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front

intro

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Introduction to Nehemiah

Part 1: General Introduction

Outline of Nehemiah

  1. Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem and inspects the walls (1:1-2:20)
  2. The people rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (3:1-4:23)
  3. Nehemiah helps the poor and provides an unselfish example (5:1–19)
  4. Enemies try to slow down the work, but the people finish the walls (6:1–19)
  5. Nehemiah lists the people who returned from exile (7:6–73)
  6. Ezra reads the law of Yahweh and the people respond (8:1-10:39)
  7. Nehemiah lists the people who lived in and around Jerusalem (11:1–36)
  8. Nehemiah lists the priests and Levites (12:1–26)
  9. The people dedicate the walls of Jerusalem (12:27–47)
  10. Nehemiah corrects problems (13:1–31)

What is the Book of Nehemiah about?

A Jew named Nehemiah lived in Persia and worked for King Artaxerxes. Nehemiah received a report that the walls around Jerusalem were broken down. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to help rebuild the city walls. The walls around the city helped protect the city against armies and invaders.

How should the title of this book be translated?

The Book of Nehemiah is named for a Jewish leader named Nehemiah. Translators can use the traditional title “Nehemiah.” Or they may choose a more complete title, such as “The Book about Nehemiah.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

Part 2: Important Religious and Cultural Concepts

Why were Israelites not allowed to marry people from other nations?

Foreigners worshiped many false gods. Yahweh did not allow his people to marry foreigners. He knew this would cause the people of Israel to worship false gods. (See: [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/falsegod]])

Did all of the people of Israel return to their homeland?

Many of the Jews remained in Babylon instead of returning to the Promised Land. Many of them were successful in Babylon and desired to remain there. However, this meant that they were unable to worship Yahweh in Jerusalem as their ancestors had done. (See: [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/promisedland]])

Part 3: Important Translation Issues

How does the Book of Nehemiah use the term “Israel”?

The Book of Nehemiah uses the term “Israel” to refer to the kingdom of Judah. It was mostly made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The other ten tribes had ended their loyalty to any kings descended from David. God had allowed the Assyrians to conquer the other ten tribes and take them into exile around 275 years earlier. As a result, they mixed with other people groups and did not return to the land of Israel. (See: [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/israel]])

Are the events in the Book of Nehemiah told in the order that they actually happened?

Some of the events in the Book of Nehemiah are told in an order that is different than the order in which they actually happened so that they events can be grouped by theme. Translators should pay attention to notes that signal when events are probably out of chronological order.

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intro

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Nehemiah 1 General Notes

Structure and formatting

“The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:”

This phrase serves as an introduction to this entire book.

Special concepts in this chapter

Repentance

This chapter is a single long record of Nehemiah’s repentance on behalf of the people of Israel. (See: [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/repent]])

Other possible translation difficulties in this chapter

I

In this book, the word “I” always refers to Nehemiah.

Israel

In this book, “Israel” probably does not refer to the northern kingdom of Israel. Neither does it likely refer to the twelve tribes of Israel. Instead, it is probably a reference to Israel in the sense of the surviving people group from the southern kingdom of Judah. At Nehemiah’s time, these would be the people from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin who survived the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 BC and the exile of many of them to Babylon. The other tribes had already been scattered throughout the entire Near East where most of them lost their identity as Israel.

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bi9h

translate-names

נְחֶמְיָ֖ה בֶּן־חֲכַלְיָ֑ה

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Nehemiah, the son of Hakaliah

Nehemiah is the name of a man, and Hakaliah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

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1

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abc1

writing-newevent

וַיְהִ֤י

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Now it happened

This is a common way of beginning a historical story. Use a natural way of beginning a story about something that actually happened. Alternate translation: “My story begins” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/writing-newevent]])

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1

1

qd3e

translate-hebrewmonths

בְחֹֽדֶשׁ־כִּסְלֵיו֙

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in the month of Kislev

Kislev is the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-hebrewmonths]])

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figs-explicit

שְׁנַ֣ת עֶשְׂרִ֔ים

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in the twentieth year

This is referring to the number of years that Artaxerxes had been reigning as king. You can include this information if you want to make this clear. Most scholars consider this to be the year 445 BC. Alternate translation: “in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, King of Persia” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

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1

1

abc3

figs-metonymy

בְּשׁוּשַׁ֥ן הַבִּירָֽה

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in Susa the citadel

A citadel is a fortified castle or palace, usually inside a city. In this case, the city in which this palace was located was also called Susa, because the city was associated with the palace. Since this was where the kings of Persia lived, it was the capital city of their empire. Alternate translation: “the capital city of Susa” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

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translate-names

בְּשׁוּשַׁ֥ן

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in Susa

This was the name of a royal city of the Persian kings. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

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g6dl

translate-unknown

הַבִּירָֽה

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the citadel

This means a “castle” or “palace” or “stronghold,” usually inside a city, where a king would live. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

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f2ab

translate-names

חֲנָ֜נִי

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Hanani

This is the name of a man. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

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l6cw

חֲנָ֜נִי אֶחָ֧ד

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one of my brothers

The term brother is often used figuratively in this book, but here it most likely means that Hanani was Nehemiah’s biological brother.

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figs-gendernotations

ה֥וּא וַאֲנָשִׁ֖ים

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he and men

This was a delegation that had come from one Jewish community to visit another Jewish community in another part of the world. So it’s possible that it included women as well as men. Alternate translation: “along with some other people” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-gendernotations]])

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lg14

translate-names

מִֽיהוּדָ֑ה

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from Judah

Judah was formerly the southern kingdom of the Israelites. It was now a Persian province. Alternate translation: “the province of Judah” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

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abc9

figs-parallelism

הַיְּהוּדִ֧ים הַפְּלֵיטָ֛ה אֲשֶֽׁר־נִשְׁאֲר֥וּ מִן־הַשֶּׁ֖בִי

1

the Jews who escaped, who were left behind from the captivity

These two phrases mean the same thing. Nehemiah uses them together for clarity to describe one particular group of people, and perhaps also to express his particular concern for them. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “the Jews who had escaped the exile” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

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q7zi

figs-explicit

הַיְּהוּדִ֧ים הַפְּלֵיטָ֛ה אֲשֶֽׁר־נִשְׁאֲר֥וּ מִן־הַשֶּׁ֖בִי

1

the Jews who escaped, who were left behind from the captivity

These two phrases refer to the same group of people. This could mean: (1) the few Jews who were taken as exiles to Babylon but who later were able to return and live in Jerusalem or (2) the few Jews who had escaped from those who were trying to take them into exile in Babylon and so remained in Jerusalem. It is probably best to translate this in a way that can include both groups. Alternate translation: “the Jews who had escaped the exile and who remained in Jerusalem” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

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figs-abstractnouns

הַשֶּׁ֖בִי

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the captivity

Captivity is an abstract noun that refers to the Jews being taken away from their homeland. Judah had been conquered by the Babylonians about 150 years before this. At that time, the Babylonians took many people away from Judah and relocated them to different parts of their empire. About 50 years later, the Persian Empire conquered Babylon and so the Babylonian empire became the Persian empire. The Jews who had been captured by Babylon now lived in Persia, although some had since returned to Judah. You can translate the idea of captivity with a phrase such as “the time when the Jews were taken away” or “the time when soldiers forced many Jews to go to Babylon” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

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ab13

figs-explicit

וְעַל־יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם

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and about Jerusalem

Jerusalem had been the capital city of the kingdom of Judah. Nehemiah was asking specifically about the physical condition of the buildings and walls in the city, in addition to asking about the welfare of the Jewish community in Judah. Alternate translation: “about the condition of Jerusalem” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

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1

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igf2

figs-parallelism

הַֽנִּשְׁאָרִ֞ים אֲשֶֽׁר־נִשְׁאֲר֤וּ מִן־הַשְּׁבִי֙

1

the ones left behind, who were left behind from the captivity

These two statements mean similar things. Nehemiah says the same thing twice, in slightly different ways, to show his concern for this group. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “the Jews who escaped the exile and remained” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

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1

3

y1zg

figs-metonymy

בַּמְּדִינָ֔ה

1

in the province

Here province refers to Judah as an administrative district within the Persian Empire. Hanani is describing Judah by referring to something associated with it, its status as a province. Alternate translation: “in the province of Judah” or “in Judah” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

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1

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ab15

figs-doublet

בְּרָעָ֥ה גְדֹלָ֖ה וּבְחֶרְפָּ֑ה

1

in great evil and in reproach

Difficulty and reproach mean similar things. Hanani uses them together to emphasize what a desperate situation the people are in. You do not need to repeat both words in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “in a perilous situation” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

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1

3

ab17

figs-abstractnouns

בְּרָעָ֥ה גְדֹלָ֖ה וּבְחֶרְפָּ֑ה

1

in great evil

The abstract noun difficulty refers to a situation that is very hard for the people to live in. It describes a situation that is dangerous and insecure for the people in it. You can translate this idea with an adjective such as “bad.” Alternate translation: “in a very bad situation” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

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1

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ab19

figs-abstractnouns

וּבְחֶרְפָּ֑ה

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and in reproach

Reproach is an abstract noun that describes how other people would see the situation of the Jews. The situation would lead them to say bad things about them. You can translate this idea with a verb such as “mock.” Alternate translation: “and people are mocking them.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

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1

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pk3f

figs-activepassive

וְחוֹמַ֤ת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֨ם֙ מְפֹרָ֔צֶת וּשְׁעָרֶ֖יהָ נִצְּת֥וּ בָאֵֽשׁ

1

the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire

You can say this with an active form, and you can say who did the action. Alternate translation: “armies have broken open the wall of Jerusalem and have set its gates on fire” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

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1

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ab21

figs-explicit

וְחוֹמַ֤ת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֨ם֙ מְפֹרָ֔צֶת וּשְׁעָרֶ֖יהָ נִצְּת֥וּ בָאֵֽשׁ

1

the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire

The implication is that the people are now defenseless. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “The people living there have no protection.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

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ab23

נִצְּת֥וּ בָאֵֽשׁ

1

burned with fire

If saying that something is burned with fire is redundant in your language, you can just say, completely burned. Alternate translation: “burned down”

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ab25

writing-newevent

וַיְהִ֞י

1

And it happened that

Nehemiah uses this phrase to introduce the next episode in his story. You do not need to represent it this way in your translation, but use a natural way to introduce a new episode in the story. Alternate translation: “So the next thing I did” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/writing-newevent]])

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ab27

figs-metonymy

כְּשָׁמְעִ֣י ׀ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה

1

as soon as I heard these words

Here words refers to the things that were described by the words. Alternate translation: “after hearing about these things” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

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ab29

translate-symaction

יָשַׁ֨בְתִּי֙ וָֽאֶבְכֶּ֔ה

1

I sat down, and I wept

Sitting down likely means that Nehemiah stopped going about his usual business because he was so overcome by grief. Alternate translation: “I could do nothing else but grieve” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-symaction]])

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ab31

figs-idiom

וָאֶתְאַבְּלָ֖ה יָמִ֑ים

1

I mourned for days

This means that Nehemiah kept on grieving. He did not get over being upset. The term “days” here suggests “many days” and it is a figurative expression for “a long time.” Alternate translation: “I could not stop mourning for a long time.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

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ab33

translate-symaction

צָם֙ וּמִתְפַּלֵּ֔ל

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fasting and praying

Fasting means going without food. This was something that Jews often did in connection with prayer. It allowed them to concentrate on their prayers, and it showed how important those prayers were. Alternate translation: “I went without food, and I prayed” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-symaction]])

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ab35

figs-metonymy

וּמִתְפַּלֵּ֔ל לִפְנֵ֖י

1

and praying before the face of

Here face is a metonym for the action of seeing, which is a figurative way of referring to a person’s notice or attention to something. Nehemiah is saying that he prayed in order to bring these matters to God’s notice or attention. Alternate translation: “and I prayed to” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

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אֱלֹהֵ֥י הַשָּׁמָֽיִם

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the God of heaven

Alternate translation: “God, who is in heaven”

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ab39

וָאֹמַ֗ר

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Then I said

Here Nehemiah tells what he prayed. Alternate translation: “Then I prayed”

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ab41

figs-exclamations

אָֽנָּ֤א

1

Ah!

Nehemiah uses this word to call on God with strong feeling. Alternate translation: “O” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-exclamations]])

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5

pf2l

translate-names

יְהוָה֙

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Yahweh

This is the name of God that he revealed to his people in the Old Testament. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

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5

ab43

figs-you

אֱלֹהֵ֣י הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם

1

the God of heaven

Since Nehemiah is addressing God directly, you can use “you” forms in your translation if that is natural. They should be singular but also respectful. Alternate translation: “you are the God who is in heaven” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-you]])

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ab45

figs-doublet

הָאֵ֥ל הַגָּד֖וֹל וְהַנּוֹרָ֑א

1

the great and fearsome God

Great and fearsome mean similar things. Nehemiah uses them together to emphasize how much respect God deserves. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. However, there is a slight difference in meaning, and you could also bring that out in your translation. “Great” refers to how powerful God is objectively. “Fearsome” reflects how people should respond to God’s greatness subjectively. They should “fear” God. This does not mean that they should be afraid of him, but that they should show him respect and reverence. Alternate translation: “the great and awesome God” or “the God who deserves total respect” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

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ab47

figs-parallelism

שֹׁמֵ֤ר הַבְּרִית֙ וָחֶ֔סֶד

1

who keeps the covenant and covenant faithfulness

Covenant and covenant faithfulness mean similar things. Nehemiah says the same thing twice, in slightly different ways, to emphasize how certain it is that God will keep his promises. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. However, there is a slight difference in meaning, and you could bring that out in your translation even if you combine the phrases. The “covenant” is God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants. “Covenant faithfulness” is a character quality of God. He is inwardly disposed to keep all of his promises, and so he always does so faithfully. Therefore, you could say something like, “Because of who you are, you always keep your promises faithfully.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

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ab49

figs-parallelism

לְאֹהֲבָ֖יו וּלְשֹׁמְרֵ֥י מִצְוֺתָֽיו

1

to those who love him and to those who keep his commandments

Nehemiah is not describing two different groups. These phrases mean similar things. The repetition is used for clarity and emphasis. Nehemiah says the same thing twice, in slightly different ways, to express that those who love God show this by keeping his commandments. You can translate this so that it is clear that these words describe one group. Alternate translation: “those who love you and keep your commandments” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

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zc64

figs-123person

לְאֹהֲבָ֖יו וּלְשֹׁמְרֵ֥י מִצְוֺתָֽיו

1

to those who love him and to those who keep his commandments

Since Nehemiah is speaking to Yahweh, the pronouns “him” and “his” can be translated as “you” and “your.” Alternate translation: “who love you and keep your commandments” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

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ab51

figs-parallelism

תְּהִ֣י נָ֣א אָזְנְךָֽ־קַשֶּׁ֣בֶת וְֽעֵינֶ֪יךָ פְתֻוּח֟וֹת

1

Please let your ear be attentive and your eyes opened

These two phrases mean similar things. Nehemiah says the same thing twice, in slightly different ways, to urge God to pay attention to him. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine these phrases. Alternate translation: “pay attention to me,” otherwise “please listen to me and look at me.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

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ab53

figs-metonymy

אָזְנְךָֽ־קַשֶּׁ֣בֶת

1

your ear be attentive

This request for God’s ear to be attentive refers figuratively to the action of listening. In this context, Nehemiah is asking God to listen to his prayer, with the intention that God would do something about the bad situation in Jerusalem. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

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g947

figs-metonymy

וְֽעֵינֶ֪יךָ פְתֻוּח֟וֹת

1

and your eyes opened

This request for God’s eyes to be open refers figuratively to the action of seeing. Seeing is a metaphor meaning knowledge, perception, notice, attention, or judgment. In this case, Nehemiah is asking God to pay attention both to him and to the problem in Jerusalem. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

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qjf3

figs-123person

תְּפִלַּ֣ת עַבְדְּךָ֡

1

the prayer of your servant

Nehemiah uses the word servant to refer to himself. This is how a person would address a superior in order to show humility and respect. Alternate translation: “my prayer” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

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ab55

figs-metonymy

מִתְפַּלֵּ֨ל לְפָנֶ֤יךָ

1

am praying before your face

Here face is a metonym for the action of seeing, which is figurative way of referring to a person’s notice or attention to something. Nehemiah is repeating the fact that he is praying in order to bring these matters to God’s notice or attention. Alternate translation: “praying to you” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

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NEH

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ab57

figs-idiom

הַיּוֹם֙

1

today

This does not necessarily mean on this particular day, but at this time. Alternate translation: “right now” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

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v8gx

figs-merism

הַיּוֹם֙ יוֹמָ֣ם וָלַ֔יְלָה

1

day and night

When Nehemiah says that he has prayed both during the day and during the night, he means that he has also prayed at all times in between, that is, constantly. However, he does not mean that he has prayed non-stop all day long and all night long, without doing any other activities such as sleeping or eating. Alternate translation: “constantly,” otherwise “during the day and at night” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-merism]])

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ab59

figs-gendernotations

בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל

1

the sons of Israel

Here sons figuratively means descendants. Alternate translation: “on behalf of the people of Israel” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-gendernotations]])

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ab61

figs-metaphor

עֲבָדֶ֑יךָ

1

your servants

In this context, the word servants refers to the special role that the people of Israel had in the world as a model community of God’s followers. Alternate translation: “your chosen people” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

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ab63

figs-gendernotations

וּמִתְוַדֶּ֗ה עַל־חַטֹּ֤אות בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר חָטָ֣אנוּ לָ֔ךְ

1

confessing on account of the sins of the sons of Israel that we have sinned against you

Here again sons means descendants and the phrase refers to the people of Israel. Alternate translation: “I must confess the sins that we, the people of Israel, have committed against you” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-gendernotations]])

52

NEH

1

6

bxj6

figs-metonymy

וַאֲנִ֥י וּבֵית־אָבִ֖י חָטָֽאנוּ

1

Even I and the house of my father, we have sinned

Among the Israelites, the expression father’s house or house of the father originally described an extended-family group who lived together. It later came to be used more generally to refer to a larger clan within a tribe. In this expression, the word house figuratively describes all the people descended from a particular person. The term views all of those descendants as if they were one household living together. However, since Nehemiah is stressing his sense of personal responsibility here and identifying closely with the people in this group, he may be using the term in its original sense to refer to his nearest relatives. Alternate translation: “Both I and my family have also sinned” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

53

NEH

1

7

ab65

figs-parallelism

חֲבֹ֖ל חָבַ֣לְנוּ לָ֑ךְ

1

With extreme corruption we have acted corruptly against you

The repetition here is used for emphasis. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. You can combine them into one phrase, with a word like very to convey emphasis. Alternate translation: “We have acted very corruptly toward you” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

54

NEH

1

7

ryci

figs-abstractnouns

חֲבֹ֖ל חָבַ֣לְנוּ לָ֑ךְ

1

With extreme corruption we have acted corruptly against you

You can translate the idea of the abstract noun corruption with a verb such as sinned. Alternate translation: “We have sinned very much against you” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

55

NEH

1

7

ab67

figs-doublet

אֶת־הַמִּצְוֺ֗ת וְאֶת־הַֽחֻקִּים֙ וְאֶת־הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֔ים

1

the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments

These three words mean basically the same thing. Nehemiah uses the repetition to emphasize how comprehensively the Israelites have disobeyed what God commanded them through Moses. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine them into a single phrase. Alternate translation: “the law of Moses” otherwise “the commands and rules and laws” (Note: A doublet can involve the use of more than two words.) (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

56

NEH

1

7

brz7

figs-explicit

אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתָ אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֥ה עַבְדֶּֽךָ

1

that you commanded Moses, your servant

Moses was the great leader who brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt centuries before and gave them God’s law. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “that you gave us many years ago through your servant Moses.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

57

NEH

1

8

pv64

figs-idiom

זְכָר־נָא֙

1

Please remember

Here remember is an idiom that means to think about someone and consider what action you can take on their behalf. Nehemiah is not suggesting that God has forgotten the promise he made to Moses. Alternate translation: “Please think about” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

58

NEH

1

8

y5jp

figs-yousingular

הַדָּבָ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֛יתָ אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֥ה עַבְדְּךָ֖

1

the word that you commanded Moses, your servant

The pronouns you and your refer to God and so are singular. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-yousingular]])

59

NEH

1

8

ab69

הַדָּבָ֔ר

1

the word

This refers to a promise that God made while giving the law to the people of Israel through Moses. Alternate translation: “the promise”

60

NEH

1

8

b6qh

figs-you

אַתֶּ֣ם תִּמְעָ֔לוּ

1

If you yourselves act unfaithfully

The pronouns you and yourselves refer to the Israelite people, and so they are plural. Alternate translation: “If you Israelites” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-you]])

61

NEH

1

8

ab71

figs-metaphor

אַתֶּ֣ם תִּמְעָ֔לוּ

1

If you yourselves act unfaithfully

Here infidelity in marriage is used as a figurative description of the people of Israel not keeping God’s commandments. Alternate translation: “If you Israelites do not keep my commandments” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

62

NEH

1

8

evf5

figs-explicit

אָפִ֥יץ אֶתְכֶ֖ם בָּעַמִּֽים

1

I myself will scatter you among the peoples

The implication is that God would do this to punish the Israelites for breaking his commandments. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “as a punishment, I will take you from your land and make you live among the other nations” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

63

NEH

1

9

dqn5

figs-you

וְשַׁבְתֶּ֣ם אֵלַ֔י וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם֙ מִצְוֺתַ֔י וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם אִם־יִהְיֶ֨ה נִֽדַּחֲכֶ֜ם

1

But if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, although your banished ones are

The pronouns you and your refer to the Israelite people, so they are plural. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-you]])

64

NEH

1

9

ab75

figs-metaphor

וְשַׁבְתֶּ֣ם אֵלַ֔י וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם֙ מִצְוֺתַ֔י וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם אִם־יִהְיֶ֨ה נִֽדַּחֲכֶ֜ם

1

But if you return to me

Return is a figurative way of saying “become loyal again.” Alternate translation: “If you become loyal to me again” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

65

NEH

1

9

ab77

figs-parallelism

וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם֙ מִצְוֺתַ֔י וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם

1

and keep my commandments and do them

These two statements mean similar things. They are used together for emphasis. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “start obeying my commandments once more” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

66

NEH

1

9

ab79

נִֽדַּחֲכֶ֜ם

1

your banished ones

This refers to the exile. Alternate translation: “all of you who were taken away”

67

NEH

1

9

f8jz

figs-hyperbole

בִּקְצֵ֤ה הַשָּׁמַ֨יִם֙

1

at the extremity of heaven

This means “the most distant point under the sky.” In this culture the sky was understood to be a solid dome with a flat earth beneath it. The phrase is describing a point beyond which no one could go any farther because they would have reached the edge of the dome of the sky. This is an overstatement because even from the perspective of this culture, no one could really reach such a point. Alternate translation: “places very far away” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-hyperbole]])

68

NEH

1

9

ab81

figs-123person

אֲקַבְּצֵ֔ם וַהֲבִֽיאוֹתִים֙

1

I will gather them and bring them

Since God is actually addressing the Israelites here, you can say “you” in the plural. Alternate translation: “I will bring you back” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

69

NEH

1

9

ab83

figs-parallelism

אֲקַבְּצֵ֔ם וַהֲבִֽיאוֹתִים֙

1

I will gather them and bring them

These two statements mean similar things. They are used together to emphasize that God will definitely keep this promise. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine the phrases. Alternate translation: “I will bring you back” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

70

NEH

1

9

ab85

figs-personification

אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּחַ֔רְתִּי לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן אֶת־שְׁמִ֖י שָֽׁם

1

to the place where I have chosen to cause my name to dwell there

Here God’s name is spoken of as if it were capable of living in a place. The phrase indicates the place from which God chose to start making himself famous throughout the world. You can say something like that as an alternate translation. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-personification]])

71

NEH

1

9

lgh9

figs-explicit

אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּחַ֔רְתִּי לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן אֶת־שְׁמִ֖י שָֽׁם

1

to the place where I have chosen to cause my name to dwell there

This phrase refers initially to Jerusalem because that was where God chose to put his temple. You could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “to Jerusalem, where I have chosen for my name to remain” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

72

NEH

1

9

w4qw

figs-metonymy

אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּחַ֔רְתִּי לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן אֶת־שְׁמִ֖י שָֽׁם

1

to the place where I have chosen to cause my name to dwell there

Nehemiah is actually using this phrase to refer to all of Judah. As the book explains later, when the Jews returned there, they each settled in their own former towns, though one in ten of them were recruited to live in Jerusalem. So Judah is being described by something associated with it, the capital city. Alternate translation: “to your homeland of Judah.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

73

NEH

1

9

g88j

figs-metonymy

שְׁמִ֖י

1

my name

Here, name is a figurative way of referring to the fame or reputation of a person. Their fame is described by something associated with it, how well known their name is and how people react to hearing it. Alternate translation: “reputation” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

74

NEH

1

10

mjx7

figs-123person

וְהֵ֥ם עֲבָדֶ֖יךָ וְעַמֶּ֑ךָ

1

And they are your servants and your people

The word they refers to the Israelite people. Since Nehemiah is speaking on their behalf and including himself, you could say “we” in your translation If your readers would misunderstand this. If your language marks the distinction, “we” should not include the addressee. Alternate translation: “we are your servants, your chosen people” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

75

NEH

1

10

ab87

figs-parallelism

וְהֵ֥ם עֲבָדֶ֖יךָ וְעַמֶּ֑ךָ

1

And they are your servants and your people

As in 1:6, servants refers to the special role that the people of Israel had as a model community of God’s followers. So these two phrases are basically saying the same thing. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “we are your chosen people” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

76

NEH

1

10

ab89

figs-explicit

אֲשֶׁ֤ר פָּדִ֨יתָ֙

1

whom you redeemed

This is a reference to the way God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Alternate translation: “you rescued us from slavery in Egypt” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

77

NEH

1

10

zu4s

figs-doublet

בְּכֹחֲךָ֣ הַגָּד֔וֹל וּבְיָדְךָ֖ הַחֲזָקָֽה

1

by your great power and by your strong hand

These two phrases mean basically the same thing. Nehemiah uses the repetition to emphasize the intensity of Yahweh’s power. Alternate translation: “by your very great strength” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

78

NEH

1

10

ax91

figs-metaphor

וּבְיָדְךָ֖ הַחֲזָקָֽה

1

your strong hand

Here, hand represents a person’s power, strength, or ability. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

79

NEH

1

11

ab93

figs-exclamations

אָנָּ֣א

1

Ah!

As in 1:5, Nehemiah uses this word to call on God with strong feeling. Alternate translation: “O” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-exclamations]])

80

NEH

1

11

ab95

אֲדֹנָ֗י תְּהִ֣י נָ֣א אָזְנְךָֽ־קַ֠שֶּׁבֶת אֶל־תְּפִלַּ֨ת עַבְדְּךָ֜

1

My Lord, please let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant

Nehemiah calls himself a servant and he calls God his Lord because this is how a person in his culture would address a superior in order to show humility and respect. See how you translated this in 1:6.

81

NEH

1

11

ab97

translate-names

אֲדֹנָ֗י

1

Lord

This term in Hebrew can be understood as either a noun with a pronoun suffix (“my Lord”) or as a simple title (“Lord”). (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

82

NEH

1

11

ab99

figs-metonymy

תְּהִ֣י נָ֣א אָזְנְךָֽ־קַ֠שֶּׁבֶת

1

let your ear be attentive

As in 1:6, this phrase refers figuratively to the action of listening. Alternate translation: “please pay careful attention.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

83

NEH

1

11

jjm7

figs-123person

תְּפִלַּ֨ת עַבְדְּךָ֜

1

the prayer of your servant

Alternate translation: “to my prayer” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

84

NEH

1

11

j433

תְּפִלַּ֣ת עֲבָדֶ֗יךָ

1

the prayer of your servants

Here, servants refers to the rest of the Israelite people who were also praying for Yahweh to act on behalf of his people and on behalf of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “and to the prayers of my fellow Israelites”

85

NEH

1

11

hk3z

figs-metonymy

הַֽחֲפֵצִים֙ לְיִרְאָ֣ה אֶת־שְׁמֶ֔ךָ

1

the ones who delight to fear your name

Here, name represents Yahweh himself. Alternate translation: “who are glad to honor you” or “who are eager to uphold your reputation” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

86

NEH

1

11

a11b

figs-idiom

הַֽחֲפֵצִים֙

1

the ones who delight

To delight in doing something means to be glad to do it and to want to do it. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

87

NEH

1

11

a13b

לְיִרְאָ֣ה

1

to fear

As in 1:5, fear means to show respect and reverence.

88

NEH

1

11

a15b

figs-123person

וְהַצְלִֽיחָה־נָּ֤א לְעַבְדְּךָ֙ הַיּ֔וֹם וּתְנֵ֣הוּ לְרַחֲמִ֔ים

1

cause your servant to succeed today and give him mercies

Once again Nehemiah calls himself a servant to show respect to a superior. He then refers to himself in the third person (“give him”) to express humility before God. Alternate translation: “make me successful today and let the king be merciful to me” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

89

NEH

1

11

a17b

figs-parallelism

וְהַצְלִֽיחָה־נָּ֤א לְעַבְדְּךָ֙ הַיּ֔וֹם וּתְנֵ֣הוּ לְרַחֲמִ֔ים

1

cause your servant to succeed today and give him mercies

These two statements mean similar things. Nehemiah says the same thing twice, in slightly different ways, to emphasize how important it is for him to have God’s help. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “grant that the king will have mercy on me” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

90

NEH

1

11

a19b

figs-idiom

הַיּ֔וֹם

1

today

This does not necessarily mean on this same day. Rather, Nehemiah is praying that God will give him the opportunity to speak with the king soon about helping the Jews in Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “soon” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

91

NEH

1

11

kr99

figs-123person

וּתְנֵ֣הוּ לְרַחֲמִ֔ים

1

give him mercies

Here, him refers to Nehemiah, who refers to himself in the third person to express his humility before God. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

92

NEH

1

11

r7af

figs-metaphor

לִפְנֵ֖י הָאִ֣ישׁ הַזֶּ֑ה

1

before the face of this man

Here, face is a figurative way of referring to the action of seeing, and seeing is a figurative way of describing knowledge, perception, notice, attention, or judgment. In this context, Nehemiah is asking God to cause the king to make a favorable decision in response to a request he plans to make. Alternate translation: “Please grant that the king will agree to the request that I am going to make.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

93

NEH

1

11

a21b

figs-explicit

הָאִ֣ישׁ הַזֶּ֑ה

1

this man

As we will discover in the next chapter, this man refers to Artaxerxes, the king of Persia. If it would be helpful to your readers, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “the king” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

94

NEH

1

11

h9hl

writing-background

וַאֲנִ֛י הָיִ֥יתִי מַשְׁקֶ֖ה לַמֶּֽלֶךְ

1

Now as for me, I was a cupbearer for the king

This is background information about Nehemiah’s role in the king’s court. Your language may have a special way to mark background information. As a “cupbearer,” it was Nehemiah’s duty to serve the wine at the king’s table, but he was much more than a waiter or butler. When the king gave him this assignment, this showed that he trusted Nehemiah completely to protect him from being poisoned. Nehemiah’s work also allowed him to see the king frequently and get to know him. So this was an important office. Alternate translation: “At that time, I was an important official who served the wine at the king’s table.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/writing-background]])

95

NEH

2

intro

mj1d

0

Nehemiah 2 General Notes

Structure and formatting

This chapter begins the account of the construction of the wall. Many scholars believe these chapters teach valuable lessons on leadership (Nehemiah 2-6).

Special concepts in this chapter

Nehemiah’s character

Apparently, Nehemiah’s character made an impression on the king. It was very unusual for a king to be so concerned with one of his servants. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

Cultural Customs

In ancient Persia, people thought it was important for their conquered peoples to retain and practice their own cultural customs. It was thought that this independence promoted peace in their vast kingdom. The rebuilding of Jerusalem may have been seen as a way to allow for the Jewish cultural practices.

Yahweh’s control

Yahweh is seen as very powerful. He is able to provide for his people even through a foreign king. (See: [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/peopleofgod]])

96

NEH

2

1

a23b

writing-newevent

וַיְהִ֣י

1

Then it happened that

Nehemiah uses this phrase to introduce the next event in his story. You do not need to represent it in your translation unless your language has a similar expression that it characteristically uses. Alternate translation: “Then one day” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/writing-newevent]])

97

NEH

2

1

a25b

figs-explicit

בְּחֹ֣דֶשׁ נִיסָ֗ן שְׁנַ֥ת עֶשְׂרִ֛ים לְאַרְתַּחְשַׁ֥סְתְּא הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ

1

in the month of Nisan, in year twenty of Artaxerxes the King

Since there were twelve months in the Hebrew calendar, and it was still the same year in the reign of Artaxerxes, this means that four months had gone by since Hanani came and spoke with Nehemiah. The implication is that Nehemiah had been praying all this time in the way described in chapter 1. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “I prayed like this for four months” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

98

NEH

2

1

h3hu

translate-hebrewmonths

בְּחֹ֣דֶשׁ נִיסָ֗ן

1

In the month of Nisan

Nisan is the name of the first month of the Hebrew calendar. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-hebrewmonths]])

99

NEH

2

1

l63f

translate-ordinal

שְׁנַ֥ת עֶשְׂרִ֛ים לְאַרְתַּחְשַׁ֥סְתְּא הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ

1

in year twenty of Artaxerxes the king

This is referring to the number of years that Artaxerxes had been reigning as king. Alternate translation: “in year 20 of the reign of Artaxerxes as the king of Persia” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

100

NEH

2

1

k1vf

יַ֣יִן לְפָנָ֑יו

1

wine was before his face

Him means King Artaxerxes. Alternate translation: “when it was time to serve him the wine”

101

NEH

2

1

a24b

figs-metaphor

יַ֣יִן לְפָנָ֑יו

1

wine was before his face

Here, face is a figurative way of referring to the presence of a person. This sentence means that a time had come when Nehemiah needed to serve wine to the king. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

102

NEH

2

1

a29b

וָאֶשָּׂ֤א אֶת־הַיַּ֨יִן֙ וָאֶתְּנָ֣ה לַמֶּ֔לֶךְ

1

I lifted the wine, and I gave it to the king

Alternate translation: “I poured a cup of wine and gave it to the king”

103

NEH

2

1

a31b

figs-idiom

וְלֹא־הָיִ֥יתִי רַ֖ע לְפָנָֽיו

1

and I was not evil before his face

In this context, unpleasant refers to a person looking sad or upset. Alternate translation: “I did not look sad in his presence” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

104

NEH

2

1

a33b

figs-explicit

וְלֹא־הָיִ֥יתִי

1

and I was not

The context suggests that I was not actually means I had never been. It seems that King Artaxerxes always wanted his officials to be cheerful in his presence. That is why Nehemaiah became afraid when the king asked him why he was sad. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say “I had never been” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

105

NEH

2

1

a38p

figs-metaphor

לְפָנָֽיו

1

before his face

Here, face is a figurative way of referring to the presence of a person. Alternate translation: “in his presence” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

106

NEH

2

2

n5wy

figs-explicit

וַיֹּאמֶר֩ לִ֨י הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ

1

And the king said to me

The king must have noticed that Nehemiah looked sad because he asked about it. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “But the king noticed that on this day I did look sad. So he asked me” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

107

NEH

2

2

ue51

figs-synecdoche

מַדּ֣וּעַ ׀ פָּנֶ֣יךָ רָעִ֗ים

1

Why is your face evil?

The king refers to Nehemiah by one part of him, his face, because the face shows one’s emotions. Alternate translation: “Why are you sad” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

108

NEH

2

2

a37b

figs-idiom

מַדּ֣וּעַ ׀ פָּנֶ֣יךָ רָעִ֗ים

1

Why is your face evil?

As in 2:1, unpleasant refers to a person looking sad or upset. Alternate translation: “Why are you sad” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

109

NEH

2

2

a39b

וְאַתָּה֙ אֵֽינְךָ֣ חוֹלֶ֔ה

1

Now as for you, you are not sick

Alternate translation: “I can tell that you are not sick.”

110

NEH

2

2

g1k7

figs-personification

אֵ֣ין זֶ֔ה כִּי־אִ֖ם רֹ֣עַֽ לֵ֑ב

1

This is nothing except evil of heart

This phrase means sadness of heart. The king speaks as if Nehemiah’s heart were a living thing capable of having emotions. Alternate translation: “You must be very sad inside” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-personification]])

111

NEH

2

2

a41b

figs-doublenegatives

אֵ֣ין זֶ֔ה כִּי־אִ֖ם רֹ֣עַֽ לֵ֑ב

1

This is nothing except evil of heart

You can state this in a positive form: Alternate translation: “This can only be sadness” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublenegatives]])

112

NEH

2

2

eyt8

figs-explicit

וָאִירָ֖א הַרְבֵּ֥ה מְאֹֽד

1

Then I was extremely much afraid

The implication is that Nehemiah was very afraid because no one was supposed to look unhappy in the king’s presence. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “This made me very afraid, because no one was supposed to look unhappy in the king’s presence” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

113

NEH

2

3

qz4i

figs-hyperbole

הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ לְעוֹלָ֣ם יִחְיֶ֑ה

1

May the king live to eternity!

Nehemiah is showing honor to King Artaxerxes. Here, to eternity is an exaggeration that refers to a long life. Alternate translation: “Long live the king” or “May you have a long life” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-hyperbole]])

114

NEH

2

3

a43b

figs-123person

הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ לְעוֹלָ֣ם יִחְיֶ֑ה

1

May the king live to eternity!

Nehemiah addresses the king in the third person as a sign of respect. You can indicate this respect by adding an expression such as “Your Majesty.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

115

NEH

2

3

klj6

figs-rquestion

מַדּ֜וּעַ לֹא־יֵרְע֣וּ פָנַ֗י

1

Why should not my face be evil

Nehemiah is making a statement, not asking a question. He does not expect the king to give him reasons why he should not be sad. Instead, he is using the question form for emphasis. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could translate this as a statement. Alternate translation: “I am sorry, but I cannot help being sad” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-rquestion]])

116

NEH

2

3

a45b

figs-synecdoche

מַדּ֜וּעַ לֹא־יֵרְע֣וּ פָנַ֗י

1

Why should not my face be evil

Nehemiah refers to himself by one part of him, his face, because the face shows one’s emotions. Alternate translation: “I have very good reasons to be sad” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

117

NEH

2

3

a47b

figs-idiom

מַדּ֜וּעַ לֹא־יֵרְע֣וּ פָנַ֗י

1

Why should not my face be evil

Here, unpleasant refers to a person looking sad or upset. Alternate translation: “I have very good reasons to be sad” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

118

NEH

2

3

a49b

figs-explicit

הָעִ֜יר…חֲרֵבָ֔ה

1

the city … is desolate

The city means Jerusalem. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “the city of Jerusalem … lies in ruins” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

119

NEH

2

3

ehz3

figs-metaphor

בֵּית־קִבְר֤וֹת אֲבֹתַי֙

1

the house of the graves of my fathers

Here, house is a figurative way of referring to a place. Alternate translation: “the place where my ancestors are buried” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

120

NEH

2

3

a51b

figs-metonymy

בֵּית־קִבְר֤וֹת אֲבֹתַי֙

1

the house of the graves of my fathers

Here, fathers figuratively means ancestors. Alternate translation: “the place where my ancestors are buried” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

121

NEH

2

3

g7f4

figs-activepassive

וּשְׁעָרֶ֖יהָ אֻכְּל֥וּ בָאֵֽשׁ

1

its gates have been consumed by fire

If your readers would misunderstand this, you can say this with an active form. Alternate translation: “fire has destroyed its gates” or “our enemies have burned its gates” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

122

NEH

2

4

a53b

עַל־מַה־זֶּ֖ה אַתָּ֣ה מְבַקֵּ֑שׁ

1

For what is this you are seeking?

Alternate translation: “What do you want me to do for you”

123

NEH

2

4

a55b

figs-explicit

וָֽאֶתְפַּלֵּ֔ל

1

And I prayed

The implication is that Nehemiah prayed to God before he answered the king. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “Before I answered him, I prayed” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

124

NEH

2

4

a57b

אֱלֹהֵ֖י הַשָּׁמָֽיִם

1

the God of heaven

Alternate translation: “the God who is in heaven”

125

NEH

2

5

uv1p

וָאֹמַ֣ר לַמֶּ֔לֶךְ

1

And I said to the king

Alternate translation: “Then I replied to the king”

126

NEH

2

5

a59b

figs-idiom

אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ ט֔וֹב

1

If it is good to the king

This is an idiom that means, “If it seems good in your judgment” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

127

NEH

2

5

a61b

figs-123person

אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ ט֔וֹב

1

If it is good to the king

Nehemiah speaks to the king in third person as a form of respect. Alternate translation: “If it seems good in your judgment” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

128

NEH

2

5

ae4b

figs-synecdoche

וְאִם־יִיטַ֥ב עַבְדְּךָ֖ לְפָנֶ֑יךָ

1

and if your servant is good before your face

Here, face could be referring figuratively to the king himself by naming one part of him. What he thought and felt about Nehemiah’s request would become evident in his face first, so that would be an appropriate part of him to use to represent all of him. Another possibility is that face figuratively means the presence of a person. Alternate translation: “if you are pleased with me” or “as I stand here before you” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

129

NEH

2

5

u2zy

figs-123person

וְאִם־יִיטַ֥ב עַבְדְּךָ֖ לְפָנֶ֑יךָ

1

your servant

Nehemiah refers to himself as your servant to show his submission to the king. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

130

NEH

2

5

a63b

figs-idiom

אֲשֶׁ֧ר תִּשְׁלָחֵ֣נִי אֶל־יְהוּדָ֗ה

1

that you would send me to Judah

Nehemiah is really asking for permission to go, rather than asking the king to send him. But as a sign of respect, he speaks as if the king would be taking the initiative. Alternate translation: “please allow me to go to Judah” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

131

NEH

2

5

df8l

עִ֛יר קִבְר֥וֹת אֲבֹתַ֖י

1

the city of the graves of my fathers

This is similar to 2:3. Alternate translation: “the city where my ancestors are buried”

132

NEH

2

5

l6nj

figs-synecdoche

וְאֶבְנֶֽנָּה

1

and I will build it

Nehemiah does not plan to do all of the building himself, but he will be the leader of the work. Alternate translation: “that I and my people may rebuild it” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

133

NEH

2

6

a67b

figs-explicit

וְהַשֵּׁגַ֣ל ׀ יוֹשֶׁ֣בֶת אֶצְל֗וֹ

1

with the queen sitting beside him

This detail indicates that this was a private meal, since the queen probably did not attend public banquets with the king. The implication is that the private meal gave Nehemiah the opportunity to speak freely. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. See UST. Alternate translation: “This was a private meal, with the queen sitting next to the king” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

134

NEH

2

6

a69b

figs-parallelism

עַד־מָתַ֛י יִהְיֶ֥ה מַֽהֲלָכֲךָ֖ וּמָתַ֣י תָּשׁ֑וּב

1

Until when will be your journey? And when will you return?

These two phrases mean the same thing. The king says the same thing twice, in slightly different ways, to show that he is genuinely interested in Nehemiah’s situation. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “How long would you be away?” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

135

NEH

2

6

a71b

figs-explicit

וַיִּיטַ֤ב לִפְנֵֽי־הַמֶּ֨לֶךְ֙ וַיִּשְׁלָחֵ֔נִי

1

And it was good before the face of the king, and he sent me

The implication is that Nehemiah told the king how long he would need to be away. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “I told him how long I would be gone. That was acceptable to him, and he gave me permission to go” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

136

NEH

2

6

a73b

figs-idiom

וַיִּיטַ֤ב

1

And it was good

As in verse 5, this is an idiom that means, “If it seems like a good idea to you.” Alternate translation: “That was acceptable” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

137

NEH

2

6

a75b

figs-synecdoche

לִפְנֵֽי־הַמֶּ֨לֶךְ֙

1

before the face of the king

Nehemiah refers to the king by one part of him, his face, likely because the face shows one’s emotions. Alternate translation: “to him” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

138

NEH

2

6

a77b

וַיִּשְׁלָחֵ֔נִי

1

and he sent me

As in 2:5, Nehemiah was really asking for permission to go, rather than asking the king to send him. But as a sign of respect, he speaks as if the king took the initiative. Alternate translation: “he gave me permission to go”

139

NEH

2

6

a79b

וָֽאֶתְּנָ֥ה ל֖וֹ זְמָֽן

1

and I gave to him a time

Alternate translation: “I told him what day I wanted to leave”

140

NEH

2

7

a81b

וָאוֹמַר֮

1

Then I said

Alternate translation: “I also said”

141

NEH

2

7

a83b

אִם־עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ ט֔וֹב

1

If it is good to the king

Alternate translation: “If it seems like a good idea to you”

142

NEH

2

7

a85b

figs-123person

עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ

1

to the king

Nehemiah addresses the king in the third person as a sign of respect. Alternate translation: “to you” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

143

NEH

2

7

rgj6

figs-activepassive

אִגְּרוֹת֙ יִתְּנוּ־לִ֔י

1

let letters be given to me

You can say this with an active form. Alternate translation: “please give me letters” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

144

NEH

2

7

a87b

עַֽל־פַּחֲו֖וֹת

1

for the governors

Alternate translation: “that I can show to the governors”

145

NEH

2

7

qp9n

translate-names

עֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֑ר

1

Beyond-the-River

This is the name of the Persian province that lay west of the Euphrates River. Alternate translation: “the province Beyond the River” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

146

NEH

2

7

a89b

אֲשֶׁר֙ יַעֲבִיר֔וּנִי עַ֥ד אֲשֶׁר־אָב֖וֹא אֶל־יְהוּדָֽה

1

that they will bring me across as far as where I enter into Judah

Nehemiah’s request is not for these governors to provide him with transportation. Nehemiah explains in 2:9 that the king did that for him. These letter would instead request the governors to allow him safe passage through their provinces. Alternate translation: “Please tell them to give me safe passage through their provinces to Judah”

147

NEH

2

8

a91b

וְאִגֶּ֡רֶת אֶל־אָסָף֩

1

and a letter to Asaph

Nehemiah is continuing his requests to the king. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “Please also write a letter to Asaph for me”

148

NEH

2

8

ar5v

translate-names

אָסָף֩

1

Asaph

This is the name of a man. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

149

NEH

2

8

a93b

שֹׁמֵ֨ר

1

the keeper of

Alternate translation: “the man who takes care of”

150

NEH

2

8

a95b

figs-explicit

הַפַּרְדֵּ֜ס אֲשֶׁ֣ר לַמֶּ֗לֶךְ

1

the forest that belongs to the king

The implication is that this forest was near where Nehemiah was going to need the wood. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “your royal forest in that area” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

151

NEH

2

8

a97b

figs-123person

הַפַּרְדֵּ֜ס אֲשֶׁ֣ר לַמֶּ֗לֶךְ

1

the forest that belongs to the king

Nehemiah addresses the king in the third person as a sign of respect. Alternate translation: “your royal forest” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-123person]])

152

NEH

2

8

a99b

אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִתֶּן־לִ֣י עֵצִ֡ים

1

that he will give to me timbers

Alternate translation: “Please tell him to give me timber”

153

NEH

2

8

ac11

figs-metonymy

הַבִּירָ֤ה אֲשֶׁר־לַבַּ֨יִת֙

1

the citadel, which is for the house

As in 1:1, citadel refers to a fortress or stronghold. “House” here figuratively describes the temple as the “house” where God lives. Alternate translation: “the fortress that is near the temple” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

154

NEH

2

8

ac13

וְלַבַּ֖יִת אֲשֶׁר־אָב֣וֹא אֵלָ֑יו

1

and for the house into which I will enter

Alternate translation: “and for the house that I will live in”

155

NEH

2

8

ac15

וַיִּתֶּן־לִ֣י הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ

1

And the king gave to me

Alternate translation: “The king agreed to all of my requests”

156

NEH

2

8

w91s

figs-metaphor

כְּיַד־אֱלֹהַ֖י הַטּוֹבָ֥ה עָלָֽי

1

according to the good hand of my God upon me

Here, hand figuratively represents strength, power, control, or action. In this context, the expression means that God acted toward Nehemiah in a positive and favorable manner. Alternate translation: “because God’s favor was upon me” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

157

NEH

2

8

ac17

grammar-connect-logic-result

כְּיַד־אֱלֹהַ֖י הַטּוֹבָ֥ה עָלָֽי

1

according to the good hand of my God upon me

If your readers would misunderstand this, you can give this explanation (the reason) before the result that it accounts for, using a connecting word like “so.” Alternate translation: “God’s favor was upon me, and so the king agreed to all of my requests” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/grammar-connect-logic-result]])

158

NEH

2

9

ac19

וָֽאָב֗וֹא אֶֽל־פַּֽחֲווֹת֙ עֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֔ר

1

And I came to the governors of Beyond-the-River

Alternate translation: “When I reached the province Beyond the River, I went to see its governors”

159

NEH

2

9

ac21

translate-names

עֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֔ר

1

Beyond-the-River

This is the name of a Persian province. See how you translated it in 2:7. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

160

NEH

2

9

ac23

וָאֶתְּנָ֣ה לָהֶ֔ם אֵ֖ת אִגְּר֣וֹת הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ

1

I gave to them the letters of the king

Alternate translation: “I showed them the letters the king had given me.”

161

NEH

2

9

ac25

figs-explicit

וָאֶתְּנָ֣ה לָהֶ֔ם אֵ֖ת אִגְּר֣וֹת הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ

1

I gave to them the letters of the king

The implication is that when the governors saw the letters from the king, they allowed Nehemiah safe passage. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “and they gave me safe passage” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

162

NEH

2

9

ac27

figs-explicit

וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח עִמִּי֙ הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ שָׂ֥רֵי חַ֖יִל וּפָרָשִֽׁים

1

And the king sent with me officers of the army and horsemen

The implication is that the king did this when Nehemiah left for Judah, and that the purpose was to protect him on his journey. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “When I left to travel to Judah, the king sent along some army officers and soldiers riding on horses to protect me” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

163

NEH

2

9

ac29

figs-events

וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח עִמִּי֙ הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ שָׂ֥רֵי חַ֖יִל וּפָרָשִֽׁים

1

And the king sent with me officers of the army and horsemen

You can put this information first because it happened before Nehemiah showed his letters to the governors. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-events]])

164

NEH

2

10

ac31

figs-explicit

וַיִּשְׁמַ֞ע סַנְבַלַּ֣ט הַחֹרֹנִ֗י וְטֽוֹבִיָּה֙ הָעֶ֣בֶד הָֽעַמֹּנִ֔י

1

Then Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah, the servant, the Ammonite, heard

Sanballat was the governor of Samaria, the area right next to Judah. So he was one of the people Nehemiah would have shown a letter from the king authorizing his trip. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “This was how Sanballat the Horonite and his deputy Tobiah the Ammonite learned” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

165

NEH

2

10

yz8p

translate-names

סַנְבַלַּ֣ט הַחֹרֹנִ֗י

1

Sanballat the Horonite

Sanballat is the name of a man, and Horonite is the name of his people group. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

166

NEH

2

10

eh4c

translate-names

וְטֽוֹבִיָּה֙…הָֽעַמֹּנִ֔י

1

and Tobiah … the Ammonite

Tobiah is the name of a man, and Ammonite is the name of his people group. Tobiah’s name occurs over a dozen times in the book of Nehemiah. It will be helpful to your readers if you translate it consistently each time. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

167

NEH

2

10

vb3p

וְטֽוֹבִיָּה֙ הָעֶ֣בֶד

1

and Tobiah, the servant

From the role that Tobiah plays in the book, this phrase seems to indicate that he was the official who served directly under Sanballat. Alternate translation: “Tobiah, his deputy”

168

NEH

2

10

ac33

figs-explicit

וַיֵּ֥רַע לָהֶ֖ם רָעָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֑ה אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֥א אָדָ֔ם לְבַקֵּ֥שׁ טוֹבָ֖ה לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל

1

And it was evil to them, a great evil, that someone had come to seek good for the sons of Israel

The implication is that Sanballat and Tobiah did not want to see Judah become strong again because that would be a threat to the power and influence of Samaria. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

169

NEH

2

10

ac35

figs-idiom

וַיֵּ֥רַע לָהֶ֖ם רָעָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֑ה

1

And it was evil to them, a great evil

Here evil means “bad,” so this expression is the opposite of “if it is good to you” in 2:5 and 2:7. Alternate translation: “They thought it was a bad thing, a very bad thing” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

170

NEH

2

10

ac37

figs-doublet

וַיֵּ֥רַע לָהֶ֖ם רָעָ֣ה גְדֹלָ֑ה

1

And it was evil to them, a great evil

These two short phrases mean almost the same thing. Nehemiah uses them together for emphasis. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine them. Alternate translation: “they became very upset” or “they did not like it at all” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

171

NEH

2

10

ac39

figs-idiom

אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֥א אָדָ֔ם לְבַקֵּ֥שׁ טוֹבָ֖ה לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל

1

that someone had come to seek good for the sons of Israel

To seek good for means “to help.” Alternate translation: “that someone had come to help the people of Israel” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

172

NEH

2

10

ac41

figs-gendernotations

לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל

1

for the sons of Israel

As in 1:6, sons means “descendants.” Alternate translation: “the people of Israel” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-gendernotations]])

173

NEH

2

11

ac43

figs-explicit

וָאָב֖וֹא אֶל־יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם

1

And I came to Jerusalem

Here the text might be implying that Nehemiah made it safely to Jerusalem anyway, despite the opposition of Sanballat and Tobiah. Alternate translation: “But I made it safely to Jerusalem despite their opposition.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

174

NEH

2

11

ac45

וָאֱהִי־שָׁ֖ם יָמִ֥ים שְׁלֹשָֽׁה

1

and I was there three days

This phrase seems to look ahead to the next verse, and you could translate it that way and make it the start of the next sentence. Alternate translation: “After I had been there for three days”

175

NEH

2

12

ac47

figs-explicit

וָאָק֣וּם ׀ לַ֗יְלָה

1

Then I arose in the night

The implication is that Nehemiah went out to inspect the city walls, as described in 1:13–15(../01/13.md). The implication is also that he did this at night so that no one would know he was doing it. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “I got up secretly in the night to inspect the city walls.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

176

NEH

2

12

ac49

figs-gendernotations

אֲנִי֮ וַאֲנָשִׁ֣ים ׀ מְעַט֮ עִמִּי֒

1

myself and a few men with me

The word men here could conceivably include both men and women. However, for a nighttime mission through the ruins of the city walls, it’s likely that Nehemiah brought along only other men. So in this context you could use a word that indicates that. Alternate translation: “I brought only a few other men with me.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-gendernotations]])

177

NEH

2

12

ac51

figs-hyperbole

וְלֹא־הִגַּ֣דְתִּי לְאָדָ֔ם מָ֗ה אֱלֹהַי֙ נֹתֵ֣ן אֶל־לִבִּ֔י לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת לִירוּשָׁלִָ֑ם

1

and I did not tell anyone what my God had been giving to my heart to do for Jerusalem

Probably Nehemiah told at least some people, since he brought a few men with him when he went out to inspect the walls. So “not … anyone” might be an exaggeration that emphasizes the secrecy Nehemiah maintained. Alternate translation: “I did not say publicly what God had led me to do for Jerusalem.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-hyperbole]])

178

NEH

2

12

ac53

grammar-connect-logic-result

וְלֹא־הִגַּ֣דְתִּי לְאָדָ֔ם מָ֗ה אֱלֹהַי֙ נֹתֵ֣ן אֶל־לִבִּ֔י לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת לִירוּשָׁלִָ֑ם

1

and I did not tell anyone

If your readers would misunderstand this, you can give this explanation before describing Nehemiah’s nighttime mission, because it is the reason that explains the result of him maintaining so much secrecy. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/grammar-connect-logic-result]])

179

NEH

2

12

s72w

figs-metaphor

מָ֗ה אֱלֹהַי֙ נֹתֵ֣ן אֶל־לִבִּ֔י לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת

1

had put into my heart

Here, Nehemiah’s heart figuratively represents his thoughts and will. Alternate translation: “what God had inspired me to do” or “what God had led me to do” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

180

NEH

2

12

wd63

figs-explicit

וּבְהֵמָה֙ אֵ֣ין עִמִּ֔י

1

Now there was no animal with me

The implication is that this was another measure to maintain secrecy. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “To keep things quiet, there were no other animals with me” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

181

NEH

2

13

au61

figs-synecdoche

וָאֵצְאָ֨ה

1

I went out

Even though he brought a few men with him, Nehemiah says “I” because he was the primary person conducting this inspection. In this narrative, he represents the entire group. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say “we” in your translation to express this meaning. If your language makes this distinction, “we” would not include the addressee. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

182

NEH

2

13

ac55

translate-names

בְשַֽׁעַר־הַגַּ֜יא

1

at the gate of the valley

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “at the Valley Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

183

NEH

2

13

az64

figs-metonymy

וְאֶל־פְּנֵי֙ עֵ֣ין הַתַּנִּ֔ין

1

even to the face of the spring of the dragon

Here, face figuratively means the front of an object. This means that the group passed in front of the well. Alternate translation: “we went past the Dragon Well” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

184

NEH

2

13

pt1h

translate-names

עֵ֣ין הַתַּנִּ֔ין

1

the spring of the dragon

This is the name of a spring-fed well outside Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Dragon Well” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

185

NEH

2

13

mif3

translate-names

וְאֶל־שַׁ֖עַר הָאַשְׁפֹּ֑ת

1

and to the gate of dung

This is the name of another one of the gates of Jerusalem. It seems that rubbish was removed from the city through this gate. Alternate translation: “the Rubbish Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

186

NEH

2

13

ac59

וָאֱהִ֨י שֹׂבֵ֜ר בְּחוֹמֹ֤ת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֨ם֙

1

And I was looking intently at the walls of Jerusalem

Alternate translation: “We made a careful inspection of the walls of Jerusalem”

187

NEH

2

13

a8u1

figs-activepassive

אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֣ם פְּרוּצִ֔ים וּשְׁעָרֶ֖יהָ אֻכְּל֥וּ בָאֵֽשׁ

1

that they were broken down, and its gates had been consumed by fire

You can use active forms to express the meaning of these two passive verbs. Alternate translation: “which our enemies had broken open, and the wooden gates which they had destroyed with fire” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

188

NEH

2

14

ac61

translate-names

שַׁ֣עַר הָעַ֔יִן

1

the gate of the spring

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Fountain Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

189

NEH

2

14

ac63

translate-names

בְּרֵכַ֖ת הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ

1

the pool of the king

This is the name of a pool outside Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Royal Pool” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

190

NEH

2

14

ac65

וְאֵין־מָק֥וֹם לַבְּהֵמָ֖ה לַעֲבֹ֥ר תַּחְתָּֽי

1

but there was no place for the animal under me to pass

Alternate translation: “The opening there was so narrow that the animal I was riding could not get through”

191

NEH

2

15

l39v

figs-synecdoche

וָאֱהִ֨י עֹלֶ֤ה בַנַּ֨חַל֙ לַ֔יְלָה וָאֱהִ֥י שֹׂבֵ֖ר בַּחוֹמָ֑ה וָאָשׁ֗וּב וָאָב֛וֹא בְּשַׁ֥עַר הַגַּ֖יְא וָאָשֽׁוּב

1

Then I crossed to

Nehemiah continues to speak of himself as representative of the whole group. Alternate translation: “Then we came to” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

192

NEH

2

15

ac67

grammar-connect-logic-result

וָאֱהִ֨י עֹלֶ֤ה בַנַּ֨חַל֙ לַ֔יְלָה וָאֱהִ֥י שֹׂבֵ֖ר בַּחוֹמָ֑ה וָאָשׁ֗וּב וָאָב֛וֹא בְּשַׁ֥עַר הַגַּ֖יְא וָאָשֽׁוּב

1

And I was going up by the wadi at night

Nehemiah is saying that because they could not continue going along the wall, they had to take a different route. You could use an introductory word like “so” to indicate this. Alternate translation: “So we followed the path of the Kidron Brook” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/grammar-connect-logic-result]])

193

NEH

2

15

ac69

figs-synecdoche

וָאֱהִ֨י עֹלֶ֤ה

1

And I was going up

Nehemiah continues to speak of himself as representative of the whole group. Alternate translation: “So we followed” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

194

NEH

2

15

ac71

translate-unknown

בַנַּ֨חַל֙

1

by the wadi

This refers to the Kidron Brook, which runs along the eastern side of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Kidron Brook” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

195

NEH

2

15

ac73

figs-explicit

לַ֔יְלָה

1

at night

The implication may be “even though it was night.” The slippery, uneven ground of the path along the brook would have been more dangerous in the dark. (Nehemiah is writing a chronicle of all the things he did to help the Jews, and he records specific things that required risk or sacrifice.) Alternate translation: “even though it was night.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

196

NEH

2

15

ac75

figs-explicit

וָאֱהִ֥י שֹׂבֵ֖ר בַּחוֹמָ֑ה

1

and I was looking intently at the wall

The implication is that from the brook they were able to look up at the wall and see its condition. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “From there we were able to look up at the wall and see its condition.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

197

NEH

2

15

ac77

וָאָשׁ֗וּב

1

Then I turned back

This likely means not that Nehemiah turned around, but that this route brought him and the other men back to where they started. So they were able to go all the way around the city and inspect the entire wall. Alternate translation: “This route brought us back to where we started.”

198

NEH

2

15

ac79

figs-synecdoche

וָאָשׁ֗וּב

1

Then I turned back

The other men with Nehemiah also followed him. Alternate translation: “This route brought us back to where we started.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

199

NEH

2

15

b637

וָאָב֛וֹא בְּשַׁ֥עַר הַגַּ֖יְא

1

and I came in at the gate of the valley

Alternate translation: “We re-entered the city through the Valley Gate”

200

NEH

2

15

ac81

translate-names

בְּשַׁ֥עַר הַגַּ֖יְא

1

at the gate of the valley

See how you translated the name of this gate in 2:13. Alternate translation: “the Valley Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

201

NEH

2

15

ac83

figs-explicit

וָאָשֽׁוּב

1

and I returned

Here the expression probably means “and I went back home.” The implication is that no one had seen him. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “and I went back home without being seen.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

202

NEH

2

16

ac85

וְהַסְּגָנִ֗ים

1

Now the prefects

Alternate translation: “the city officials”

203

NEH

2

16

ac87

figs-explicit

עַד־כֵּ֖ן לֹ֥א הִגַּֽדְתִּי

1

until this time I had not yet told

The implication is that Nehemiah had not yet told anyone that he was planning to repair the walls. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “had not yet told … that I was planning to repair the walls.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

204

NEH

2

16

ac89

figs-explicit

וְלַיְּהוּדִ֨ים וְלַכֹּהֲנִ֜ים וְלַחֹרִ֣ים וְלַסְּגָנִ֗ים

1

the Jews, the priests, or the nobles, or the perfects

The implication seems to be that Nehemiah had not said anything privately about his plans to any particular group of leaders. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “I had not even said anything about it privately to the Jewish leaders, the priests, the leading citizens, or the city officials” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

205

NEH

2

16

ac91

figs-synecdoche

וְלַיְּהוּדִ֨ים

1

the Jews

While this expression means “the Jewish people” in most of the book, in the contexts here and in 5:17 it seems to mean “the Jewish leaders.” Nehemiah is describing some members of this people group, its leaders, as if they were the whole group. Alternate translation: “the Jewish leaders” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

206

NEH

2

16

xd75

figs-explicit

וּלְיֶ֨תֶר֙ עֹשֵׂ֣ה הַמְּלָאכָ֔ה

1

the rest who were about to do the work

This seems to refer to the people who would later rebuild the walls. Alternate translation: “the others who would later do the work of rebuilding the walls” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

207

NEH

2

17

ac93

figs-explicit

וָאוֹמַ֣ר אֲלֵהֶ֗ם

1

Then I said to them

This might imply a contrast between what Nehemiah did previously (kept quiet) and what he did now (told everyone). You could use a word like “but” to indicate this. Alternate translation: “But now I said to them” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

208

NEH

2

17

ac95

figs-abstractnouns

אַתֶּ֤ם רֹאִים֙ הָרָעָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֲנַ֣חְנוּ בָ֔הּ

1

You see the evil that we are in

As in 1:3, here the abstract noun evil does not refer to something morally bad, but to a difficult situation. You can translate this idea with an adjective such as “desperate.” Alternate translation: “You see what a desperate situation we are in” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

209

NEH

2

17

we6m

figs-you

אַתֶּ֤ם רֹאִים֙ הָרָעָה֙

1

You see the evil

Here you is plural, referring to all the people mentioned in 2:16. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-you]])

210

NEH

2

17

ac97

figs-activepassive

יְרוּשָׁלִַ֨ם֙ חֲרֵבָ֔ה וּשְׁעָרֶ֖יהָ נִצְּת֣וּ בָאֵ֑שׁ

1

Jerusalem is desolate and its gates have been burned by fire

If your readers would misunderstand this, you could express the meaning here using active forms. Alternate translation: “Jerusalem lies in ruins, and our enemies have burned down its gates” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

211

NEH

2

17

f468

figs-explicit

יְרוּשָׁלִַ֨ם֙ חֲרֵבָ֔ה וּשְׁעָרֶ֖יהָ נִצְּת֣וּ בָאֵ֑שׁ

1

Jerusalem is desolate and its gates have been burned by fire

The implication is, “We need to do something about this!” If your readers would misunderstand this, you could add something like that explicitly. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

212

NEH

2

17

ac99

לְכ֗וּ וְנִבְנֶה֙ אֶת־חוֹמַ֣ת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֔ם

1

Come, and let us build the wall of Jerusalem

Come does not mean “come over to this place” but “come on, let’s do this!” Nehemiah is issuing both an invitation and a public challenge to everyone who is listening. If it would be helpful to your readers, you could translate his words in a way that reflects this. Alternate translation: “I challenge all of you to join me in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.”

213

NEH

2

17

ll6y

figs-abstractnouns

וְלֹא־נִהְיֶ֥ה ע֖וֹד חֶרְפָּֽה

1

and we will no longer be a reproach

If your language does not use an abstract noun for the idea behind the word reproach, you could express the same idea with an adjective such as “ashamed.” Alternate translation: “so we will no longer be ashamed” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

214

NEH

2

18

twi7

figs-metaphor

יַ֣ד אֱלֹהַ֗י אֲשֶׁר־הִיא֙ טוֹבָ֣ה עָלַ֔י

1

the hand of my God, that it was good upon me

Here hand is a metaphor meaning strength, power, control, or action. In this context, it means that God had been acting toward Nehemiah in a positive and favorable manner. See how you translated the similar expression in 2:8. Alternate translation: “God’s favor had been upon me” or “God had been helping me” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

215

NEH

2

18

a11c

דִּבְרֵ֥י הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָֽמַר־לִ֑י

1

the words of the king that he had spoken to me

Alternate translation: “I also told them how the king had given me permission to come.”

216

NEH

2

18

a13c

figs-explicit

נָק֣וּם וּבָנִ֔ינוּ

1

We will rise up and build

The implication is that the people responded this way after they heard all that God had done for Nehemiah. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “When they heard this, they said, ‘Let’s get going and begin building!’” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

217

NEH

2

18

a15c

figs-idiom

נָק֣וּם וּבָנִ֔ינוּ

1

We will rise up and build

In this context, rise up means to begin something. This was an enthusiastic response. Alternate translation: “Let’s get going and start building!” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

218

NEH

2

18

y6ui

figs-idiom

וַיְחַזְּק֥וּ יְדֵיהֶ֖ם לַטּוֹבָֽה

1

And they strengthened their hands for good

The phrase “strengthened their hands” means that they encouraged one another. “For good” refers to the rebuilding project, which they recognized would be a great benefit. Alternate translation: “So they prepared themselves to do this good work” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

219

NEH

2

18

a14c

figs-metaphor

יְדֵיהֶ֖ם

1

their hands

Hand in this context represents a person’s strength or power. Alternate translation: “they prepared themselves” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

220

NEH

2

19

et87

translate-names

סַנְבַלַּ֨ט הַחֹרֹנִ֜י

1

Sanballat the Horonite

Sanballat is the name of a man, and Horonite is the name of his people group. See how you translated this in 2:10. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

221

NEH

2

19

a19c

translate-names

וְטֹבִיָּ֣ה…הָֽעַמּוֹנִ֗י

1

and Tobiah … the Ammonite

Tobiah is the name of a man, and Ammonite is the name of his people group. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

222

NEH

2

19

a21c

וְטֹבִיָּ֣ה ׀ הָעֶ֣בֶד

1

and Tobiah, the servant

See how you translated this in 2:10. Alternate translation: “Tobiah, his deputy”

223

NEH

2

19

cxe8

translate-names

וְגֶ֨שֶׁם֙ הָֽעַרְבִ֔י

1

and Geshem the Arabian

Geshem is the name of a man, and Arabian is the name of his people group. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

224

NEH

2

19

a23c

figs-explicit

וַיִּשְׁמַע֩

1

Then … heard

The implication is that these men learned that the Jews in Jerusalem had started to rebuild the city walls. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “learned that we had started to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

225

NEH

2

19

a25c

figs-parallelism

וַיַּלְעִ֣גוּ לָ֔נוּ וַיִּבְז֖וּ עָלֵ֑ינוּ

1

and they mocked us, and they despised us

These two statements mean similar things. Nehemiah says the same thing twice, in slightly different ways, to emphasize how contemptuous and dismissive these enemies were being. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “they ridiculed us mercilessly,” otherwise “they made fun of us and ridiculed us” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

226

NEH

2

19

ww1k

figs-rquestion

מָֽה־הַדָּבָ֤ר הַזֶּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַתֶּ֣ם עֹשִׂ֔ים הַעַ֥ל הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ אַתֶּ֥ם מֹרְדִֽים

1

What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?

These enemies are not asking questions that they expect Nehemiah to answer. They are using the question form to mock him. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could translate their words as statements. Alternate translation: “What you are doing is not going to amount to anything! But you should not be rebelling against the king!” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-rquestion]])

227

NEH

2

19

u8ri

figs-explicit

מָֽה־הַדָּבָ֤ר הַזֶּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַתֶּ֣ם עֹשִׂ֔ים

1

What is this thing that you are doing?

The implication is that this thing is really “nothing” at all. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “What you are doing is not going to amount to anything!” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

228

NEH

2

20

a27c

figs-explicit

וָאָשִׁ֨יב אוֹתָ֜ם דָּבָ֗ר וָאוֹמַ֤ר לָהֶם֙

1

Then I returned them a word, and I said to them

This might imply a contrast between the intimidation his enemies wanted him to feel and the courage that God gave him. You could use a word like “but” to indicate this contrast. Alternate translation: “But in response I said” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

229

NEH

2

20

a29c

figs-parallelism

וָאָשִׁ֨יב אוֹתָ֜ם דָּבָ֗ר וָאוֹמַ֤ר לָהֶם֙

1

Then I returned them a word, and I said to them

These two statements mean similar things. Nehemiah says the same thing twice, in slightly different ways, to emphasize how firmly he responded to these enemies. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “But I answered them firmly” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

230

NEH

2

20

a31c

אֱלֹהֵ֣י הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם ה֚וּא יַצְלִ֣יחַֽ לָ֔נוּ

1

The God of heaven, he will cause us to succeed

Alternate translation: “The God who is in heaven will enable us to complete this project.”

231

NEH

2

20

a33c

figs-metaphor

וַאֲנַ֥חְנוּ עֲבָדָ֖יו נָק֣וּם וּבָנִ֑ינוּ

1

we ourselves, his servants, will rise up and build

As in 1:6, the word servants refers to the special role that the people of Israel had in the world as a model community of God’s followers. Alternate translation: “we are his chosen people, and we are going to begin rebuilding” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

232

NEH

2

20

iv9x

figs-idiom

נָק֣וּם וּבָנִ֑ינוּ

1

will arise and build

As in 2:18, rise up means to begin something. Alternate translation: “going to begin rebuilding” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

233

NEH

2

20

a4e6

figs-doublet

וְלָכֶ֗ם אֵֽין־חֵ֧לֶק וּצְדָקָ֛ה וְזִכָּר֖וֹן בִּירוּשָׁלִָֽם

1

But you have no share, no right, and no historic claim in Jerusalem

The terms share, right, and memorial all mean something similar. Nehemiah uses them together for emphasis. The meanings are not entirely certain. “Share” may suggest that the Samaritans are not part of the community. “Right” may mean that they have no legal basis to say what should happen in Jerusalem. “Memorial” could mean that they had have no role in the city’s history, or that there is no record of their Israelite ancestry. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine these terms. Alternate translation: “But you have absolutely nothing to do with what happens in Jerusalem.” (Note: A doublet can involve the use of more than two terms.) (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

234

NEH

2

20

a35c

figs-abstractnouns

וְלָכֶ֗ם אֵֽין־חֵ֧לֶק וּצְדָקָ֛ה וְזִכָּר֖וֹן בִּירוּשָׁלִָֽם

1

But you have no share, no right, and no historic claim in Jerusalem

Depending on their meaning, the terms “share,” “right,” and “memorial” may be abstract nouns. If so, you could translate the idea behind them with a phrase that expresses their overall meaning. Alternate translation: “But you have absolutely nothing to do with what happens in Jerusalem.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

235

NEH

3

intro

dfw6

0

Nehemiah 3 General Notes

Special concepts in this chapter

Priests

The priests worked on rebuilding the city. Normally, the priests were exempt from this type of work. Because they helped, it emphasizes that this is a holy work and something done for Yahweh. (See: [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/priest]] and [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/holy]] and [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

Cooperation

Everyone worked on this project. Many names are mentioned to emphasize the cooperation between the different families. Each was given a section of the wall to rebuild.

236

NEH

3

1

ald8

figs-explicit

וַיָּ֡קָם אֶלְיָשִׁיב֩ הַכֹּהֵ֨ן הַגָּד֜וֹל

1

And Eliashib the high priest rose up

This chapter records the names of the people who repaired the wall of Jerusalem, and it describes what parts of the wall they worked on. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly at the start of the chapter. (In this book Nehemiah records everything he did to help the people of Judah, and he prays that God will remember him and bless him for what he did. We see in this chapter that he also wants God to remember and bless everyone else who helped.) Alternate translation: “These are the names of the people who helped to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Now Eliashib the high priest rose up” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

237

NEH

3

1

a37c

figs-idiom

וַיָּ֡קָם

1

And … rose up

As in 2:18, rise up here means to begin something. Alternate translation: “began to” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

238

NEH

3

1

g9az

translate-names

אֶלְיָשִׁיב֩

1

Eliashib

This is the name of a man. It occurs about a dozen times in the book of Nehemiah. It will be helpful to your readers if you translate it consistently each time. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

239

NEH

3

1

a39c

translate-unknown

הַכֹּהֵ֨ן הַגָּד֜וֹל

1

the high priest

This means that Eliashib was the leader of the priests who conducted worship in the temple and performed many other religious and community functions. Alternate translation: “the priest who was in charge in the temple” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

240

NEH

3

1

a40c

figs-metaphor

וְאֶחָ֣יו הַכֹּהֲנִ֗ים

1

with his brothers the priests

Here, brother could mean Eliashib’s biological brothers, but more likely it figuratively refers to the rest of the priests. Alternate translation: “with his fellow priests” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

241

NEH

3

1

a43c

figs-explicit

וַיִּבְנוּ֙

1

and they built

It is clear from the context that they were not building something brand new. Rather, they were rebuilding the walls that had been knocked down. This expression occurs several times in this chapter. It would be helpful to your readers to translate it consistently. Alternate translation: “rebuilt.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

242

NEH

3

1

a45c

translate-names

שַׁ֣עַר הַצֹּ֔אן

1

the gate of the sheep

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Sheep Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

243

NEH

3

1

a47c

translate-symaction

הֵ֣מָּה קִדְּשׁ֔וּהוּ

1

They themselves consecrated it

Consecrate means to set something apart for a special purpose. The Sheep Gate was the gate closest to the temple. By dedicating it to God, the priests were symbolically dedicating the entire wall to God. The rebuilt wall would define and protect the city of Jerusalem as the place from which God had chosen to start making himself famous throughout the world, as described in 1:9. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-symaction]])

244

NEH

3

1

a49c

figs-explicit

הֵ֣מָּה קִדְּשׁ֔וּהוּ

1

They themselves consecrated it

If it would be helpful to your readers, you could say explicitly that by dedicating the Sheep Gate to God, the priests were symbolically dedicating the entire wall to God. Alternate translation: “They dedicated this gate to God as a symbolic way of dedicating the entire wall.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

245

NEH

3

1

a51c

וַֽיַּעֲמִ֖ידוּ דַּלְתֹתָ֑יו

1

and erected its doors

Its refers to the Sheep Gate. Erected means “set up” or “set in place.” This expression occurs several times in this chapter. It would be helpful to your readers to translate it consistently. Alternate translation: “set the doors in place.”

246

NEH

3

1

a7k9

figs-ellipsis

וְעַד־מִגְדַּ֤ל הַמֵּאָה֙ קִדְּשׁ֔וּהוּ עַ֖ד מִגְדַּ֥ל חֲנַנְאֵֽל

1

And they consecrated it as far as the tower of the Hundred and as far as the tower of Hananel

In this record of people who helped rebuild the wall, Nehemiah is writing more of a list than a narrative, so he often leaves out one or more words that a sentence normally would have in order to be complete. This sentence seems to mean, “They rebuilt the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred, and beyond that to the Tower of Hananel. Then they dedicated that part of the wall to God as well.” You could say something like that if it would be helpful to your readers. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis]])

247

NEH

3

1

e1th

translate-names

מִגְדַּ֤ל הַמֵּאָה֙…מִגְדַּ֥ל חֲנַנְאֵֽל

1

the tower of the Hundred … the tower of Hananel

These are the names of two of the towers on the Jerusalem wall. Alternate translation: “the Tower of the Hundred … the Tower of Hananel” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

248

NEH

3

1

r9wn

translate-unknown

מִגְדַּ֤ל הַמֵּאָה֙

1

the tower of the Hundred

It is not clear why this tower had this name. The tower could have been 100 cubits high (about 150 feet or about 45 meters), or 100 soldiers may have been stationed there. Since the reason is unknown, it might be best just to call this the “Tower of the Hundred.” However, if it would be confusing to your readers not to explain the meaning of the number, you suggest one of these possibilities. Alternate translation: “The Tower of the Hundred Soldiers” or “The Hundred-Cubit Tower.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

249

NEH

3

2

xtj9

figs-idiom

וְעַל־יָד֥וֹ בָנ֖וּ

1

And … built at his hand

Here, at his hand is a figurative way of saying “beside him” or “next to him.” This expression occurs several times in this chapter. It would be helpful to your readers to translate it consistently. Alternate translation: “next to them” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

250

NEH

3

2

qf25

figs-gendernotations

אַנְשֵׁ֣י יְרֵח֑וֹ

1

men of Jericho

The word men here can include women, and it does seem to include them in this context. Elsewhere in this chapter, 3:12 tells us that “Shallum and his daughters repaired part of the wall.” So we know that both men and women worked on this project. Alternate translation: “people from Jericho” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-gendernotations]])

251

NEH

3

2

u2s6

translate-names

יְרֵח֑וֹ

1

Jericho

Jericho is the name of one of the cities in Judah. We see from this chapter that several cities and towns sent work parties to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

252

NEH

3

2

q84s

translate-names

זַכּ֖וּר בֶּן־אִמְרִֽי

1

Zaccur, the son of Imri

Zaccur is the name of a man, and Imri is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

253

NEH

3

3

bbm9

translate-names

הַסְּנָאָ֑ה

1

Hassenaah

Hassenaah is the name of a man. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

254

NEH

3

3

if44

translate-names

שַׁ֣עַר הַדָּגִ֔ים

1

the gate of fish

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Fish Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

255

NEH

3

3

kxd6

וַֽיַּעֲמִ֨ידוּ֙ דַּלְתֹתָ֔יו מַנְעוּלָ֖יו וּבְרִיחָֽיו

1

They themselves laid its beams and erected its doors, its bolts, and its bars

This expression occurs several times in this chapter. It would be helpful to your readers to translate it consistently. Alternate translation: “They framed it with wooden beams, they set its doors in place, and they installed bolts and bars”

256

NEH

3

3

kc48

figs-explicit

מַנְעוּלָ֖יו וּבְרִיחָֽיו

1

its bolts, and its bars

Bolts and bars locked the gates securely. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “bolts and bars for locking the gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

257

NEH

3

4

nn6j

figs-ellipsis

הֶחֱזִ֗יק…הֶחֱזִ֔יק…הֶֽחֱזִ֔יק

1

strengthened … strengthened

Strengthened means “repaired.” It refers to repairing the wall, although Nehemiah does not specify this. This expression occurs several times in this chapter. It would be helpful to your readers to translate it consistently. Alternate translation: “repaired the next section of the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis]])

258

NEH

3

4

c8hi

translate-names

מְרֵמ֤וֹת בֶּן־אוּרִיָּה֙ בֶּן־הַקּ֔וֹץ

1

Meremoth, the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz

Meremoth is the name of a man, Uriah is the name of his father, and Hakkoz is the name of his grandfather. Alternate translation: “Meremoth, the son of Uriah and grandson of Hakkoz” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

259

NEH

3

4

inh2

translate-names

מְשֻׁלָּ֥ם בֶּן־בֶּרֶכְיָ֖ה בֶּן־מְשֵׁיזַבְאֵ֑ל

1

Meshullam, the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel

Meshullam is the name of a man, Berechiah is the name of his father, and Meshezabel is the name of his grandfather. Alternate translation: “Meshullam, the son of Berekiah and grandson of Meshezabel” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

260

NEH

3

4

xn3i

translate-names

צָד֖וֹק בֶּֽן־בַּעֲנָֽא

1

Zadok, the son of Baana

Zadok is the name of a man, and Baana is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

261

NEH

3

5

d8sa

figs-ellipsis

הֶחֱזִ֣יקוּ הַתְּקוֹעִ֑ים

1

Tekoites repaired

These phrases refer to repairing the wall. Alternate translation: “Tekoites repaired the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis]])

262

NEH

3

5

j3k4

translate-names

הַתְּקוֹעִ֑ים

1

the Tekoites

Tekoa is the name of one of the cities in Judah that sent a work party to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The Tekoites are the people who came from this city. Alternate translation: “some people from Tekoa” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

263

NEH

3

5

x484

grammar-connect-logic-contrast

וְאַדִּֽירֵיהֶם֙

1

but their nobles

Here Nehemiah is indicating a contrast between what these people should have done and what they actually did. You can use a word like “but” to indicate this. Alternate translation: “But the leading citizens of Tekoa” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/grammar-connect-logic-contrast]])

264

NEH

3

5

l7zc

figs-explicit

לֹא־הֵבִ֣יאוּ צַוָּרָ֔ם בַּעֲבֹדַ֖ת אֲדֹנֵיהֶֽם

1

did not bring their necks to the service of their lords

Nehemiah does not state the reason why the nobles did not do the work, but it is implied. Alternate translation: “were too proud to do the work” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

265

NEH

3

5

nsg3

figs-metonymy

לֹא־הֵבִ֣יאוּ צַוָּרָ֔ם בַּעֲבֹדַ֖ת אֲדֹנֵיהֶֽם

1

did not bring their necks to the service of their lords

Here, the neck represents the entire person, and specifically the person at work. The neck is likely associated with work because in this agrarian culture, draft animals would put their necks into yokes so that they could pull plows and drag loads. Alternate translation: “were too proud to do the work” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

266

NEH

3

5

r94d

translate-unknown

בַּעֲבֹדַ֖ת אֲדֹנֵיהֶֽם

1

to the service of their lords

Lords here most likely refers to the leaders of Judah, who had asked all the surrounding cities and towns to send work parties to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Another possibility is that the plural form of the word “lord” actually refers to God. Alternate translation: “the work that the leaders of Judah had asked them to do” or “the service of their Lord” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

267

NEH

3

5

d3h9

figs-abstractnouns

בַּעֲבֹדַ֖ת

1

to … service of

Service is an abstract noun that refers to the work of rebuilding the wall. You can translate the idea behind it with a concrete noun such as “work.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

268

NEH

3

6

ykz8

translate-names

שַׁ֨עַר הַיְשָׁנָ֜ה

1

the gate of old

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Old Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

269

NEH

3

6

i43m

translate-names

יֽוֹיָדָע֙ בֶּן־פָּסֵ֔חַ

1

Joiada, the son of Paseah

Joiada is the name of a man, and Paseah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

270

NEH

3

6

n1wi

translate-names

וּמְשֻׁלָּ֖ם בֶּן־בְּסֽוֹדְיָ֑ה

1

and Meshullam, the son of Besodeiah

Meshullam is the name of a man, and Besodeiah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

271

NEH

3

7

hu9u

translate-names

מְלַטְיָ֣ה הַגִּבְעֹנִ֗י

1

Melatiah the Gibeonite

Melatiah is the name of a man. “Gibeonite” means that he was from the city of Gibeon. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

272

NEH

3

7

ipe7

translate-names

וְיָדוֹן֙ הַמֵּרֹ֣נֹתִ֔י

1

Jadon the Meronothite

Jadon is the name of a man. “Meronothite” probably means that he was from the town of Meronoth. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

273

NEH

3

7

n6xg

translate-names

אַנְשֵׁ֥י גִבְע֖וֹן וְהַמִּצְפָּ֑ה

1

the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah

Gibeon and Mizpah were two of the cities in Judah that sent work parties to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “other people from Gibeon and from the city of Mizpah” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

274

NEH

3

7

mj92

translate-unknown

לְכִסֵּ֕א פַּחַ֖ת עֵ֥בֶר הַנָּהָֽר

1

to the seat of authority of the governor of Beyond-the-River

This is where the governor would have stayed when visiting Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “as far as the residence of the governor of the province Beyond the River” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

275

NEH

3

8

b2yh

translate-names

עֻזִּיאֵ֤ל בֶּֽן־חַרְהֲיָה֙

1

Uzziel, the son of Harbaiah

Uzziel is the name of a man, and Harhaiah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

276

NEH

3

8

f4p5

translate-unknown

צֽוֹרְפִ֔ים

1

of the goldsmiths

This means that Uzziel was one of the goldsmiths who worked in Jerusalem. A goldsmith is a person who makes jewelry and other objects from gold. The term “goldsmith” occurs several more times in the chapter, and if you include both the name and the definition here, that would help your readers understand it in its later occurrences. Alternate translation: “He was one of the goldsmiths, the workers who made jewelry and other objects from gold.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

277

NEH

3

8

mx88

translate-names

חֲנַנְיָ֖ה

1

Hananiah

Hananiah is the name of a man. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

278

NEH

3

8

mm1q

figs-metaphor

בֶּן־הָרַקָּחִ֑ים

1

a son of the perfumers

Son of here is a figurative expression that indicates that a person shares the qualities of something. In this case, the book is describing someone who shares the quality of being a maker of perfume. Alternate translation: “one of the perfumers” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

279

NEH

3

8

y25y

translate-names

וַיַּֽעַזְבוּ֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם עַ֖ד הַחוֹמָ֥ה הָרְחָבָֽה

1

And they restored Jerusalem as far as the broad wall

This is the name of one of the features of the Jerusalem wall. This may have been a place where the wall had been built thicker and stronger for strategic purposes. Alternate translation: “They rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

280

NEH

3

9

m5at

וְעַל־יָדָ֤ם הֶחֱזִיק֙ רְפָיָ֣ה בֶן־ח֔וּר שַׂ֕ר חֲצִ֖י פֶּ֥לֶךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם

1

And Rephaiah, the son of Hur, the administrator for half of the district of Jerusalem, strengthened at their hand.

In this chapter, when Nehemiah names a person, then names their father, and then describes a role, it is the first person, not their father, who was in that role. It will be helpful to your readers if you make this clear. Alternate translation: “Next to them, Rephaiah the son of Hur repaired part of the wall. Rephaiah ruled half of the district of Jerusalem”

281

NEH

3

9

avu2

translate-names

רְפָיָ֣ה בֶן־ח֔וּר

1

Rephaiah, the son of Hur

Rephaiah is the name of a man, and Hur is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

282

NEH

3

9

rd4i

translate-fraction

חֲצִ֖י פֶּ֥לֶךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם

1

half of the district of Jerusalem

The city of Jerusalem and the surrounding area seem to have been divided into districts for administration. This is the name of one of those districts. Apparently it was so large and populous that it had been further divided into two parts, each with its own administrator. Alternate translation: “ruled half the district of Jerusalem” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-fraction]])

283

NEH

3

10

k6g1

translate-names

יְדָיָ֥ה בֶן־חֲרוּמַ֖ף

1

Jedaiah, the son of Harumaph

Jedaiah is the name of a man, and Harumaph is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

284

NEH

3

10

v3be

וְעַל־יָדָ֧ם הֶחֱזִ֛יק…וְנֶ֣גֶד בֵּית֑וֹ

1

And … at their hand, even in fron of his house

Alternate translation: “repaired the next part of the wall, which was in front his house”

285

NEH

3

10

ek5q

translate-names

חַטּ֖וּשׁ בֶּן־חֲשַׁבְנְיָֽה

1

And Hattush, the son of Hashabneiah

Hattush is the name of a man, and Hashabneiah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

286

NEH

3

11

b6fx

translate-ordinal

מִדָּ֣ה שֵׁנִ֗ית

1

a second section

This expression occurs six times in the chapter. Two of those times, someone who has been named earlier is said to have repaired “a second section,” suggesting, “in addition to the one they did previously.” But the other four times, the people have not been named earlier. So in those cases it might mean “a further section of the wall,” beyond the one just described that someone else worked on. Both of these likely meanings could be accommodated by saying something like “another section of the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

287

NEH

3

11

g61e

translate-names

מַלְכִּיָּ֣ה בֶן־חָרִ֔ם

1

Malkijah, the son of Harim

Malkijah is the name of a man, and Malkijah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

288

NEH

3

11

jy16

translate-names

וְחַשּׁ֖וּב בֶּן־פַּחַ֣ת מוֹאָ֑ב

1

and Hasshub, the son of Pahath-Moab

Hasshub is the name of a man, and Pahath-Moab is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

289

NEH

3

11

l1db

translate-names

מִגְדַּ֥ל הַתַּנּוּרִֽים

1

the tower of ovens

This is the name of one of the towers of the Jerusalem wall. Alternate translation: “the Tower of the Ovens” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

290

NEH

3

12

e9p4

translate-names

שַׁלּוּם֙ בֶּן־הַלּוֹחֵ֔שׁ

1

Shallum, the son of Hallohesh

Shallum is the name of a man, and Hallohesh is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

291

NEH

3

12

wml3

translate-names

שַׂ֕ר חֲצִ֖י פֶּ֣לֶךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם

1

the administrator for half of the district of Jerusalem

This is the name of one of the districts into which the city and the surrounding area were divided. Since the first half has already been named, you could say as an alternate translation: “Shallum ruled the other half of the district of Jerusalem” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

292

NEH

3

12

b7iq

ה֖וּא וּבְנוֹתָֽיו

1

he and his daughters

Alternate translation: “along with his daughters”

293

NEH

3

13

i9v2

translate-names

שַׁ֨עַר הַגַּ֜יְא

1

the gate of the valley

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Valley Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

294

NEH

3

13

itt7

translate-names

חָנוּן֮

1

Hanun

This is the name of a man. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

295

NEH

3

13

w5le

translate-names

וְיֹשְׁבֵ֣י זָנוֹחַ֒

1

the inhabitants of Zanoah

Zanoah is the name of one of the cities in Judah that sent a work party to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the people from Zanoah” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

296

NEH

3

13

kw6h

translate-bdistance

וְאֶ֤לֶף אַמָּה֙

1

a thousand cubits

Depending on what would be most helpful to your readers, you could express this either in ancient or modern measurements, “1,000 cubits” or “460 meters” or “1,500 feet.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-bdistance]])

297

NEH

3

13

r9e4

translate-names

שַׁ֥עַר הָשֲׁפֽוֹת

1

the gate of dung

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Dung Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

298

NEH

3

14

d9dt

translate-names

שַׁ֣עַר הָאַשְׁפּ֗וֹת

1

the gate of dung

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Dung Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

299

NEH

3

14

w494

translate-names

מַלְכִּיָּ֣ה בֶן־רֵכָ֔ב

1

Malkijah, the son of Rechab

Malkijah is the name of a man, and Recab is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

300

NEH

3

14

u2dk

translate-names

פֶּ֣לֶךְ בֵּית־הַכָּ֑רֶם

1

the district of Beth-Hakkerem

This is the name of one of the districts into which the city and the surrounding area were divided. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

301

NEH

3

15

shf9

translate-names

שַׁ֨עַר הָעַ֜יִן

1

the gate of the spring

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Fountain Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

302

NEH

3

15

l7wu

translate-names

שַׁלּ֣וּן בֶּן־כָּל־חֹזֶה֮

1

Shallun son of Kol-Hozeh

Shallun is the name of a man, and Kol-Hozeh is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

303

NEH

3

15

bd9j

translate-names

פֶּ֣לֶךְ הַמִּצְפָּה֒

1

the district of Mizpah

This is the name of one of the districts into which the city and the surrounding area were divided. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

304

NEH

3

15

l3hf

ה֤וּא יִבְנֶ֨נּוּ֙ וִיטַֽלְלֶ֔נּוּ

1

He himself was building it and covering it

Alternate translation: “He rebuilt the gate and put a roof over it”

305

NEH

3

15

c8rt

חוֹמַ֞ת בְּרֵכַ֤ת הַשֶּׁ֨לַח֙

1

the wall of the pool of Siloam

Alternate translation: “the wall that surrounded the Pool of Siloam”

306

NEH

3

15

kmx6

לְגַן־הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְעַד־הַֽמַּעֲל֔וֹת הַיּוֹרְד֖וֹת מֵעִ֥יר דָּוִֽיד

1

at the garden of the king even as far as the stairs descending from the city of David

Alternate translation: “next to the royal garden, as far as the steps that went down from the City of David.”

307

NEH

3

15

c5bs

translate-names

מֵעִ֥יר דָּוִֽיד

1

from the city of David

This was one part of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the City of David” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

308

NEH

3

16

x774

translate-names

נְחֶמְיָ֣ה בֶן־עַזְבּ֔וּק

1

Nehemiah, the son of Azbuk

Nehemiah is the name of a man, and Azbuk is the name of his father. (This is not the same Nehemiah who wrote this book.) (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

309

NEH

3

16

sc4c

translate-names

פֶּ֣לֶךְ בֵּֽית־צ֑וּר

1

the district of Beth-Zur

This is the name of one of the districts into which the city and the surrounding area were divided. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

310

NEH

3

16

ngr2

עַד־נֶ֨גֶד֙ קִבְרֵ֣י דָוִ֔יד וְעַד־הַבְּרֵכָה֙ הָעֲשׂוּיָ֔ה וְעַ֖ד בֵּ֥ית הַגִּבֹּרִֽים

1

as far as in front of the graves of David, and as far as the pool that was made, and as far as the house of the mighty men

Alternate translation: “as far as the place opposite the tombs in the City of David, to the reservoir that the people had made and the army barracks”

311

NEH

3

17

str7

translate-names

אַחֲרָ֛יו הֶחֱזִ֥יקוּ הַלְוִיִּ֖ם

1

After him, the Levites strengthened

The Levites were descendants of Levi. They had the special assignment of helping the priests. Alternate translation: “Next to him, some Levites repaired parts of the wall.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

312

NEH

3

17

l6vw

translate-names

רְח֣וּם בֶּן־בָּנִ֑י

1

Rehum, the son of Bani

Rehum is the name of a man, and Bani is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

313

NEH

3

17

yt87

figs-explicit

רְח֣וּם בֶּן־בָּנִ֑י

1

Rehum, the son of Bani

It seems clear from the context that Rehum was a Levite. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “One of them was Rehum the son of Bani.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

314

NEH

3

17

a88s

translate-names

חֲשַׁבְיָ֛ה

1

Hashabiah

Hashabiah is the name of a man. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

315

NEH

3

17

yh3z

עַל־יָד֣וֹ הֶחֱזִ֗יק חֲשַׁבְיָ֛ה…לְפִלְכּֽוֹ

1

at his hand, Hashabiah … strengthened for his district

This does not mean that Hashabiah repaired this part of the wall for the benefit of his district, but rather that he did it leading a work party from his district. Alternate translation: “led a work party from his district that repaired the next section of the wall”

316

NEH

3

17

y3tu

translate-names

חֲצִי־פֶ֥לֶךְ קְעִילָ֖ה

1

half the district of Keilah

This is the name of one of the districts into which the city and the surrounding area were divided. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

317

NEH

3

18

h5qz

figs-metaphor

הֶחֱזִ֣יקוּ אֲחֵיהֶ֔ם

1

their brothers repaired

As in 3:1, brother could mean the biological brothers of the Levites mentioned in 3:17. However, more likely it figuratively means other Levites. Alternate translation: “some other Levites repaired more of the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

318

NEH

3

18

b6sj

figs-ellipsis

בַּוַּ֖י בֶּן־חֵנָדָ֑ד שַׂ֕ר חֲצִ֖י פֶּ֥לֶךְ קְעִילָֽה

1

Binnui, the son of Henadad, the administrator for half the district of Keilah

Here Nehemiah does not say “at their hand” (next to them) or “strengthened” (repaired another section of the wall). Once again he is leaving out some of what a complete sentence would be expected to contain. You can fill in this information. Alternate translation: “Next to them, Binnui the son of Henadad, who ruled the other half of the district of Keilah, repaired more of the wall.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis]])

319

NEH

3

18

gc2h

translate-names

בַּוַּ֖י בֶּן־חֵנָדָ֑ד

1

Binnui, the son of Henadad

Binnui is the name of a man, and Henadad is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

320

NEH

3

18

ca6t

translate-names

שַׂ֕ר חֲצִ֖י פֶּ֥לֶךְ קְעִילָֽה

1

the administrator for half the district of Keilah

This is the name of one of the districts into which the city and the surrounding area were divided. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

321

NEH

3

19

f6if

translate-names

עֵ֧זֶר בֶּן־יֵשׁ֛וּעַ

1

Ezer, the son of Jeshua

Ezer is the name of a man, and Jeshua is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

322

NEH

3

19

g2y6

translate-names

שַׂ֥ר הַמִּצְפָּ֖ה

1

the administrator for Mizpah

Since the district of Mizpah is mentioned in 3:15, this probably means the city of Mizpah. Alternate translation: “Ezer ruled the city of Mizpah” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

323

NEH

3

19

gcc6

translate-ordinal

וַיְחַזֵּ֨ק…מִדָּ֣ה שֵׁנִ֑ית

1

And … was strengthening a second section

Alternate translation: “repaired another section” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

324

NEH

3

19

c8s5

מִנֶּ֕גֶד עֲלֹ֥ת הַנֶּ֖שֶׁק הַמִּקְצֹֽעַ

1

opposite the ascent to the armory at the angle

Alternate translation: “He started from the place in front of the steps that went up to the armory, and he finished at the place where the wall bends slightly.”

325

NEH

3

20

r638

translate-names

בָּר֥וּךְ בֶּן־זבי

1

Baruch, the son of Zabbai

Baruch is the name of a man, and Zabbai is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

326

NEH

3

20

i7kj

figs-metaphor

הֶחֱרָ֧ה

1

burned

Here, burned is probably a figurative way of saying that Baruch worked with great enthusiasm. You could say that as an alternate translation. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

327

NEH

3

20

a53c

translate-ordinal

הֶחֱזִ֛יק…מִדָּ֣ה שֵׁנִ֑ית

1

strengthened a second section

Alternate translation: “repaired another section” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

328

NEH

3

20

a55c

מִן־הַ֨מִּקְצ֔וֹעַ עַד־פֶּ֨תַח֙ בֵּ֣ית אֶלְיָשִׁ֔יב הַכֹּהֵ֖ן הַגָּדֽוֹל

1

from the angle as far as the opening of the house of Eliashib the high priest

Alternate translation: “from the bend in the wall as far as the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest”

329

NEH

3

21

z4b7

translate-names

מְרֵמ֧וֹת בֶּן־אוּרִיָּ֛ה בֶּן־הַקּ֖וֹץ

1

Meremoth, the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz

Meremoth is the name of a man, Uriah is the name of his father, and Hakkoz is the name of his grandfather. See how you translated these names in 3:4. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

330

NEH

3

21

a57c

translate-ordinal

הֶחֱזִ֗יק…מִדָּ֣ה שֵׁנִ֑ית

1

strengthened a section

Alternate translation: “repaired another section” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

331

NEH

3

21

a59c

מִפֶּ֨תַח֙ בֵּ֣ית אֶלְיָשִׁ֔יב וְעַד־תַּכְלִ֖ית בֵּ֥ית אֶלְיָשִֽׁיב

1

from the opening of the house of Eliashib even as far as the end of the house of Eliashib

Alternate translation: “from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of his house”

332

NEH

3

22

m3ey

הַכֹּהֲנִ֖ים אַנְשֵׁ֥י הַכִּכָּֽר

1

the priests, the men of the valley

Jerusalem is up on a mountain, so the area around it would be “the valley.” Alternate translation: “some priests from the area around Jerusalem”

333

NEH

3

23

q2zh

הֶחֱזִ֧יק בִּנְיָמִ֛ן וְחַשּׁ֖וּב נֶ֣גֶד בֵּיתָ֑ם

1

strengthened in front of their house

Alternate translation: “repaired a section opposite their house”

334

NEH

3

23

v3fr

translate-names

בִּנְיָמִ֛ן וְחַשּׁ֖וּב

1

Benjamin and Hasshub

Benjamin and Hasshub are the names of men. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

335

NEH

3

23

z8p6

הֶחֱזִ֗יק…אֵ֥צֶל בֵּיתֽוֹ

1

strengthened beside his house

Alternate translation: “repaired the next section, beside his house”

336

NEH

3

23

gv74

translate-names

עֲזַרְיָ֧ה בֶן־מַעֲשֵׂיָ֛ה בֶּן־עֲנָֽנְיָ֖ה

1

Azariah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah

Azariah is the name of a man, Maaseiah is the name of his father, and Ananiah is the name of his grandfather. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

337

NEH

3

24

c3eh

translate-ordinal

הֶחֱזִ֗יק…מִדָּ֣ה שֵׁנִ֑ית

1

strengthened a second section

Alternate translation: “repaired another section” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

338

NEH

3

24

ajs6

translate-names

בִּנּ֛וּי בֶּן־חֵנָדָ֖ד

1

Binnui, the son of Henadad

Binnui is the name of a man, and Henadad is the name of his father. See how you translated these names in 3:18. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

339

NEH

3

24

k7tj

מִבֵּ֣ית עֲזַרְיָ֔ה עַד־הַמִּקְצ֖וֹעַ וְעַד־הַפִּנָּֽה

1

from the house of Azariah to the bend in the wall as far as the corner

Alternate translation: “from the house of Azariah to the bend in the wall as far as the bulwark”

340

NEH

3

24

a61c

translate-names

עֲזַרְיָ֔ה

1

Azariah

Azariah is a man, the same one mentioned in verse 23. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

341

NEH

3

25

q3r3

translate-names

פָּלָ֣ל בֶּן־אוּזַי֮

1

Palal, the son of Uzai

Palal is the name of a man, and Uzai is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

342

NEH

3

25

dae6

figs-ellipsis

מִנֶּ֣גֶד הַמִּקְצוֹעַ֒ וְהַמִּגְדָּ֗ל הַיּוֹצֵא֙

1

from opposite the angle and the tower projecting

Here again, Nehemiah leaves out some of the words that a sentence would ordinarily need in order to be complete. Alternate translation: “He began at the place opposite the bend in the wall where the watchtower is taller than” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis]])

343

NEH

3

25

pt6e

figs-metonymy

מִבֵּ֤ית הַמֶּ֨לֶךְ֙ הָֽעֶלְי֔וֹן

1

from the upper house of the king

Here, it is likely that house figuratively means palace, referring to where the king had lived. Alternate translation: “the upper palace of the king” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

344

NEH

3

25

isu9

אֲשֶׁ֖ר לַחֲצַ֣ר הַמַּטָּרָ֑ה

1

which is by the court of the guard

Alternate translation: “That is near the place where the guards stayed”

345

NEH

3

25

a63c

translate-names

פְּדָיָ֥ה בֶן־פַּרְעֹֽשׁ

1

Pedaiah, the son of Parosh

Pedaiah is the name of a man, and Parosh is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

346

NEH

3

25

d1jm

figs-ellipsis

פְּדָיָ֥ה בֶן־פַּרְעֹֽשׁ

1

Pedaiah, the son of Parosh

Once again Nehemiah leaves out some of the words that a sentence would ordinarily need in order to be complete. Alternate translation: “Next to him, Pedaiah the son of Parosh repaired a section” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis]])

347

NEH

3

26

b53g

figs-ellipsis

וְהַ֨נְּתִינִ֔ים הָי֥וּ יֹשְׁבִ֖ים בָּעֹ֑פֶל עַ֠ד נֶ֜גֶד שַׁ֤עַר הַמַּ֨יִם֙ לַמִּזְרָ֔ח וְהַמִּגְדָּ֖ל הַיּוֹצֵֽא

1

And the Nethinim were living in the Ophel, as far as in front of the gate of water and the projecting tower

Yet again Nehemiah leaves out some of the words that a sentence would ordinarily need in order to be complete. Alternate translation: “The temple servants who lived on Ophel Hill repaired the wall as far as the eastern side of the Water Gate where there is a tall tower” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis]])

348

NEH

3

26

ah1b

translate-names

וְהַ֨נְּתִינִ֔ים

1

Now the temple servants

The term Nethinim describes servants who worked in the temple. Alternate translation: “the temple servants” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

349

NEH

3

26

mz47

translate-unknown

בָּעֹ֑פֶל

1

in the Ophel

This is probably the name of a geographic feature, a fortified extension of the hill that the Jerusalem temple was located on. Alternate translation: “Ophel Hill” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

350

NEH

3

26

s2s5

translate-names

שַׁ֤עַר הַמַּ֨יִם֙

1

the gate of water

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Water Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

351

NEH

3

26

rvu2

וְהַמִּגְדָּ֖ל הַיּוֹצֵֽא

1

and the projecting tower

The phrase refers to a tall tower that juts out from the wall. Alternate translation: “a tall tower”

352

NEH

3

27

d719

translate-ordinal

הֶחֱזִ֥יקוּ…מִדָּ֣ה שֵׁנִ֑ית

1

strengthened a second section

Alternate translation: “repaired another section of the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

353

NEH

3

27

mgm7

translate-names

הַתְּקֹעִ֖ים

1

the Tekoites

Tekoa is the name of one of the cities in Judah that sent a work party to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The Tekoites were the people who lived there. See how you translated this name in verse 3:5. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

354

NEH

3

27

j6gz

מִנֶּ֜גֶד הַמִּגְדָּ֤ל הַגָּדוֹל֙ הַיּוֹצֵ֔א וְעַ֖ד חוֹמַ֥ת הָעֹֽפֶל

1

from in front of the high projecting tower even as far as the wall of the Ophel

Alternate translation: “from opposite the very tall watchtower as far as the wall at Ophel Hill”

355

NEH

3

28

wt87

figs-synecdoche

הַכֹּ֣הֲנִ֔ים

1

The priests

This does not mean all the priests. Nehemiah is using the name of the whole group to refer to part of it. Alternate translation: “a group of priests” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

356

NEH

3

28

d5qa

מֵעַ֣ל ׀ שַׁ֣עַר הַסּוּסִ֗ים

1

from above the gate of horses

The word above is used here because the houses of the priests were likely to have been located at a higher elevation than the Horse Gate. Alternate translation: “starting at the Horse Gate”

357

NEH

3

28

q9qb

translate-names

שַׁ֣עַר הַסּוּסִ֗ים

1

the gate of horses

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Horse Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

358

NEH

3

28

d5uv

figs-idiom

אִ֖ישׁ לְנֶ֥גֶד בֵּיתֽוֹ

1

a man to the front of his house

Here a man means “each one.” Alternate translation: “Each one repaired the section in front of his own house.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

359

NEH

3

29

n271

translate-names

צָד֥וֹק בֶּן־אִמֵּ֖ר

1

Zadok, the son of Immer

Zadok is the name of a man, and Immer is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

360

NEH

3

29

f74e

translate-names

שְׁמַֽעְיָ֣ה בֶן־שְׁכַנְיָ֔ה

1

Shemaiah, the son of Shecaniah

Shemaiah is the name of a man, and Shecaniah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

361

NEH

3

29

e9mh

שֹׁמֵ֖ר שַׁ֥עַר הַמִּזְרָֽח

1

the keeper of the gate of the east

Alternate translation: “the person who looked after the East Gate” or “the person who opened and closed the East Gate”

362

NEH

3

29

x9q4

translate-names

שַׁ֥עַר הַמִּזְרָֽח

1

the gate of the east

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the East Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

363

NEH

3

30

a65c

translate-ordinal

הֶחֱזִ֜יק…מִדָּ֣ה שֵׁנִ֑י

1

strengthened a second section

Alternate translation: “repaired another section” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

364

NEH

3

30

r5y4

translate-names

חֲנַנְיָ֣ה בֶן־שֶׁלֶמְיָ֗ה

1

Hananiah, the son of Shelemiah

Hananiah is the name of a man, and Shelemiah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

365

NEH

3

30

a67c

translate-names

וְחָנ֧וּן בֶּן־צָלָ֛ף הַשִּׁשִּׁ֖י

1

and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph

Hanun is the name of a man, and Zalaph is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

366

NEH

3

30

nn44

translate-ordinal

הַשִּׁשִּׁ֖י

1

sixth

Alternate translation: “son number six” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-ordinal]])

367

NEH

3

30

ifp5

translate-names

מְשֻׁלָּם֙ בֶּן־בֶּ֣רֶכְיָ֔ה

1

Meshullam, the son of Berechiah

Meshullam is the name of a man, and Berechiah is the name of his father. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

368

NEH

3

30

bv3t

נֶ֖גֶד נִשְׁכָּתֽוֹ

1

in front of his chamber

Alternate translation: “in front of the rooms where he stayed”

369

NEH

3

31

d33p

translate-names

מַלְכִּיָּה֙

1

Malkijah

Malkijah is the name of a man. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

370

NEH

3

31

uuc7

figs-metaphor

בֶּן־הַצֹּ֣רְפִ֔י

1

a son of the goldsmiths

As in 3:8, this is a figurative way of saying that Malkijah was one of the goldsmiths. In this figure of speech, the “son of” something shares its qualities. Since the goldsmiths have been mentioned previously (in 3:8, where their work is described), you could say as an alternate translation: “who was another one of the goldsmiths” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

371

NEH

3

31

lb9z

עַד־בֵּ֥ית הַנְּתִינִ֖ים וְהָרֹכְלִ֑ים

1

as far as the house of the Nethinim and the merchants

Alternate translation: “as far as the building used by the temple servants and the merchants”

372

NEH

3

31

ye2u

translate-names

שַׁ֣עַר הַמִּפְקָ֔ד

1

the gate of mustering

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. “Mustering” refers to soldiers assembling to go out to battle. Alternate translation: “the Mobilization Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

373

NEH

3

31

r6sv

וְעַ֖ד עֲלִיַּ֥ת הַפִּנָּֽה

1

even as far as the upper chamber of the corner

Alternate translation: “He built as far as the upper apartments of this building, which were on the corner.”

374

NEH

3

32

x1tq

figs-explicit

וּבֵ֨ין עֲלִיַּ֤ת הַפִּנָּה֙ לְשַׁ֣עַר הַצֹּ֔אן הֶחֱזִ֥יקוּ

1

strengthened between the upper chamber of the corner to the gate of sheep

This brings the description of the repairs back around to where they started. If it would be helpful to your readers, you could indicate this explicitly by saying “the last section.” Alternate translation: “repaired the last section of the wall, from the corner apartments to the Sheep Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

375

NEH

3

32

p1kr

figs-synecdoche

הַצֹּרְפִ֖ים וְהָרֹכְלִֽים

1

the goldsmiths and the merchants

This does not mean all the goldsmiths and all the merchants. Nehemiah is once again using the names of whole groups to refer to parts of them. Alternate translation: “some of the other goldsmiths, along with some traders” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

376

NEH

3

32

a69c

translate-names

לְשַׁ֣עַר הַצֹּ֔אן

1

the gate of sheep

This is the name of one of the gates of Jerusalem. Alternate translation: “the Sheep Gate” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

377

NEH

4

intro

tlj9

0

Nehemiah 4 General Notes

Special concepts in this chapter

Dedication

The people were so dedicated to rebuilding the walls that they worked with their weapons ready for battle right next to them. Even when they were threatened with an attack, they continued to trust in Yahweh. (See: [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/trust]])

Important figures of speech in this chapter

Rhetorical Questions

Sanballat uses a series of rhetorical questions. These are intended to show his intense anger against the Israelites. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-rquestion]])

378

NEH

4

1

rnw3

writing-newevent

וַיְהִ֞י

1

And it happened that

Nehemiah uses this phrase to introduce the next event in his story. You do not need to represent it in your translation unless your language has a similar expression that it characteristically uses. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/writing-newevent]])

379

NEH

4

1

vfu4

translate-names

סַנְבַלַּ֗ט

1

Sanballat

This is a man’s name. See how you translated this in 2:10. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

380

NEH

4

1

a71c

figs-parallelism

וַיִּ֣חַר ל֔וֹ וַיִּכְעַ֖ס הַרְבֵּ֑ה

1

And it burned him, and he was very angry

These two phrases mean similar things. Nehemiah uses the repetition to emphasize how angry Sanballat was. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine these phrases and say something like “he became furiously angry” or “he became very angry” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

381

NEH

4

1

s6td

figs-metaphor

וַיִּ֣חַר ל֔וֹ וַיִּכְעַ֖ס

1

it burned him, and he was very angry

Here Nehemiah says that Sanballat’s anger was a fire that burned inside of him. Alternate translation: “he became furious” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

382

NEH

4

2

v3qv

figs-metaphor

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ׀ לִפְנֵ֣י

1

And he spoke before the face of

Here, face figuratively represents the presence of a person. The expression means that Sanballat was speaking personally to the other people who are named. Alternate translation: “He said to” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

383

NEH

4

2

a73c

figs-metaphor

אֶחָ֗יו

1

his brothers

Here, brother likely refers figuratively to Sanballat’s fellow officials. Alternate translation: “the other provincial officials” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

384

NEH

4

2

a75c

figs-synecdoche

וְחֵיל֙ שֹֽׁמְר֔וֹן

1

and the army of Samaria

Sanballat was not speaking to the entire army. Nehemiah is figuratively using all of something to mean part of it. He is referring to the officers of the army by the name of the entire army. Alternate translation: “the army officers” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

385

NEH

4

2

d5n2

figs-rquestion

מָ֛ה הַיְּהוּדִ֥ים הָאֲמֵלָלִ֖ים עֹשִׂ֑ים הֲיַעַזְב֨וּ לָהֶ֤ם הֲיִזְבָּ֨חוּ֙ הַיְכַלּ֣וּ בַיּ֔וֹם

1

What are the feeble Jews doing? Will they restore for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish in a day?

Sanballat actually is making a series of statements, not asking a series of questions. He does not expect the officials and officers to tell him what the Jews are doing and whether they will succeed. Instead, he is using the question form to mock the Jews. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could translate the ideas in his questions as a series of statements. Alternate translation: “These feeble Jews can accomplish nothing. They will never restore the city for themselves. They will not offer sacrifices. They will not finish the work any time soon.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-rquestion]])

386

NEH

4

2

r9lb

הֲיִזְבָּ֨חוּ֙

1

Will they sacrifice?

The meaning of this phrase is not entirely clear. It could be that Sanballat is speaking of the Jews offering sacrifices to try to entice God to make their project successful. Alternate translation: “They will not get their God to help them”

387

NEH

4

2

uk3w

figs-idiom

הַיְכַלּ֣וּ בַיּ֔וֹם

1

Will they finish in a day?

In this context, the expression “day” means “a short time.” Alternate translation: “any time soon” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

388

NEH

4

2

hr7v

figs-personification

הַיְחַיּ֧וּ אֶת־הָאֲבָנִ֛ים מֵעֲרֵמ֥וֹת הֶעָפָ֖ר וְהֵ֥מָּה שְׂרוּפֽוֹת

1

Will they bring to life the stones from the piles of rubble after they were burned?

Here Sanballat is speaking of stones as if they could come to life and stand up straight to form the wall. Alternate translation: “They will not be able to rebuild the city walls from useless stones that were burned and turned into rubble” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-personification]])

389

NEH

4

2

b96n

figs-activepassive

מֵעֲרֵמ֥וֹת הֶעָפָ֖ר וְהֵ֥מָּה שְׂרוּפֽוֹת

1

from the piles of rubble after they were burned

If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this with an active form, and you can say who did the action. Alternate translation: “useless stones that someone has burned and turned into rubble” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

390

NEH

4

3

alw5

translate-names

וְטוֹבִיָּ֥ה הָעַמֹּנִ֖י

1

And Tobiah the Ammonite

This is a man’s name. See how you translated this in 2:10. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

391

NEH

4

3

b24b

גַּ֚ם

1

Yes

This word indicates that Tobiah agrees with Sanballat and that he is going to say something to support him. Alternate translation: “That’s right!”

392

NEH

4

3

da2t

figs-hyperbole

אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֣ם בּוֹנִ֔ים אִם־יַעֲלֶ֣ה שׁוּעָ֔ל וּפָרַ֖ץ חוֹמַ֥ת אַבְנֵיהֶֽם

1

If only a fox went up on what they are building, then he would break down their wall of stones

Tobiah probably does not believe that the wall would really fall down if a fox walked along the top of it. He is exaggerating to mock the work the Jews are doing. You could use a non-figurative expression in your translation instead, such as, “It wouldn’t take much to make that wall fall over.” However, Tobiah’s expression is so colorful that you may want to retain it, but be sure that your readers understand he is exaggerating. Alternate translation: “Tobiah made fun of the Jews by saying, ‘That wall they are building is so weak that if a fox climbed up on it, the stones would fall to the ground’” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-hyperbole]])

393

NEH

4

4

buk3

figs-explicit

שְׁמַ֤ע אֱלֹהֵ֨ינוּ֙

1

Hear, our God

Nehemiah starts talking directly to God at this point in the book. The implication is that he heard about what Sanballat and Tobiah were saying, and in response, he prayed the prayer that is recorded here in 2:4-5. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “When I heard about what they were saying, I prayed and said, ‘Listen, our God’” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

394

NEH

4

4

a77c

figs-aside

שְׁמַ֤ע אֱלֹהֵ֨ינוּ֙

1

Hear, our God

Nehemiah’s prayer here is a particular type of aside. In an aside, someone who is speaking to or about one person or group will pause and speak confidentially to somebody else about them. Often an aside is spoken to the audience of a work about someone who is being addressed within the work. But in this case, Nehemiah pauses from addressing the audience that is hearing his story; he speaks confidentially to God in prayer about two of the characters in the story. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could show this is a prayer is distinct from the story by making it a direct quotation. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-aside]])

395

NEH

4

4

ae62

figs-abstractnouns

הָיִ֣ינוּ בוּזָ֔ה

1

we are a contempt

The abstract noun contempt refers to the way Sanballat and Tobiah regarded the Jews, which led them to make fun of the Jews. You can translate the idea behind this term with a verb like “mocking.” Alternate translation: “our enemies are mocking us” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

396

NEH

4

4

z6nz

figs-idiom

וְהָשֵׁ֥ב חֶרְפָּתָ֖ם אֶל־רֹאשָׁ֑ם

1

and cause their taunts to return on their heads!

Return on his head is an idiom that means that what a person expected to happen to someone else happens to them instead. Alternate translation: “Make them people whom others will mock” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

397

NEH

4

4

pgh8

figs-abstractnouns

וּתְנֵ֥ם לְבִזָּ֖ה בְּאֶ֥רֶץ שִׁבְיָֽה

1

And give them for plunder in a land of captivity

As in 1:2, the abstract noun captivity refers to a conquering army forcing all or some of a captured population to move to a different place. You can translate the idea behind it with verbs such as “capture” and “force.” Alternate translation: “Allow their enemies to capture them and force them to go to a foreign land” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

398

NEH

4

5

mc9p

figs-parallelism

וְאַל־תְּכַס֙ עַל־עֲוֺנָ֔ם וְחַטָּאתָ֖ם מִלְּפָנֶ֣יךָ אַל־תִּמָּחֶ֑ה

1

And do not cover over their iniquity, and do not wipe out their sin from before your face

These two phrases mean similar things. Nehemiah uses the repetition to emphasize how guilty Sanballat and Tobiah are for opposing the work that God has sent him to do. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine these phrases. Alternate translation: “do not ever forgive them” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

399

NEH

4

5

zz8h

figs-metaphor

וְאַל־תְּכַס֙ עַל־עֲוֺנָ֔ם

1

Do not cover over their iniquity

Nehemiah speaks of a person’s sins as if they were an object that could be physically hidden. Alternate translation: “do not forgive their sins” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

400

NEH

4

5

k9rw

figs-metaphor

וְחַטָּאתָ֖ם…אַל־תִּמָּחֶ֑ה

1

and do not wipe out their sin

Nehemiah speaks of a person’s sins as if they were something written that could be erased. Alternate translation: “do not forget their sins” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

401

NEH

4

5

a79c

figs-metaphor

מִלְּפָנֶ֣יךָ

1

from before your face

Here, face figuratively means the action of seeing or a person’s notice or attention. A person can see what is in front of their face, so in this case the expression means, “from where you can see it” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

402

NEH

4

5

mbi1

כִּ֥י הִכְעִ֖יסוּ לְנֶ֥גֶד הַבּוֹנִֽים

1

for they have provoked anger before the front of the builders

This expression could mean one of the following three things: (1) It could mean that they have made God angry by opposing the work he has commanded Nehemiah to do. Alternate translation: “they have made you become angry.” This possibility seems the most likely, since Nehemiah is praying that what these men are trying to do to others will happen to them. (2) It could mean that they have caused others to be angry at the people who are rebuilding the wall. Alternate translation: “they have caused others to be angry at the people who are rebuilding the wall.” (3) It could mean that Sanballat and Tobiah have made the builders angry by mocking them. Alternate translation: “they have made the builders become angry”

403

NEH

4

6

r475

וַנִּבְנֶה֙ אֶת־הַ֣חוֹמָ֔ה

1

So we built the wall

As in chapter 3, it might be helpful to say “rebuilt.” The Jews were not building something brand new. See the note to 3:1.

404

NEH

4

6

mhm5

figs-activepassive

וַתִּקָּשֵׁ֥ר כָּל־הַחוֹמָ֖ה עַד־חֶצְיָ֑הּ

1

and all the wall was joined together to half its height

You can say this with an active form, and you can say who did the action. Alternate translation: “we filled in the breaks as high as halfway up the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

405

NEH

4

6

a81c

figs-explicit

וַתִּקָּשֵׁ֥ר כָּל־הַחוֹמָ֖ה עַד־חֶצְיָ֑הּ

1

and all the wall was joined together

It appears from the context that this likely took some time and perseverance after Sanballat and Tobiah began to mock and oppose the project. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “after some time, we filled in the breaks” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

406

NEH

4

6

ef8p

translate-fraction

עַד־חֶצְיָ֑הּ

1

half its height

“Half” means one part out of two equal parts. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-fraction]])

407

NEH

4

6

a83c

figs-metaphor

וַיְהִ֧י לֵ֦ב לָעָ֖ם לַעֲשֽׂוֹת

1

And the heart of the people was for working

Here the heart figuratively represents the thoughts and the will of the people. Alternate translation: “Everyone was determined to accomplish this.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

408

NEH

4

7

a85c

writing-newevent

וַיְהִ֣י

1

Then it happened

Nehemiah uses this phrase to introduce the next event in his story. You do not need to represent it in your translation unless your language has a similar expression that it characteristically uses. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/writing-newevent]])

409

NEH

4

7

a87c

translate-names

סַנְבַלַּ֡ט וְ֠טוֹבִיָּה

1

Sanballat, and Tobiah

This are the names of men. See how you translated them in 2:10. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

410

NEH

4

7

a89c

translate-names

וְהָעַרְבִ֨ים וְהָעַמֹּנִ֜ים וְהָאַשְׁדּוֹדִ֗ים

1

and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites

These are the names of people groups. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-names]])

411

NEH

4

7

a91c

figs-personification

עָלְתָ֤ה אֲרוּכָה֙ לְחֹמ֣וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֔ם

1

the health of the walls of Jerusalem was going up

Here Nehemiah is speaking of the wall around Jerusalem as if it were a living thing that was sick because it was broken down. Nehemiah speaks of the repairs to the wall as if the wall is becoming healthy again. Alternate translation: “we were continuing to repair the walls of Jerusalem” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-personification]])

412

NEH

4

7

a93c

עָלְתָ֤ה

1

was going up

Alternate translation: “was increasing”

413

NEH

4

7

a95c

figs-activepassive

כִּי־הֵחֵ֥לּוּ הַפְּרֻצִ֖ים לְהִסָּתֵ֑ם

1

and the breaks were beginning to be closed

You can say this with an active form, and you can say who did the action. Alternate translation: “we were continuing to … fill in the gaps” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

414

NEH

4

7

gsb7

figs-metaphor

וַיִּ֥חַר לָהֶ֖ם מְאֹֽד

1

that … it burned them exceedingly

Here Nehemiah says that the anger of these enemies was a fire that burned inside of them. Alternate translation: “they became very angry” or “they became enraged” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

415

NEH

4

8

b6im

figs-metonymy

לְהִלָּחֵ֣ם בִּירוּשָׁלִָ֑ם

1

to fight against Jerusalem

Here, Jerusalem refers to the people who live there. These enemies were not coming to fight against the walls and buildings. Nehemiah is describing the people of Jerusalem figuratively by reference to something associated with them, the city where they live. Alternate translation: “to fight against the people of Jerusalem” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

416

NEH

4

8

a97c

figs-abstractnouns

וְלַעֲשׂ֥וֹת ל֖וֹ תּוֹעָֽה

1

and to make confusion for it

The abstract noun confusion refers to the way these enemies hoped that their attack would make the people of Jerusalem not know what to do. The people might disagree among themselves about whether they should keep working on the wall or whether they should discontinue the work to appease the attackers. They might also disagree about how to defend themselves. You can translate the idea behind the term “confusion” with adjectives such as “confused” and “divided.” Alternate translation: “They wanted to make the people inside the city confused and divided.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

417

NEH

4

9

vz1d

וַנַּעֲמִ֨יד מִשְׁמָ֧ר עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם

1

and we set up a guard on account of them

Alternate translation: “and we put men around the wall to guard the city”

418

NEH

4

9

a99c

figs-merism

יוֹמָ֥ם וָלַ֖יְלָה

1

by day and by night

This does not mean that some people went up on the walls to look around at various parts of the day, and others went up at certain times of night. Nehemiah is describing how he maintained a constant guard by speaking of two times when people were on duty, the day and the night, in order to include all the time in between. Alternate translation: “at all times,” otherwise “throughout the day and night” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-merism]])

419

NEH

4

9

ad11

figs-metaphor

מִפְּנֵיהֶֽם

1

from their faces

This term could mean two different things: (1) Here, probably Their faces figuratively means the front of a group. This likely means that the lookouts would see the front ranks of the army as they approached. Alternate translation: “to spot them as they approached” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]]). (2) Here, “their faces” could also be a figurative way of referring to the enemies and their hostile intentions toward the people doing the work. Alternate translations: “against them”

420

NEH

4

10

ad13

figs-metonymy

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוּדָ֗ה

1

And Judah said

Nehemiah is describing the people of Judah figuratively by reference to something associated with them, the name of their province. Alternate translation: “Then the people of Judah started saying” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

421

NEH

4

10

ad15

כָּשַׁל֙ כֹּ֣חַ הַסַּבָּ֔ל

1

the strength of the burden-bearers is failing

Alternate translation: “The people who are carrying the stones are getting worn out”

422

NEH

4

10

vc8h

וְהֶעָפָ֖ר

1

and … rubble

Alternate translation: “and … burned stone” or “and … broken rock” or “and … unusable stone”

423

NEH

4

10

ad17

וַאֲנַ֨חְנוּ֙ לֹ֣א נוּכַ֔ל לִבְנ֖וֹת בַּחוֹמָֽה

1

And as for us, we are not able to build the wall.

Alternate translation: “We are not going to be able to finish rebuilding the wall”

424

NEH

4

11

yuc9

figs-parallelism

לֹ֤א יֵדְעוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א יִרְא֔וּ עַ֛ד אֲשֶׁר־נָב֥וֹא אֶל־תּוֹכָ֖ם

1

They will not know, and they will not see until when we come into their midst

These two phrases mean similar things. The enemies use the repetition to emphasize how confident they are of launching a surprise attack. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine these phrases. Alternate translation: “They will not be expecting an attack until we are right there,” otherwise “before they see us and know we are coming, we will rush down on them” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-parallelism]])

425

NEH

4

11

ad19

figs-metaphor

וְלֹ֣א יִרְא֔וּ

1

and they will not see

While the enemies could be referring to the Jews literally not seeing them approach, “seeing” could also be a figuratively way of describing knowledge, notice, or attention. In that case this expression would mean the same thing as “they will not know.” Alternate translation: “they will not be expecting” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

426

NEH

4

12

ad21

figs-explicit

בָּ֣אוּ

1

came

The implication is that they came to Jerusalem to speak with the Jewish leaders there. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “came to Jerusalem to speak with us” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

427

NEH

4

12

t8f2

figs-synecdoche

הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים הַיֹּשְׁבִ֖ים אֶצְלָ֑ם

1

the Jews dwelling beside them

Them means the enemies Nehemiah has been talking about, so this expression likely refers to the Jews who lived near Nehemiah and those helping him. But it does not mean all of these Jews, just some who came to Jerusalem. Nehemiah is describing part of this group as if it were the whole group. Alternate translation: “some of the Jews who lived near our enemies” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

428

NEH

4

12

b3zk

figs-idiom

וַיֹּ֤אמְרוּ לָ֨נוּ֙ עֶ֣שֶׂר פְּעָמִ֔ים

1

spoke to us ten times

Here the number 10 is used to represent “many.” Alternate translation: “spoke to us many times” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

429

NEH

4

12

ad23

figs-explicit

מִכָּל־הַמְּקֹמ֖וֹת אֲשֶׁר־תָּשׁ֥וּבוּ עָלֵֽינוּ

1

From all the places where you turn, they are on us

The meaning of this Hebrew phrase is uncertain. However, one explanation that would fit the context is that these exposed Jewish communities sent representatives to Jerusalem to tell Nehemiah that they were afraid of being attacked in their villages. The “places where you return” could mean “anywhere we live,” referring to the villages, and “they are on us” could mean that the enemies could attack these undefended towns at any time. Perhaps these representatives were asking Nehemiah to release their able-bodied men from work duty and send them home so they could help defend their families and neighbors. If it would be helpful to your readers, you could say something like this explicitly. Alternate translation: “Our enemies could attack us anywhere we live, so let our men return home so they can defend us!” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

430

NEH

4

12

q1mv

figs-hyperbole

מִכָּל־הַמְּקֹמ֖וֹת

1

From all the places where you turn

This phrase likely indicates “in every direction.” The word “all” is an exaggeration for emphasis. Alternate translation: “anywhere we live” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-hyperbole]])

431

NEH

4

13

ad25

וָֽאַעֲמִ֞יד

1

So I stationed

If you follow the suggestion in the previous note for translating the last phrase in 4:12, then you could show here that Nehemiah is indicating a contrast between what the representatives wanted him to do and what he actually did. Instead of scattering his forces by sending the men from other towns home, he concentrated them visibly in Jerusalem, expecting that the main attack would come there. Alternate translation: “But” or “Instead”

432

NEH

4

13

xc8b

וָֽאַעֲמִ֞יד מִֽתַּחְתִּיּ֧וֹת לַמָּק֛וֹם מֵאַחֲרֵ֥י לַחוֹמָ֖ה בַּצְּחִיחִ֑ים

1

So I stationed from the lowest of places behind the wall, in the bare places

Alternate translation: “I put guards behind the wall at the places where it was low or where there were gaps in it.”

433

NEH

4

13

mj33

figs-synecdoche

וָֽאַעֲמִ֤יד אֶת־הָעָם֙ לְמִשְׁפָּח֔וֹת

1

I stationed the people by families

This does not mean all the people, and it does not mean every member of every family. Nehemiah is figuratively describing part of the people as if they were all of them, and part of each family as if it were the whole family. Chapter 3 describes how Nehemiah organized the work on the wall by family and community groups. He seems to have organized the defense of the city the same way. Alternate translation: “I positioned people from each family” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

434

NEH

4

13

ad27

translate-unknown

וְקַשְּׁתֹתֵיהֶֽם

1

and their bows

This means not just bows, but bows and arrows. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

435

NEH

4

14

l4uz

וָאֵ֣רֶא

1

This likely means that Nehemiah literally looked over all the defenses he had put in place. Alternate translation: “After I had inspected everything”

436

NEH

4

14

h68n

figs-explicit

וָאָק֗וּם וָאֹמַ֞ר

1

Since Nehemiah immediately addresses a group of people, the implication is that he gathered them together to speak to them. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “I summoned … and I told them” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

437

NEH

4

14

f9hq

figs-idiom

וָאָק֗וּם

1

In this context, the expression “rose up” likely is a way of saying that Nehemiah took public action, not that he had been sitting or lying down and got up. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

438

NEH

4

14

iy4j

אֶל־הַחֹרִ֤ים וְאֶל־הַסְּגָנִים֙

1

See how you translated these terms in 2:16. Alternate translation: “to the leading citizens and the city officials”

439

NEH

4

14

mza7

figs-synecdoche

יֶ֣תֶר הָעָ֔ם

1

This does not mean all of the other people who lived in Jerusalem, but rather many of them who came to hear Nehemiah speak on this occasion. He is figuratively describing part of the people as if they were all of them. Alternate translation: “many of the other people” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

440

NEH

4

14

ic4q

figs-synecdoche

אַל־תִּֽירְא֖וּ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם

1

Here, face figuratively describes an entire person by reference to one part, the “face,” likely because the face shows what the person is thinking and feeling. Alternate translation: “Do not be afraid of our enemies” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

441

NEH

4

14

xyjh

figs-idiom

זְכֹ֔רוּ

1

In this context, remember does not refer to a person recalling something they have forgotten. Rather, it means, “keep in mind.” Alternate translation: “keep in mind” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

442

NEH

4

14

xgdm

figs-synecdoche

אֲדֹנָ֞י הַגָּד֤וֹל וְהַנּוֹרָא֙

1

Nehemiah is referring here to Yahweh, the God who promised to bless and protect the Jews as his chosen people. When he says my, he is using himself to represent the entire community. Alternate translation: “our great and awesome God” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

443

NEH

4

14

x0ri

figs-doublet

הַגָּד֤וֹל וְהַנּוֹרָא֙

1

Nehemiah uses this same expression in 1:5. See how you translated it there. Review the note there if that would be helpful. Alternate translation: “great and glorious” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

444

NEH

4

14

c8s7

figs-metaphor

אֲחֵיכֶם֙

1

Here, brother could mean biological brothers, but it is more likely that it refers figuratively to a person’s relatives, that is, their whole family. Alternate translation: “your families” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

445

NEH

4

15

puc1

writing-newevent

וַיְהִ֞י כַּֽאֲשֶׁר

1

Nehemiah uses this phrase to introduce the next event in his story. You do not need to represent it in your translation unless your language has a similar expression that it characteristically uses. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/writing-newevent]])

446

NEH

4

15

qxa7

figs-activepassive

נ֣וֹדַֽע לָ֔נוּ

1

If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this with an active form, and you could say who did the action. Alternate translation: “we found out about their plans” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive]])

447

NEH

4

15

lgih

figs-explicit

נ֣וֹדַֽע לָ֔נוּ

1

It means the plan of these enemies to launch a surprise attack, as described in 4:11. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “we found out about their plans to launch a surprise attack” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

448

NEH

4

15

e4mc

וַיָּ֥פֶר הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־עֲצָתָ֑ם

1

Alternate translation: “and God had kept them from doing what they planned.”

449

NEH

4

15

f236

figs-metonymy

וַנָּ֤שָׁב כֻּלָּ֨נוּ֙ אֶל־הַ֣חוֹמָ֔ה אִ֖ישׁ אֶל־מְלַאכְתּֽוֹ

1

Here, the wall means the work on the wall. Nehemiah is describing this work figuratively by referring to something associated with it, the wall that was the object of the work. Alternate translation: “we all went back to working on the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

450

NEH

4

15

g1de

figs-explicit

וַנָּ֤שָׁב כֻּלָּ֨נוּ֙ אֶל־הַ֣חוֹמָ֔ה אִ֖ישׁ אֶל־מְלַאכְתּֽוֹ

1

The implication is that when the enemies realized the Jews knew about their plans, they decided not to attack. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “They decided not to attack us, and we all went back to working on the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

451

NEH

4

15

doov

figs-idiom

אִ֖ישׁ אֶל־מְלַאכְתּֽוֹ

1

In this context, a man means “each person.” It does not refer only to an adult male. Alternate translation: “Each person continued doing the same work as before” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

452

NEH

4

16

rtac

figs-idiom

מִן־הַיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא

1

In this context, day may not refer to one specific day, but rather to a more general time. Alternate translation: “from that time on” or “after that” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

453

NEH

4

16

gh9g

figs-idiom

נְעָרַי֮ עֹשִׂ֣ים בַּמְּלָאכָה֒

1

This expression refers to the servants who worked for Nehemiah. While they probably were young adult males, the expression is specifically envisioning their role and status. Alternate translation: “my servants” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

454

NEH

4

16

rgab

figs-explicit

עֹשִׂ֣ים בַּמְּלָאכָה֒

1

This refers to the work on the wall. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “worked on the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

455

NEH

4

16

f9in

translate-fraction

חֲצִ֣י נְעָרַי֮

1

Half means one part out of two equal parts. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-fraction]])

456

NEH

4

16

nf2h

translate-unknown

וְהַקְּשָׁת֖וֹת

1

As in 4:13, this means not just bows, but bows and arrows. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

457

NEH

4

16

i7wi

וְהַ֨שָּׂרִ֔ים אַחֲרֵ֖י כָּל־בֵּ֥ית יְהוּדָֽה

1

This likely means that certain officials literally stood behind the workers and the guards. That is, they were inside the wall and close to it, while the guards stood right at the wall and the workers worked on it. Alternate translation: “Officers stood behind all the workers and guards”

458

NEH

4

16

gl4t

figs-explicit

וְהַ֨שָּׂרִ֔ים אַחֲרֵ֖י כָּל־בֵּ֥ית יְהוּדָֽה

1

The implication is that the leaders were there to give orders in case there was an attack. But it is likely that Nehemiah also wanted them to offer encouragement and maintain good morale. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “Officers stood behind all the workers and guards to encourage everyone and to give orders in case there was an attack” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

459

NEH

4

16

ijcj

וְהַ֨שָּׂרִ֔ים

1

From the context here and the use of this term in 7:2, it appears that these “officials” were responsible for giving commands in military situations. Alternate translation: “and officers”

460

NEH

4

16

d9r4

figs-metaphor

כָּל־בֵּ֥ית יְהוּדָֽה

1

Here, the word house describes all the people descended from a particular person. All of the descendants of Judah are being described figuratively as if they were one household living together. So this would ordinarily mean “the people of Judah” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

461

NEH

4

16

p1dv

figs-synecdoche

כָּל־בֵּ֥ית יְהוּדָֽה

1

However, in this context, the expression is not referring to all the people of Judah. Nehemiah is figuratively describing part of the people as if they were all of them. He means all of the workers and guards. The expression helps clarify that Nehemiah is no longer speaking just of his own servants, whom had divided into two groups to serve as workers and guards. Alternate translation: “all the workers and guards” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

462

NEH

4

17

hgfd

figs-doublet

וְהַנֹּשְׂאִ֥ים בַּסֶּ֖בֶל עֹמְשִׂ֑ים

1

These two short phrases mean similar things. Nehemiah uses them together for clarity and emphasis. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “and those who carried the heavy loads” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

463

NEH

4

17

uya2

figs-hyperbole

עֹמְשִׂ֑ים בְּאַחַ֤ת יָדוֹ֙ עֹשֶׂ֣ה בַמְּלָאכָ֔ה וְאַחַ֖ת מַחֲזֶ֥קֶת הַשָּֽׁלַח

1

Here his hands means “their hands.” This is an exaggeration. The builders and porters did not always work with only one hand. Rather, this means that they always had their weapons with them so that they would be prepared to fight off an attack. Alternate translation: “they always had their weapons with them while they were working on the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-hyperbole]])

464

NEH

4

18

g8tq

figs-idiom

וְהַ֨בּוֹנִ֔ים אִ֥ישׁ חַרְבּ֛וֹ אֲסוּרִ֥ים עַל־מָתְנָ֖יו וּבוֹנִ֑ים

1

In this context, a man means “each person.” Alternate translation: “each builder worked with his sword strapped to his side” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

465

NEH

4

18

vur2

figs-explicit

וְהַתּוֹקֵ֥עַ בַּשּׁוֹפָ֖ר אֶצְלִֽי

1

The implication is that Nehemiah stationed this person next to him so that he could sound a signal if needed. (This becomes clear in 4:20.) If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly here. Alternate translation: “And I stationed someone next to me who would blow a ram’s horn if we needed a signal” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

466

NEH

4

19

yn7h

וָאֹמַ֞ר

1

See how you translated these terms in 2:16. Alternate translation: “the leading citizens … the city officials”

467

NEH

4

19

xi9g

figs-synecdoche

הַחֹרִ֤ים…הַסְּגָנִים֙

1

As in 4:14, this does not mean all of the other people who lived in Jerusalem, but rather many of them who came to hear Nehemiah speak on this occasion. He is figuratively describing part of the people as if they were all of them. Alternate translation: “many of the other people” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

468

NEH

4

19

agy3

figs-doublet

הַמְּלָאכָ֥ה הַרְבֵּ֖ה וּרְחָבָ֑ה

1

Great and vast mean similar things. Nehemiah uses them together to emphasize the scope of the rebuilding project. You do not need to repeat both phrases in your translation if that would be confusing for your readers. Alternate translation: “large-scale” or “huge” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

469

NEH

4

19

p5fh

figs-idiom

וַאֲנַ֗חְנוּ נִפְרָדִים֙ עַל־הַ֣חוֹמָ֔ה רְחוֹקִ֖ים אִ֥ישׁ מֵאָחִֽיו

1

In this context, a man means “each person,” and brother means “fellow Jew.” Alternate translation: “each of us is far apart from our fellow Jews along the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

470

NEH

4

20

tm9s

figs-explicit

אֶת־ק֣וֹל הַשּׁוֹפָ֔ר

1

The implication is that the workers and guards would need to gather together to fight off an attack. The implication is also that while the people were widely scattered, they would all be able to hear the ram’s horn even from a distance, and so it would be an effective signal. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say these things explicitly. Alternate translation: “So if we all need to gather in one place to fight off an attack, I will have someone blow a ram’s horn there. You will be able to hear this signal from anywhere along the wall.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

471

NEH

4

20

i5t4

translate-unknown

הַשּׁוֹפָ֔ר

1

See how you translated this in 4:18. Review the explanation there if that would be helpful. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

472

NEH

4

20

qml6

אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יִלָּ֥חֶם לָֽנוּ

1

This does not mean that God will fight instead of the Jews, but that God will take their side and help them win. Alternate translation: “God will help us defeat our enemies”

473

NEH

4

21

opos

figs-explicit

וַאֲנַ֖חְנוּ עֹשִׂ֣ים בַּמְּלָאכָ֑ה

1

This means the work of rebuilding the wall. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say that explicitly. Alternate translation: “So we continued to work on rebuilding the wall” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

474

NEH

4

21

xvrl

figs-synecdoche

וְחֶצְיָ֗ם מַחֲזִיקִים֙ בָּֽרְמָחִ֔ים

1

“Them” means the men who would otherwise have been working as builders or carrying loads, but who were serving as guards instead. As verses 4:13 and 4:16 make clear, the weaponry included not just spears, but also shields and bows and arrows. So Nehemiah is using “spears” here to refer figuratively to all of the weaponry. Alternate translation: “half of the men served as guards and kept their weapons ready” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

475

NEH

4

21

ca45

translate-fraction

וְחֶצְיָ֗ם

1

Here half means one part out of two equal parts. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-fraction]])

476

NEH

4

21

w4uu

figs-merism

מֵעֲל֣וֹת הַשַּׁ֔חַר עַ֖ד צֵ֥את הַכּוֹכָבִֽים

1

Nehemiah is referring to the entire day by speaking of two extreme parts of it, the time when first light of morning appears and the time when it becomes dark enough to see the stars, in order to include everything in between. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could express this meaning with a single phrase. Alternate translation: “at all times,” otherwise “from the time when the light of dawn appeared in the morning until the time when the stars appeared at night” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-merism]])

477

NEH

4

21

jl3h

מֵעֲל֣וֹת הַשַּׁ֔חַר

1

This phrase refers to the daily appearance of light rising in the east in the early morning hours prior to the sun rising above the horizon. Alternate translation: “the first light of day”

478

NEH

4

21

ww7q

figs-metaphor

צֵ֥את הַכּוֹכָבִֽים

1

Here Nehemiah describes the appearing of the stars as if they came out of an enclosed container. Alternate translation: “the very beginning of the night” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

479

NEH

4

22

j1fu

figs-idiom

אִ֣ישׁ

1

In this context, a man means “each person” and more specifically “each worker.” As in 4:16, “young man” means servant. Alternate translation: “each worker and his servant” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

480

NEH

4

22

r87p

figs-explicit

בְּת֣וֹךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם

1

This could be referring to workers who had come from nearby cities and towns to help rebuild the wall. It could also include people who lived in the Jerusalem area but whose homes were outside the city, such as local farmers. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “spend the night inside Jerusalem and not go home if they live outside the city” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

481

NEH

4

22

gjm3

וְהָֽיוּ־לָ֧נוּ הַלַּ֛יְלָה מִשְׁמָ֖ר וְהַיּ֥וֹם מְלָאכָֽה

1

The idea is not that these men would be on guard duty all night and then work all day on the wall. Rather, their presence in the city would mean that a large number of defenders would be ready on short notice if needed. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “That way the city will have plenty of defenders even at night, and they can still work on the wall during the daytime”

482

NEH

4

23

llry

grammar-connect-time-simultaneous

וְאֵ֨ין

1

In this verse Nehemiah is describing something else that was also true of the conditions in Jerusalem during the time period he is describing. You can make this clear in your translation with an appropriate connecting word or phrase. Alternate translation: “At that time, neither” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/grammar-connect-time-simultaneous]])

483

NEH

4

23

g8mf

figs-metonymy

וְאַחַ֣י

1

Here brother likely refers to Nehemiah’s close relatives. Elsewhere in the book he indicates that his brother Hanani lived in the city and that his relatives ate with him at the governor’s table (1:2, 5:14, 7:2). Alternate translation: “nor my relatives” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

484

NEH

4

23

vfv3

figs-idiom

וּנְעָרַ֗י

1

As in 4:16, this means “my servants.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

485

NEH

4

23

flyg

translate-unknown

וְאַנְשֵׁ֤י הַמִּשְׁמָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַחֲרַ֔י

1

This likely refers to the personal bodyguard that the king would have assigned to Nehemiah when he appointed him to be the governor of Judah. (Nehemiah describes this appointment in 5:14.) Alternate translation: “my personal bodyguard” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

486

NEH

4

23

upc5

figs-ellipsis

אִ֖ישׁ שִׁלְח֥וֹ הַמָּֽיִם

1

Here the specific meaning of the Hebrew text is unknown, but Nehemiah is almost certainly leaving out some of the words that a sentence would normally have to have in order to be complete. He says that he and his relatives, servants, and bodyguards did not take off their clothes, or anyone his weapon at the water. This could mean that “no one took his weapon off even when he was washing himself” or that “no one took his weapon off even when going to get water.” If your readers would misunderstand this if you explained what “at the water” might mean, you could choose one of these possibilities. Alternate translation: “Each of us always had our weapons with us, even when we were washing ourselves.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis]])

487

NEH

4

23

v2e1

figs-idiom

פֹשְׁטִ֖ים בְּגָדֵ֑ינוּ אִ֖ישׁ שִׁלְח֥וֹ

1

In this context, a man means anyone. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom]])

488

NEH

5

intro

k7pb

0

Nehemiah 5 General Notes

Special concepts in this chapter

Equality

The rich made money from the poor. The rich oppressed the poor by charging interest on loans. Because Nehemiah wanted to treat everyone fairly, he did not collect any taxes from them. This chapter also emphasizes that it was wrong to enslave a fellow Jew. (See: [[rc://en/tw/dict/bible/other/oppress]])

Governor

Nehemiah was a governmental leader in Jerusalem, but he was not a king. Jerusalem had a great deal of independence, but it was under the authority of the Persian king. The term “governor” reflects this idea, but a different term may be used in translation.

489

NEH

5

1

za4u

grammar-connect-time-simultaneous

וַתְּהִ֨י

1

Nehemiah now relates something else that was happening even while the Jews were trying to rebuild the wall and defend themselves against their enemies. You can make this clear in your translation with an appropriate connecting word or phrase. Alternate translation: “Around this same time” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/grammar-connect-time-simultaneous]])

490

NEH

5

1

zmb8

figs-abstractnouns

צַעֲקַ֥ת הָעָ֛ם וּנְשֵׁיהֶ֖ם גְּדוֹלָ֑ה

1

Outcry is an abstract noun that refers to the complaints that the poorer Jews made to Nehemiah about how the wealthier and more powerful Jews were treating them. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could translate the idea behind this word with a verb such as “complain.” Since Nehemiah says this was a “great” outcry, involving many serious grievances, you could intensify the verb with an adverb such as “bitterly.” Alternate translation: “many of the men and their wives complained bitterly” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

491

NEH

5

1

czx5

הָעָ֛ם וּנְשֵׁיהֶ֖ם

1

Here, the people seems to indicate certain men who lived in Jerusalem, since Nehemiah also mentions their wives. Alternate translation: “many of the men and their wives”

492

NEH

5

1

uqlp

figs-metaphor

אֲחֵיהֶ֖ם

1

Here, brother does not seem to mean biological brothers, but to refer figuratively to other members of the same people group. Alternate translation: “their fellow Jews” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor]])

493

NEH

5

1

c3po

figs-doublet

אֲחֵיהֶ֖ם הַיְּהוּדִֽים

1

These two short phrases mean similar things. Nehemiah uses them together to emphasize how inappropriate it was for people to treat members of their own group in the ways described. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine these phrases. Alternate translation: “their fellow Jews” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

494

NEH

5

2

u19u

וְיֵשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֹמְרִ֔ים

1

Verses 2, 3, 4, and 5 do not seem to be different complaints that people brought to Nehemiah separately. Rather, the whole group seems to be complaining that because they need to get food for their families, wealthier and more powerful Jews are exploiting them. They are forcing them to take mortgages and loans and even sell their children into slavery. Nehemiah is probably depicting one speaker after another in the crowd adding details to this picture. You could suggest this to the readers of your translation by introducing these comments with a translation such as, “some of them began to say”

495

NEH

5

2

i9kn

בָּנֵ֥ינוּ וּבְנֹתֵ֖ינוּ אֲנַ֣חְנוּ רַבִּ֑ים

1

Alternate translation: “We have many children”

496

NEH

5

2

i5cb

figs-synecdoche

וְנִקְחָ֥ה דָגָ֖ן

1

This does not mean only grain. The people complaining to Nehemiah are using one kind of food, grain, the staple of their diet, to refer figuratively to all the foods they would need to eat. Alternate translation: “we need food” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche]])

497

NEH

5

2

i7bq

figs-explicit

וְנִקְחָ֥ה דָגָ֖ן

1

The implication is that because the families are large, a lot of food is needed. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “we need to get a lot of food” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

498

NEH

5

2

ojue

figs-doublet

וְנֹאכְלָ֥ה וְנִחְיֶֽה

1

These two short phrases mean similar things. The people use them together to emphasize the urgency and importance of having food. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine these phrases. Alternate translation: “to get enough food to stay alive” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-doublet]])

499

NEH

5

3

hwfh

figs-explicit

וְיֵשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֹמְרִ֔ים

1

(See the applicable note to 2:2 and [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]]) Alternate translation: “Others added”

500

NEH

5

3

dt2m

translate-unknown

שְׂדֹתֵ֛ינוּ וּכְרָמֵ֥ינוּ וּבָתֵּ֖ינוּ אֲנַ֣חְנוּ עֹרְבִ֑ים וְנִקְחָ֥ה דָגָ֖ן בָּרָעָֽב

1

It might be helpful to explain to your readers what a mortgage is, if you think they might not know. Alternate translation: “We have had to promise to give someone our fields, vineyards, and houses if we do not pay back the money we borrowed. We had to borrow the money to buy food during this time when food is scarce.” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

501

NEH

5

4

r14f

וְיֵשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֹמְרִ֔ים

1

Different people in the crowd apparently continue to add details to the complaint. Alternate translation: “Still others said”

502

NEH

5

4

zurg

figs-metonymy

לָוִ֥ינוּ כֶ֖סֶף

1

Silver here means “money.” Nehemiah is describing money figuratively by reference to the commodity that is being used as a means of exchange, silver. Alternate translation: “We have had to borrow money” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metonymy]])

503

NEH

5

4

wi16

translate-unknown

לְמִדַּ֣ת הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ שְׂדֹתֵ֖ינוּ וּכְרָמֵֽינוּ

1

Tribute means “taxes” here. Alternate translation: “the taxes that the king commanded us to pay on our fields and our vineyards” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/translate-unknown]])

504

NEH

5

5

zami

grammar-connect-words-phrases

וְעַתָּ֗ה

1

This term indicates that the sentence that follows is a further development of the thought from the previous sentence. (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/grammar-connect-words-phrases]])

505

NEH

5

5

z4ru

figs-explicit

כִּבְשַׂ֤ר אַחֵ֨ינוּ֙ בְּשָׂרֵ֔נוּ כִּבְנֵיהֶ֖ם בָּנֵ֑ינוּ

1

Here the Jews are insisting that they are of the same Jewish descent as the other Jews and that they of the same importance as the others. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could say this explicitly. Alternate translation: “Yet our families are Jews just like the other Jews’ families, and our children are just as important to us as their children are to them” (See: [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit]])

506

NEH

5

5

ff7r

figs-abstractnouns

כִּבְשַׂ֤ר אַחֵ֨ינוּ֙ בְּשָׂרֵ֔נוּ כִּבְנֵיהֶ֖ם בָּנֵ֑ינוּ

1

These two phrases mean similar things. The people complaining to Nehemiah are using the repetition to emphasize how shameful it is for the wealthy and powerful to sell their own fellow Jews into slavery. If your readers would misunderstand this, you could combine these phrases. Alternate translation: “And we are Jews, just like the people who are doing these things to us!” (See [[rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-abstractnouns]])

507

NEH

5

5

pcwk

כִּבְשַׂ֤ר אַחֵ֨ינוּ֙ בְּשָׂרֵ֔נוּ כִּבְנֵיהֶ֖ם בָּנֵ֑ינוּ

1

You could move this sentence to the end of the verse, since it is the culmination of the argument.

508

NEH

5

5

w1ot

figs-metaphor

אַחֵ֨ינוּ֙

1

Here, brother figuratively describes the Jews who are exploiting their poor and vulnerable fellow Jews