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Nehemiah 4:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— But it came to pass that, when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— But it came to pass that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass that when Sanballat heard that we built the wall, he was angry and very indignant, and mocked the Jews.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— But it came to pass, when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, it angered him, and he was greatly displeased,—and mocked the Jews;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass, when Sanballat hath heard that we are building the wall, that it is displeasing to him, and he is very angry and mocketh at the Jews,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And it came to pass, that when Sanaballat heard that we were building the wall he was angry: and being moved exceedingly he scoffed at the Jews.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— But it came to passe, that when Sanballat heard, that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and tooke great indignation, and mocked the Iewes.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Now it came to pass, when Sanballat{gr.Sanaballat} heard that we were building the wall, that it was grievous to him, and he was very angry, and railed against the Jews.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— But it came to pass, that when Sanvallat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Yehudim.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
But it came to pass, x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
that when x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
Sanvalla+ סַנבַלַּט 5571
{5571} Prime
סַנְבַלַּט
Canballat
{san-bal-lat'}
Of foreign origin; Sanballat, a Persian satrap of Samaria.
heard 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
that x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
we x587
(0587) Complement
אֲנַחְנוּ
'anachnuw
{an-akh'-noo}
Apparently from H0595; we.
builded 1129
{1129} Prime
בָּנָה
banah
{baw-naw'}
A primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
the wall, 2346
{2346} Prime
חוֹמָה
chowmah
{kho-maw'}
Feminine active participle of an unused root apparently meaning to join; a wall of protection.
he was wroth, 2734
{2734} Prime
חָרָה
charah
{khaw-raw'}
A primitive root (compare H2787); to glow or grow warm; figuratively (usually) to blaze up, of anger, zeal, jealousy.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
and took great y7235
[7235] Standard
רָבָה
rabah
{raw-baw'}
A primitive root; to increase (in whatever respect).
z8687
<8687> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 1162
indignation, 3707
{3707} Prime
כָּעַס
ka`ac
{kaw-as'}
A primitive root; to trouble; by implication to grieve, rage, be indignant.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
x7235
(7235) Complement
רָבָה
rabah
{raw-baw'}
A primitive root; to increase (in whatever respect).
and mocked 3932
{3932} Prime
לָעַג
la`ag
{law-ag'}
A primitive root; to deride; by implication (as if imitating a foreigner) to speak unintelligibly.
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the Yhm יְהוּדִים. 3064
{3064} Prime
יְהוּדִי
Y@huwdiy
{yeh-hoo-dee'}
Patronymic from H3063; a Jehudite (that is, Judaite or Jew), or descendant of Jehudah (that is, Judah).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Nehemiah 4:1

_ _ Nehemiah 4:1-6. While the enemies scoff, Nehemiah prays to God, and continues the work.

_ _ when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth — The Samaritan faction showed their bitter animosity to the Jews on discovering the systematic design of refortifying Jerusalem. Their opposition was confined at first to scoffs and insults, in heaping which the governors made themselves conspicuous, and circulated all sorts of disparaging reflections that might increase the feelings of hatred and contempt for them in their own party. The weakness of the Jews in respect of wealth and numbers, the absurdity of their purpose apparently to reconstruct the walls and celebrate the feast of dedication in one day, the idea of raising the walls on their old foundations, as well as using the charred and moldering debris of the ruins as the materials for the restored buildings, and the hope of such a parapet as they could raise being capable of serving as a fortress of defense — these all afforded fertile subjects of hostile ridicule.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Nehemiah 4:1-6

_ _ Here is, I. The spiteful scornful reflection which Sanballat and Tobiah cast upon the Jews for their attempt to build the wall about Jerusalem. The country rang of it presently; intelligence was brought of it to Samaria, that nest of enemies to the Jews and their prosperity; and here we are told how they received the tidings. 1. In heart. They were very angry at the undertaking, and had great indignation, Nehemiah 4:1. It vexed them that Nehemiah came to seek the welfare of the children of Israel (Nehemiah 2:10); but, when they heard of this great undertaking for their good, they were out of all patience. They had hitherto pleased themselves with the thought that while Jerusalem was unwalled they could swallow it up and make themselves masters of it when they pleased; but, if it be walled, it will not only be fenced against them, but by degrees become formidable to them. The strength and safety of the church are the grief and vexation of its enemies. 2. In word. They despised it, and made it the subject of their ridicule. In this they sufficiently displayed their malice; but good was brought out of it; for, looking upon it as a foolish undertaking that would sink under its own weight, they did not go about to obstruct it till it was too late. Let us see with what pride and malice they set themselves publicly to banter it. (1.) Sanballat speaks with scorn of the workmen: “These feeble Jews” (Nehemiah 4:2), “what will they do for materials? Will they revive the stones out of the rubbish? And what mean they by being so hasty? Do they think to make the walling of a city but one day's work, and to keep the feast of dedication with sacrifice the next day? Poor silly people! See how ridiculous they make themselves!” (2.) Tobiah speaks with no less scorn of the work itself. He has his jest too, and must show his wit, Nehemiah 4:3. Profane scoffers sharpen one another. “Sorry work,” says he, “they are likely to make of it; they themselves will be ashamed of it: If a fox go up, not with his subtlety, but with his weight, he will break down their stone wall.” Many a good work has been thus looked upon with contempt by the proud and haughty scorners.

_ _ II. Nehemiah's humble and devout address to God when he heard of these reflections. He had notice brought him of what they said. It is probable that they themselves sent him a message to this purport, to discourage him, hoping to jeer him out of his attempt; but he did not answer these fools according to their folly; he did not upbraid them with their weakness, but looked up to God by prayer.

_ _ 1. He begs of God to take notice of the indignities that were done them (Nehemiah 4:4), and in this we are to imitate him: Hear, O our God! for we are despised. Note, (1.) God's people have often been a despised people, and loaded with contempt. (2.) God does, and will, hear all the slights that are put upon his people, and it is their comfort that he does so and a good reason why they should be as though they were deaf, Psalms 38:13, Psalms 38:15. “Thou art our God to whom we appeal; our cause needs no more than a fair hearing.”

_ _ 2. He begs of God to avenge their cause and turn the reproach upon the enemies themselves (Nehemiah 4:4, Nehemiah 4:5); and this was spoken rather by a spirit of prophecy than by a spirit of prayer, and is not to be imitated by us who are taught of Christ to pray for those that despitefully use and persecute us. Christ himself prayed for those that reproached him: Father, forgive them. Nehemiah here prays, Cover not their iniquity. Note, (1.) Those that cast contempt on God's people do but prepare everlasting shame for themselves. (2.) It is a sin from which sinners are seldom recovered. Doubtless Nehemiah had reason to think the hearts of those sinners were desperately hardened, so that they would never repent of it, else he would not have prayed that it might never be blotted out. The reason he gives is not, They have abused us, but, They have provoked thee, and that before the builders, to whom, it is likely, they sent a spiteful message. Note, We should be angry at the malice of persecutors, not because it is abusive to us, but because it is offensive to God; and on that we may ground an expectation that God will appear against it, Psalms 74:18, Psalms 74:22.

_ _ III. The vigour of the builders, notwithstanding these reflections, Nehemiah 4:6. They made such good speed that in a little time they had run up the wall to half its height, for the people had a mind to work; their hearts were upon it, and they would have it forwarded. Note, 1. Good work goes on well when people have a mind to it. 2. The reproaches of enemies should rather quicken us to our duty than drive us from it.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Sanballat:

Nehemiah 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard [of it], it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.
Nehemiah 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard [it], they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What [is] this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
Ezra 4:1-5 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; ... And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Acts 5:17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,

mocked:

Psalms 35:15-16 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: [yea], the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew [it] not; they did tear [me], and ceased not: ... With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
Psalms 44:13-14 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. ... Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.
Matthew 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put [it] upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
Hebrews 11:36 And others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
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Ezr 4:1. Ne 2:10, 19. Ps 35:15; 44:13. Mt 27:29. Ac 5:17. He 11:36.

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