Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem is an enormous task. Nehemiah assigns people their place to work based on where they live and what skills they have. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the sheep gate. They sanctified it, and set up its doors. They sanctified it even to the tower of Hammeah, to the tower of Hananel.
Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests. Certainly Eliashib the high priest wouldn’t have had to do manual labor such as this. Nor would his priestly brethren.
Yet here they are, setting the pace, leading by example, working for the LORD God.
VERSE 2. Next to him the men of Jericho built. Next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.
VERSE 3. The sons of Hassenaah built the fish gate. They laid its beams, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
VERSE 4. Next to them, Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz made repairs. Next to them, Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel made repairs. Next to them, Zadok the son of Baana made repairs.
VERSE 5. Next to them, the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles didn’t put their necks to the Lord’s work.
their nobles. Or “outstanding men” (NAB translation).
to the Lord’s work. Or “the labor asked by their lords” (NAB translation).
VERSE 6. Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the old gate. They laid its beams, and set up its doors, and its bolts, and its bars.
VERSE 7. Next to them, Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, repaired the residence of the governor beyond the River.
VERSE 8. Next to him, Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him, Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs, and they fortified Jerusalem even to the wide wall.
VERSE 9. Next to them, Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs.
VERSE 10. Next to them, Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs across from his house. Next to him, Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs.
VERSE 11. Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hasshub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired another portion, and the tower of the furnaces.
VERSE 12. Next to him, Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters, made repairs.
VERSE 13. Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the valley gate. They built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and one thousand cubits of the wall to the dung gate.
one thousand cubits. A cubit is the length from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow on a man’s arm, or about 18 inches or 46 centimeters.
VERSE 14. Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth Haccherem repaired the dung gate. He built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.
VERSE 15. Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah repaired the spring gate. He built it, and covered it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and the wall of the pool of Shelah by the king’s garden, even to the stairs that go down from David’s city.
VERSE 16. After him, Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth Zur, made repairs to the place opposite the tombs of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the mighty men.
VERSE 17. After him, the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani made repairs. Next to him, Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, made repairs for his district.
the Levites. The Levites join in doing manual labor.
VERSE 18. After him, their brothers, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah made repairs.
VERSE 19. Next to him, Ezer the son of Yeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, repaired another portion, across from the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall.
VERSE 20. After him, Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired another portion, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.
VERSE 21. After him, Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz repaired another portion, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.
the priests. The priests join in doing manual labor.
VERSE 23. After them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs across from their house. After them, Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah made repairs beside his own house.
VERSE 24. After him, Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another portion, from the house of Azariah to the turning of the wall, and to the corner.
VERSE 25. Palal the son of Uzai made repairs opposite the turning of the wall, and the tower that stands out from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs.
VERSE 26. (Now the temple servants lived in Ophel, to the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.)
VERSE 27. After him the Tekoites repaired another portion, over against the great tower that stands out, and to the wall of Ophel.
the priests made repairs. The priests join in doing manual labor.
VERSE 29. After them, Zadok the son of Immer made repairs across from his own house. After him, Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the east gate made repairs.
VERSE 30. After him, Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another portion. After him, Meshullam the son of Berechiah made repairs across from his room.
VERSE 31. After him, Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths to the house of the temple servants, and of the merchants, made repairs opposite the gate of Hammiphkad, and to the ascent of the corner.
VERSE 32. Between the ascent of the corner and the sheep gate, the goldsmiths and the merchants made repairs.
ADDED IN ORTHODOX AND CATHOLIC TRANSLATIONS
VERSE 33. When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and very much incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
Sanballat. In the Book of Nehemiah, he is one of the bad guys.
He ridiculed the Jews. In the course of world history, an evil antisemitic agenda repeats over and over again. In our day, professing Christians are often the worst of the worst when it comes to Antisemitism. Read more »
VERSE 34. saying in the presence of his associates and the troops of Samaria: “What are these miserable Jews trying to do? Will they complete their restoration in a single day? Will they recover these stones, burnt as they are, from the heaps of dust?”
VERSE 35. Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said: “Whatever they are building—if a fox attacks it, it will breach their wall of stones!”
VERSE 36. Hear, our God, how we were mocked! Turn back their reproach upon their own heads and deliver them up as plunder in a land of captivity!
Hear, our God. Nehemiah turns to God in prayer.
VERSE 37. Do not hide their crime and do not let their sin be blotted out in your sight, for they insulted the builders to their faces!
VERSE 38. We, however, continued to build the wall, and soon it was completed up to half its height. The people worked enthusiastically.
The people worked enthusiastically. They work with a will. First, they were determined to keep on working. Second, they were determined to not let divisions crop up between them.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.