Nehemiah 4 is the fourth chapter of the Book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, or the 14th chapter of the book of Ezra-Nehemiah in the Hebrew Bible, which treats the book of Ezra and the book of Nehemiah as one book. Jewish tradition states that Ezra is the author of Ezra-Nehemiah as well as the Book of Chronicles, but modern scholars generally accept that a compiler from the 5th century BCE (the so-called "Chronicler") is the final author of these books. This chapter recounts how the Jews had to militarize the building of the wall due to the constant threat from their enemies.
Book of Nehemiah in the Roman (Sixtine) Septuagint (1587).
|Book||Book of Nehemiah|
|Christian Bible part||Old Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||16|
There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BCE. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; B; 4th century), Codex Sinaiticus (S; BHK: S; 4th century), and Codex Alexandrinus (A; A; 5th century).
- But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
On discovering 'the systematic design of refortifying Jerusalem', the Samaritan faction represented by Sanballat showed their bitter animosity to the Jews and in heaping scoffs and insults, as well as all sorts of disparaging words, their feelings of hatred and contempt increased.
- Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, "Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall".
The language about a fox on the wall is "troublesome". Some writers see the term as a reference to a siege weapon. H. G. M. Williamson sees it as a sarcastic reference to a small animal being able to break apart what the Jews are putting together.
Nehemiah's response to the attack (4:4–6)Edit
Refusing to engage in a war of words or retaliatory actions, Nehemiah prayed to God, then went to work.
- So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
- "All the wall was joined together unto the half thereof": that is, 'the whole continuous line of wall was completed to half the contemplated height'.
With each step forward, Nehemiah faced obstacles to complete the wall, but he persevered with prayer and hard work. In this section he described the plot (verses 7–9), discouragement (10), threats and rumors (11–12) against him, but then he found his resolve (13–15) and executed his contingency plans (16–23).
- 7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
- 8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
The Jews were completely encircled by the enemies: the Samaritans (Sanballat) in the north, the Ammonites (Tobiah) in the east, the Arabians (Geshem) in the south, and the Ashdodites in the east.
- Halley 1965, p. 236.
- Grabbe 2003, p. 313.
- Babylonian Talmud Baba Bathra 15a, apud Fensham 1982, p. 2
- Fensham 1982, pp. 2–4.
- Smith-Christopher 2007, p. 319.
- Note [a] on Nehemiah 4:1 in NIV
- Würthwein 1995, pp. 36-37.
- P. W. Skehan (2003), "BIBLE (TEXTS)", New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2 (2nd ed.), Gale, pp. 355–362
- Würthwein 1995, pp. 73-74.
- Larson, Dahlen & Anders 2005, pp. 169-170.
- Nehemiah 4:1: KJV or Nehemiah 3:33 Hebrew Bible
- Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, Andrew Robert; Brown, David. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible, "Nehemiah 4". 1871.
- Nehemiah 4:3: New King James Version
- Smith-Christopher 2007, p. 313.
- Williamson, H. G. M. (1987), Ezra, Nehemiah, Waco, Texas, p. 214
- Larson, Dahlen & Anders 2005, pp. 171.
- Nehemiah 4:6 KJV or Nehemiah 3:38 Hebrew Bible
- Exell, Joseph S.; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice (Editors). On "Nehemiah 4". In: The Pulpit Commentary. 23 volumes. First publication: 1890. Accessed 24 April 2019.
- Nehemiah 4:7–8 KJV or Nehemiah 4:1–2 Hebrew Bible
- McConville 1985, p. 91.
- Fensham, F. Charles (1982). The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. New international commentary on the Old Testament (illustrated ed.). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0802825278. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- Grabbe, Lester L. (2003). "Nehemiah". In Dunn, James D. G.; Rogerson, John William (eds.). Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (illustrated ed.). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 320–328. ISBN 978-0802837110. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- Halley, Henry H. (1965). Halley's Bible Handbook: an abbreviated Bible commentary (24th (revised) ed.). Zondervan Publishing House. ISBN 0-310-25720-4.
- Larson, Knute; Dahlen, Kathy; Anders, Max E. (2005). Anders, Max E. (ed.). Holman Old Testament Commentary - Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. Holman Old Testament commentary. Volume 9 (illustrated ed.). B&H Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0805494693. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- Levering, Matthew (2007). Ezra & Nehemiah. Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible. Brazos Press. ISBN 978-1587431616. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- McConville, J. G. (1985). Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. The daily study Bible : Old Testament. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0664245832. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- Smith-Christopher, Daniel L. (2007). "15. Ezra-Nehemiah". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 308–324. ISBN 978-0199277186. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Würthwein, Ernst (1995). The Text of the Old Testament. Translated by Rhodes, Erroll F. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-0788-7. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
- Blenkinsopp, Joseph, "Ezra-Nehemiah: A Commentary" (Eerdmans, 1988)
- Blenkinsopp, Joseph, "Judaism, the first phase" (Eerdmans, 2009)
- Coggins, R.J., "The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah" (Cambridge University Press, 1976)
- Ecker, Ronald L., "Ezra and Nehemiah", Ecker's Biblical Web Pages, 2007.
- Grabbe, L.L., "Ezra-Nehemiah" (Routledge, 1998)
- Grabbe, L.L., "A history of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period, Volume 1" (T&T Clark, 2004)
- Throntveit, Mark A. (1992) "Ezra-Nehemiah". John Knox Press