At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem…
I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall.
I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks.
And on that day they offered great sacrifices,
rejoicing because God had given them great joy.
The women and children also rejoiced.
The sound of the rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people…
Nehemiah 12:27, 31, 43, 13:1
So the wall was completed
on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
When all our enemies heard about this,
all the surrounding nations were afraid,
and lost their confidence,
because they realized that this work had been done
with the help of our God.
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
who were building the wall.
Those who carried materials did their work with one hand
and held a weapon in the other,
and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.
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.”
But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs,
the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod
heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s wall had gone ahead
and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
They all plotted together
to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
But we prayed to our God and posted a guard…