{2} BIBLE: Nehemiah Chapter 4 -Headline “A Man In Labor” [Battle Tactics]

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Nehemiah 4

  • When Igor Sikorsky was 12, his parents told him that competent authorities had already proved human flight impossible. He went on to build the first helicopter. In his American plant, he posted this sign:

According to recognized aerotechnical tests, the bumblebee cannot fly because of the shape and weight of his body in relation to the total wing area. The bumblebee does not know this, so he goes ahead and flies anyway

Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, by Paul Lee Tan [Assurance Publishers], p. 945.

The Wall Defended Against Enemies

Nehemiah 4:1 But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?”
  • When an enemy becomes furious and indignant their tactics includes mocking:
  • Compare this with the leaders of Jesus’ day:
    • Matthew 21:15
      But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant
    • Matthew 27:40
      “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
Nehemiah 4: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.”
Nehemiah 4:Hear, O our God (‘ĕlōhîm), for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.
  • The tactics of Nehemiah was not to fear or seek physical revenge but to listen and follow the instructions of the Lord.
Nehemiah 4:So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
  • As the people were united, so also the wall came together without a breach.
Nehemiah 4:Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps (Lit. breaks) were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God (‘ĕlōhîm), and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.
  • The tactics of the enemy is to conspire together.
  • Compare this with the leaders of Jesus’ day:
    • John 9:22 for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.
    • Matthew 26:4 and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.
Nehemiah 4:10 Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”
Nehemiah 4:11 And our adversaries said, “They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.”
  • The tactics of the enemy is a sneak attack.
  • Compare this with the leaders of Jesus’ day:
    • Luke 22:53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Nehemiah 4:12 So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, “From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us.”
  • Ten times they were warned. The trumpet must have been sounded ten times for them to gather.
  • An interesting side note: At the feast of trumpets, the last ten trumpets are sounded. The Feast of Trumpets is compared to the rapture when, at the last trump, the believers who are alive are taken to meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:17
  • If a comparison is made, they labored through all trumpets until the last warning was sounded and their labor was finished.
Nehemiah 4:13 Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord (‘ăḏōnāy), great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
  • Nehemiah’s response: Do not fear – remember the Lord.
Nehemiah 4:15 And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God (‘ĕlōhîm) had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. 16 So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind (supported) all the house of Judah. 17 Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. 18 Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.
  • The one who sounded the trumpet was beside Nehemiah.
  • Let the one who sounds the trumpet be beside you.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
  • Carry a sword at your side; the Word of God.
Nehemiah 4:19 Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God (‘ĕlōhîm) will fight for us.”
Nehemiah 4:21 So we labored in the work, and half of the men (Lit. them) held the spears from daybreak until the stars appeared. 22 At the same time I also said to the people, “Let each man and his servant stay at night in Jerusalem, that they may be our guard by night and a working party by day.” 23 So neither I, my brethren, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me took off our clothes, except that everyone took them off for washing.
  • I Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

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