Version (CNVT)
尼希米記 2:7-20 Chinese New Version (CNVT)
7 我又問王：“王若是認為好，請賜給我詔書，通知河西那邊的省長准我經過，直至我到達猶大； 8 又賜詔書，給看守王的園林的亞薩，吩咐他給我木材，建造聖殿的營樓大門的橫梁，以及建造城牆和我要入住的房屋。”因為我的 神施恩的手幫助我，王就賜給我這一切。
9 於是我到了河西那邊的省長那裡去，把王的詔書交給他們；王又派了軍長和馬兵護送我。 10 和倫人參巴拉和作臣僕的亞捫人多比雅聽見有人來到，要為以色列求利益，他們就非常惱怒。
11 我到了耶路撒冷，在那裡停留了三天。 12 我在夜間起來，和幾個人一起出去，我沒有告訴任何人我的 神使我定意要為耶路撒冷作的事，除了我所騎的一頭牲口以外，沒有帶著別的牲口。 13 我夜間出了谷門，向著龍泉走去，到了糞門，視察耶路撒冷破壞了的城牆和被火焚毀的城門。 14 我又往前走，到了泉門和王池，因為地方不夠讓我騎著牲口過去， 15 我只得在夜間沿溪而上，視察城牆，然後轉回，經過谷門，回到城裡。 16 沒有一個官長知道我去過甚麼地方，作了甚麼事。我也一直沒有告訴猶大人、或祭司、或貴胄、或官長，或其餘作工的人。
17 後來我對他們說：“你們都看見我們遭遇的患難：耶路撒冷成了荒蕪之地，城門被火焚毀，你們都來吧！讓我們重建耶路撒冷的城牆，免得我們再受凌辱。” 18 我告訴他們，我的 神施恩的手怎樣幫助我，以及王對我所說的話；他們就說：“我們要起來建造！”於是他們奮勇著手作這善工。 19 但和倫人參巴拉和作臣僕的亞捫人多比雅，以及阿拉伯人基善聽見了，就譏笑我們，藐視我們，說：“你們在幹甚麼？你們要背叛王嗎？” 20 我回答他們說：“天上的 神必使我們成功；我們是他的僕人，我們要起來建造，但你們在耶路撒冷無分、無權，無人記念。”
尼希米記 3:1-32 Chinese New Version (CNVT)
3 那時，大祭司以利亞實起來，和他一起作祭司的眾兄弟都起來，重建了羊門；他們裝上門扇，就把它分別為聖，又建造城牆，直到哈米亞城樓和哈楠業城樓，把城分別為聖； 2 接著的一段由耶利哥人建造；再接著的一段由音利的兒子撒刻建造。
3 哈西拿的子孫建造魚門，他們安置橫梁，裝上門扇、門插和門閂。 4 接著的一段由哈哥斯的孫子、烏利亞的兒子米利末修築；再接著的一段由米示薩別的孫子、比利迦的兒子米書蘭修築；再接著的一段由巴拿的兒子撒督修築。 5 接著這一段的是由提哥亞人修築；但是他們的貴族不願肩負他們的主的工作。
6 巴西亞的兒子耶何耶大和比所玳的兒子米書蘭修築古門；他們安置橫梁，裝上門扇、門插和門閂。 7 接著的一段由基遍人米拉提、米崙人雅頓、基遍人和河西那邊省長所管轄的米斯巴人修築。 8 再接著的一段由金匠哈海雅的兒子烏薛修築。接著這一段的是由作香料的哈拿尼雅修築。他們修葺耶路撒冷的城牆，直到寬牆。 9 接著的一段由管理半個耶路撒冷的區長，戶珥的兒子利法雅修築。 10 再接著的一段由哈路抹的兒子耶大雅修築，就是他自己房屋對面的那段。接著這一段的是由哈沙尼的兒子哈突修築。 11 哈琳的兒子瑪基雅和巴哈．摩押的兒子哈述修築另一段城牆和爐樓。 12 接著的一段由管理半個耶路撒冷的區長哈羅黑的兒子沙龍和他的女兒們修築。 13 哈嫩和撒挪亞城的居民修築谷門。他們重建那門，裝上門扇、門插和門閂；又修築城牆四百四十公尺，直至糞門。 14 糞門是由管理伯．哈基琳的區長，利甲的兒子瑪基雅修築；他重建那門，裝上門扇、門插和門閂。 15 管理米斯巴的區長各荷西的兒子沙崙修築泉門。他重建那門，加蓋門頂，裝上門扇、門插和門閂；又重建靠近王園的西羅亞池的城牆，直到從大衛城下來的臺階。 16 下一段由管理半個伯．夙的區長，押卜的兒子尼希米修築，直到大衛墓地的對面，又到人工池和勇士之家。 17 再下一段由利未人巴尼的兒子利宏修築；接著的一段由管理半個基伊拉的區長哈沙比雅為他本區修築。 18 下一段由他們的兄弟，管理另一半基伊拉的區長，希拿達的兒子賓內（按照《馬索拉文本》的大部分抄本，“賓內”作“巴瓦伊”，大概是手民之誤；兩者在原文非常相似，現參照其他抄本和古譯本翻譯；參24節）修築。 19 管理米斯巴的區長耶書亞的兒子以謝修築接著的一段，對著軍械庫的斜坡、城牆轉角的地方。 20 下一段，就是薩拜的兒子巴錄竭力修築的另一段，從城牆轉角的地方，直到大祭司以利亞實住宅的門口。 21 再下一段，就是哈哥斯的孫子、烏利亞的兒子米利末修築的另一段，從以利亞實住宅的門口，直到以利亞實住宅的盡頭。 22 這一段之後是由住在約旦河平原的祭司修築。 23 下一段是由便雅憫和哈述，修築他們自己房屋對面的那段。再下一段由亞難尼的孫子、瑪西雅的兒子亞撒利雅，修築他自己的房屋旁邊的那段。 24 這一段之後是希拿達的兒子賓內修築的另一段，從亞撒利雅的房屋，直到城牆的轉角，就是城角的地方。 25 烏賽的兒子巴拉修築對著城牆的轉角的地方，以及王宮突出高聳的城樓靠近護衛院的一段。下一段由巴錄的兒子毘大雅修築。 26 居住在俄斐勒的殿役，修築直到東面水門對面和突出的城樓那一段牆。 27 再下一段，就是由提哥亞人修築的另一段，從那突出來的大城樓對面，直到俄斐勒的城牆。
28 從馬門往上的一段，祭司們各人修築自己房屋對面的城牆。 29 下一段由音麥的兒子撒督修築自己房屋對面的那段。再下一段由看守東門示迦尼的兒子示瑪雅修築。 30 這一段之後是由示利米雅的兒子哈拿尼雅和薩拉的第六子哈嫩修築的另一段，下一段就是比利迦的兒子米書蘭修築自己住宅對面的那一段。 31 再下一段由金匠瑪基雅修築，直到殿役和商人的房屋，對著哈米弗甲門，直到城的角樓。 32 金匠和商人修築城的角樓和羊門之間的那一段。
尼希米記 4:1-23 Chinese New Version (CNVT)
4 當參巴拉聽見我們正在重建城牆，就很忿怒，非常惱恨，並且譏諷猶大人。 2 在他的兄弟和撒瑪利亞的軍隊面前，說：“這些軟弱的猶大人在作甚麼呢？想自己修築城牆嗎？想要獻祭嗎？想要在一天之內完成嗎？想要使廢土堆中被火燒過的石頭復活嗎？”3 亞捫人多比雅在參巴拉旁邊說：“這些人建造的，只要一隻狐狸走上去，石牆就崩塌。”
4 “我們的 神啊，求你垂聽，我們被藐視，求你使他們的毀謗歸到他們頭上，使他們在被擄之地成為掠物。 5 不要遮蔽他們的罪孽，也不要從你面前塗抹他們的罪惡，因為他們在這些建造的人面前惹你發怒。” 6 這樣，我們重建城牆，把全部城牆連接起來，城牆達到一半的高度，因為眾人都全心作工。（本章第1~6節《馬索拉文本》為3:33~38）
7 當參巴拉、多比雅、阿拉伯人、亞捫人、亞實突人聽見耶路撒冷城牆重修工程仍然進行，已經堵塞城牆的缺口，就非常忿怒。（本節在《馬索拉文本》為4:1） 8 他們就一同計劃陰謀要來攻擊耶路撒冷，製造混亂。 9 所以我們向我們的 神禱告，又因他們的緣故，設立守衛，日夜防備他們。 10 猶大人說：“搬運的人氣力已經衰弱，但瓦礫仍多，我們不能再建城牆了！” 11 同時我們的敵人說：“趁著他們不知道，還未看見之前，我們就進入他們中間，殺死他們，使那工程停止。” 12 住在他們附近的一些猶大人，也曾十次前來通知我們說：“他們將從各方上來攻擊你們。”（或譯：“他們十次從各方來對我們說：‘你們來到我們這裡吧！’”本節頗殘缺，意義難確定。） 13 所以我分派眾人站崗，在低窪或高處，在城牆後隱蔽處或空曠的地方，叫他們按著家族，帶著刀、槍和弓。 14 我巡視之後，就起來，對貴族、官長和其餘的人民說：“不要怕他們，要記得主是偉大可畏的，要為你們的兄弟、兒女、妻子和你們的家爭戰。”
15 我們的仇敵既然聽見我們知道了這陰謀， 神也破壞了他們的計謀，就不敢來了。我們全都回到城牆那裡，各人回到原來的工作崗位。 16 從那天起，我的僕人一半工作，一半緊握著槍、盾牌、弓和盔甲。眾領袖都站在猶大全家的後面。 17 那些建造城牆，搬運重物的，都是一隻手作工，一隻手緊握兵器。 18 建造的人，都腰間佩著刀來建造；吹號角的人在我旁邊。 19 我對貴族、官長和其餘的人民說：“這工程浩大，範圍廣闊；我們在城牆上彼此相隔很遠。 20 所以你們無論在甚麼地方，一聽見號角聲，就要集合到我們那裡來。我們的 神必為我們爭戰。”
21 我們就這樣作工；一半人緊握著槍，從黎明直到星宿出現的時候。 22 那時，我又對眾人說：“各人和他的僕人都要在耶路撒冷城中過夜，這樣他們可以在夜間作我們的守衛，日間工作。” 23 這樣，我與我的兄弟、我的僕人和跟隨我的人，都不脫衣服，各人帶自己的兵器去打水（“各人帶自己的兵器去打水”原文意思不明確，或譯：“各人時常右手拿著自己的兵器”）。
尼希米記 5:1-13 Chinese New Version (CNVT)
5 那時，民眾和他們的妻子大聲呼冤，控告自己的同胞猶大人。 2 有些人說：“我們和兒女人口眾多，給我們五穀餬口，可以存活。” 3 有些人說：“我們抵押了自己的田地、葡萄園和房屋，為要在饑荒中買到五穀。” 4 有些人說：“我們為了要借錢向王納稅，只好抵押了我們的田地和葡萄園。 5 雖然我們的身體與我們同胞的身體一樣，我們的兒女與他們的兒女也相同，可是我們卻要強迫自己的兒女去作僕婢，而且我們的女兒有些已經作了奴婢，我們卻無能為力，因為我們的田地和葡萄園已經屬於別人了。”
6 我聽見他們的哀叫和所講的這些事，就十分忿怒。 7 我心中籌算一番以後，就譴責貴族和官長，對他們說：“你們各人向自己的同胞貸款，竟然索取高利！”於是我召開大會攻擊他們。 8 我對他們說：“我們已盡了我們的能力，把那些賣了給外族人的同胞猶大人買贖回來，而你們還想要出賣你們的同胞，好讓我們再把他們買回來嗎？”他們都默不作聲，無話可說。 9 我又說：“你們這事作得不對。你們豈不應懷著敬畏我們 神的心行事為人，免遭我們的仇敵外族人的毀謗嗎？ 10 現在我和我的兄弟，以及我的僕人要把銀錢和五穀借給他們。讓我們大家都放棄放債取利吧！ 11 請你們今天就把他們的田地、葡萄園、橄欖園、房屋，以及你們向他們索取的利息：百分之一的利錢、五穀、新酒和新油，都歸還給他們。” 12 他們就說：“我們必定歸還，不再向他們要求利息了，你怎麼說，我們願意照著你說的去行。”我就把祭司們召了來，叫眾人起誓必照著這話去行。 13 我抖著胸前的衣襟說：“不履行這話的，願 神也是這樣抖他離開他的家和產業，直到抖空。”全體會眾都說：“阿們！”又讚美耶和華。眾人都照著這話去行。
尼希米記 5:15-19 Chinese New Version (CNVT)
15 在我們以先的前任省長，重壓人民，每日都向他們索取糧食和酒，以及四百五十六克銀子。連他們的僕人也轄制人民，但我因為敬畏 神，就不這樣行。 16 我堅持只重修城牆的工程；所以我們不購置田產，我所有的僕人也都聚集在那裡工作。 17 在我桌上吃飯的，有一百五十個猶大人和官長，還有那些從我們四圍外族來到我們這裡的人；18 每天預備牛一頭、肥羊六隻，又為我預備一些飛禽；每十天供應大量各類的酒。雖然這樣，我仍然沒有索取省長的俸祿，因為這些人服役已經負擔沉重。 19 “我的 神啊，求你記念我，記念我為這人民所作的一切事，施恩給我。”
尼希米記 6:1-14 Chinese New Version (CNVT)
6 參巴拉、多比雅、阿拉伯人基善和我們其餘的仇敵聽見我重建好了城牆，城牆再沒有破口。不過那時我還沒有在城門上裝上門扇。 2 參巴拉和基善就差派人來見我說：“請你來，我們在阿那平原上的一個村莊會面吧！”其實他們想要謀害我。 3 於是我差派使者去見他們說：“我正在進行大工程，不能去。我怎能放下這工程，去見你們，使這工程停頓呢？” 4 他們連續四次這樣差派人來見我，我都這樣回覆他們。 5 參巴拉第五次這樣差派他的僕人來見我，手裡拿著一封沒有封口的信。 6 信上寫著：“在各民族中有這樣的傳說，善基（原文作“迦施慕”，是“基善”的另一種寫法；參2:19）也說：‘你和猶大人陰謀造反，所以你才重建城牆，據說，你還想要作他們的王。’ 7 你又設立先知在耶路撒冷指著你宣講，說：‘猶大有王了。’現在這些話必會傳到王那裡。所以請你來，我們一起商量商量吧。” 8 我就回覆他，說：“你說的這些事不是事實，都是你從心裡捏造出來的。” 9 其實他們眾人是在恐嚇我們，心裡說：“他們的手必軟弱，不能再作這工程，不會完工了！”現在，堅固我的手。
10 我來到米希大別的孫子、第來雅的兒子示瑪雅的家裡；那時，他閉門不出，他說：“我們在 神的殿裡，在殿的大堂中會面吧！我們要把殿門關起來，因為他們要來殺你，在夜間來殺你。” 11 我回答：“像我這樣的人，怎可以逃跑呢？哪有像我這樣的人，進入聖殿裡去保全自己的性命呢？我決不進去！” 12 我看出 神並沒有差派他，是他自己宣講這話攻擊我，因為多比雅和參巴拉收買了他。 13 他被收買，是要使我懼怕，照著他說的去作，以致犯罪，他們就破壞我的名聲來毀謗我。 14 “我的 神啊，求你記住多比雅和參巴拉，按著他們所行的報應他們；也要報應女先知挪亞底和其餘的先知，因為他們恐嚇我。”
Nehemiah 5:14New International Version (NIV)
14 Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor.
Nehemiah 2:7-20New International Version (NIV)
7 I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah?8 And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me,the king granted my requests. 9 So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.
10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.
Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls
11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.
13 By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal[a] Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; 15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.
17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.
They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”
20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”
Nehemiah 3:1-32 New International Version (NIV)
Builders of the Wall
3 Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. 2 The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them.
3 The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. 4 Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs.5 The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.[a]
6 The Jeshanah[b] Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.7 Next to them, repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah—Melatiah of Gibeon and Jadon of Meronoth—places under the authority of the governor of Trans-Euphrates. 8 Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. 9 Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section. 10 Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him. 11 Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.
13 The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place. They also repaired a thousand cubits[c] of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.
14 The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Rekab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.
15 The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Kol-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam,[d] by the King’s Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David. 16 Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs[e] of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.
17 Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani. Beside him, Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district. 18 Next to him, the repairs were made by their fellow Levites under Binnui[f]son of Henadad, ruler of the other half-district of Keilah. 19 Next to him, Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section, from a point facing the ascent to the armory as far as the angle of the wall. 20 Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 Next to him, Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired another section, from the entrance of Eliashib’s house to the end of it.
22 The repairs next to him were made by the priests from the surrounding region.23 Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house. 24 Next to him, Binnui son of Henadad repaired another section, from Azariah’s house to the angle and the corner, 25 and Palal son of Uzai worked opposite the angle and the tower projecting from the upper palace near the court of the guard.Next to him, Pedaiah son of Parosh 26 and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower. 27 Next to them, the men of Tekoa repaired another section, from the great projecting tower to the wall of Ophel.
28 Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house.29 Next to them, Zadok son of Immer made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shekaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs. 30 Next to him, Hananiah son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. Next to them, Meshullam son of Berekiah made repairs opposite his living quarters. 31 Next to him, Malkijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the temple servants and the merchants, opposite the Inspection Gate, and as far as the room above the corner; 32 and between the room above the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs.
Nehemiah 4:1-23 New International Version (NIV)
Opposition to the Rebuilding
4 [a]When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, 2 and in the presence of his associatesand the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”
4 Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. 5 Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of[b] the builders.
6 So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fightfor us!”
21 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 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.” 23 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.[c]
Nehemiah 5:1-13 New International Version (NIV)
Nehemiah Helps the Poor
5 Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews.2 Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.”
3 Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.”
4 Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards. 5 Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.”
6 When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. 7 I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, “You are charging your own people interest!” So I called together a large meeting to deal with them8 and said: “As far as possible, we have bought back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!” They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say.
9 So I continued, “What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies? 10 I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest!11 Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them—one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.”
12 “We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.”
Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised. 13 I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, “In this way may God shake out of their house and possessions anyone who does not keep this promise. So may such a person be shaken out and emptied!”
At this the whole assembly said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord. And the people did as they had promised.
Nehemiah 5:15-19 New International Version (NIV)
15 But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels[a] of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. 16 Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we[b] did not acquire any land.
17 Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. 18 Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.
19 Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.
Nehemiah 6:1-14 New International Version (NIV)
Further Opposition to the Rebuilding
6 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages[a] on the plain of Ono.”
But they were scheming to harm me; 3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” 4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
5 Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter 6 in which was written:
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem[b] says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king 7 and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”
8 I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
9 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”
11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.
14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me.