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the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said: “What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?' 20 Then answered I them, and said unto them: “The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build; but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

Defending the Ramparts 3

heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 34 And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said: 'What do these feeble Jews? will they restore at will? will they sacrifice? will they make an end this day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?' 35 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said: ‘Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall.' 36 Hear, O our God; for we are despised; and turn back their reproach upon their own head, and give them up to spoiling in a land of captivity; 37 and cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before Thee; for they have vexed Thee before the builders. 38 So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto half the height thereof; for the people had a mind to work.

But it came to pass that, when Sanballat,

4

monites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth; 2 and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jeru. salem, and to cause confusion therein. 3 But we made our prayer unto our God, and set a wątch against them day and night, because of them. 4 And Judah said: “The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.' 5 And our adversaries said: “They shall not know, neither see, till we come into the midst of them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.' 6 And it came to pass that, when the Jews that dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times: 'Ye must return unto us from all places.' 7 Therefore set I in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 8 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people: ‘Be not ye afraid of them; remember the Lord, who is great and awful, and fight for your brethren, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your houses.'

9 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. 10 And it came to pass from that time forth, that half of my servants wrought in the work, and half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

11 They that builded the wall and they that bore burdens

Iaded themselves, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other held his weapon; 12 and the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the horn was by me. 13 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers and to the rest of the people: 'The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another; 14 in what place soever ye hear the sound of the horn, resort ye thither unto us; our God will fight for us.'

15 So we wrought in the work; and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. 16 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people: 'Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labour in the day.' 17 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard that followed me, none of us put off our clothes, every one that went to the water had his weapon.

A Solemn Pledge 10. 29. And the rest of the people, the priests,

the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all they that had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one that had knowledge and understanding; 30 they cleaved to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes; 31 and that we would not give our daughters unto the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons; 32 and if the peoples of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy of them on the sabbath, or on a holy day; and that we would forego the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.

33 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God.

FIRST CHRONICLES

The Builder of God's House

2 And David commanded to gather to22

gether the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God. 3 And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the couplings; and brass in abundance without weight; 4 and cedartrees without number; for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought cedar-trees in abundance to David. 5 And David said: “Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries; I will therefore make preparation for him.' So David prepared abundantly before his death.

6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. 7 And David said to Solomon: ‘My son, as for me, it was in my heart to build a house unto the name of the LORD my God. 8 But the word of the LORD came to me, saying: Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars; thou shalt not build a house unto My name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in My sight. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name; and he shall be to Me for a son, and I will be to him for a father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

11 Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as He hath spoken concerning thee. 12 Only the LORD give thee discretion and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel; that so thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God. 13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou observe to do the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel; be strong, and of good cour. age; fear not, neither be dismayed. 14 Now, behold, in my straits I have prepared for the house of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight, for it is in abundance; timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto. 15 Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all men that are skilful in any man

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