Nehemiah 4:14
And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) And I looked.—It appears that the energetic appeal now described was uttered on the actual approach of an attacking party.

Nehemiah 4:14. I said unto the nobles, Be not afraid of them — All was at stake; therefore he exhorts them to be valiant, trusting in God. Remember the Lord, who is great and terrible, &c. — You think your enemies are great and terrible; but what are they in comparison with God? especially in opposition to him?

4:7-15 The hindering good work is what bad men aim at, and promise themselves success in; but good work is God's work, and it shall prosper. God has many ways of bringing to light, and so of bringing to nought, the devices and designs of his church's enemies. If our enemies cannot frighten us from duty, or deceive us into sin, they cannot hurt us. Nehemiah put himself and his cause under the Divine protection. It was the way of this good man, and should be our way. All his cares, all his griefs, all his fears, he spread before God. Before he used any means, he made his prayer to God. Having prayed, he set a watch against the enemy. If we think to secure ourselves by prayer, without watchfulness, we are slothful, and tempt God; if by watchfulness, without prayer, we are proud, and slight God: either way, we forfeit his protection. God's care of our safety, should engage and encourage us to go on with vigour in our duty. As soon as a danger is over, let us return to our work, and trust God another time.The lower places - The places where those within the walls had the least advantage of elevation, the naturally weak places, where an enemy was likely to make his attack. Ne 4:7-23. He Sets a Watch.

7-21. But … when Sanballat … heard that the walls … were made up, and … the breaches … stopped—The rapid progress of the fortifications, despite all their predictions to the contrary, goaded the Samaritans to frenzy. So they, dreading danger from the growing greatness of the Jews, formed a conspiracy to surprise them, demolish their works, and disperse or intimidate the builders. The plot being discovered, Nehemiah adopted the most energetic measures for ensuring the common safety, as well as the uninterrupted building of the walls. Hitherto the governor, for the sake of despatch, had set all his attendants and guards on the work—now half of them were withdrawn to be constantly in arms. The workmen labored with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other; and as, in so large a circuit, they were far removed from each other, Nehemiah (who was night and day on the spot, and, by his pious exhortations and example, animated the minds of his people) kept a trumpeter by his side, so that, on any intelligence of a surprise being brought to him, an alarm might be immediately sounded, and assistance rendered to the most distant detachment of their brethren. By these vigilant precautions, the counsels of the enemy were defeated, and the work was carried on apace. God, when He has important public work to do, never fails to raise up instruments for accomplishing it, and in the person of Nehemiah, who, to great natural acuteness and energy added fervent piety and heroic devotion, He provided a leader, whose high qualities fitted him for the demands of the crisis. Nehemiah's vigilance anticipated every difficulty, his prudent measures defeated every obstruction, and with astonishing rapidity this Jerusalem was made again "a city fortified."

No text from Poole on this verse.

And I looked,.... Took a view of the people, and observed that they were in their proper place, and sufficiently armed, and also whether the enemy was coming:

and rose up and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people; who were under their nobles and rulers, as their captains and commanders:

be not ye afraid of them; of their enemies, their numbers, and their threats:

remember the Lord, which is great and terrible; who is greater than they, and is to be feared and trusted in by his people, and is terrible even to the kings of the earth:

and fight for your brethren, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your houses; intimating, that they were in danger of losing all that was near and dear, valuable and precious to them, if they did not fight for them; and therefore it became them to quit themselves like men, and be strong.

And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: {h} remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

(h) Who is always on hand to deliver his out of danger: and therefore seeing they should fight for the maintenance of God's glory, and for the preservation of their own lives and of theirs, he encourages them to play the valiant men.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. And I looked, and rose up] Nehemiah’s ‘look’ seems to denote his inspection of the guards which he had stationed.

unto the nobles, and to the rulers] R.V. marg. ‘Or, deputies’. Upon the difference of these two classes see note on Nehemiah 2:16.

the Lord] R.V. the Lord. The sacred name here used is ‘Adonai,’ not ‘Jahveh;’ see on Nehemiah 1:11, (Nehemiah 3:5).

which is great and terrible] For these epithets, see note on Nehemiah 1:5, and compare Nehemiah 9:22. The attributes of power and awe belong to the God of Israel and ensure the victory of those that trust him, cf. Deuteronomy 3:22, Deut. 20:31, 32.

fight for your brethren … houses] Nehemiah exhorts his men to fight courageously. To the Jews the contest must be for their very existence as a people. Their foes are banded together to compass the extermination of their race and name. The brotherhood of the race (brethren), the blessings of family and home (sons and daughters), the ties of personal affection (wives) or cherished ancestral inheritance (house) were at stake. The enemy against whom they fought knew no pity.

Verse 14. - And I looked, and rose up, and said. A particular occasion seems to be spoken cf. The allies had joined their forces; the army was advancing; Nehemiah had obtained information of the quarter from which the attack was to be expected; he had posted his men (ver. 13); when he "looked, and rose up," and spoke, it was probably as the enemy was coming up to the attack; he then made this short but stirring appeal. That no conflict followed would seem to show, that "when the enemy approached, and saw from a distance the whole people awaiting them in perfect equipment, order, and spirit," they lost heart and "turned back" (Ewald, 'History of Israel,' vol. 5. p. 155). The Lord, which is great and terrible. See the comment on ch. 1:5. Nehemiah 4:14(Nehemiah 4:8)

"And I looked, and rose up, and said." These words can only mean: When I saw the people thus placed with their weapons, I went to them, and said to the nobles, etc., "Be not afraid of them (the enemies); remember the Lord, the great and the terrible," who will fight for you against your enemies (Deuteronomy 3:22; Deuteronomy 20:3, and Deuteronomy 31:6), "and fight ye for your brethren, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your houses," whom the enemies would destroy.

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