Nehemiah 4:2
New International Version
and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”

New Living Translation
saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?”

English Standard Version
And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?”

Berean Study Bible
before his associates and the army of Samaria, saying, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Can they restore the wall by themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble?”

King James Bible
And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

New King James Version
And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?”

New American Standard Bible
And he spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy people of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore the temple for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish it in a day? Can they revive the stones from the heaps of rubble, even the burned ones?”

NASB 1995
He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?”

NASB 1977
And he spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?”

Amplified Bible
He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Can they restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the heaps of dust and rubbish, even the ones that have been burned?”

Christian Standard Bible
before his colleagues and the powerful men of Samaria and said, “What are these pathetic Jews doing? Can they restore it by themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they ever finish it? Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble? ”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
before his colleagues and the powerful men of Samaria, and said, “What are these pathetic Jews doing? Can they restore it by themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they ever finish it? Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble?”

American Standard Version
And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he said to his brothers and to the army of the Samaritans: “What are the Jews doing and boasting? They have abandoned the altars for themselves, and they eat by day as they set up these stones from a dung hill of dust and they are burned!”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And he said before his brethren (that is the army of the Samaritans) Is it true that these Jews are building their city? do they indeed offer sacrifices? will they prevail? and will they this day restore the stones, after they have been burnt and made a heap of rubbish?

Contemporary English Version
In front of his friends and the Samaritan army he said, "What is this feeble bunch of Jews trying to do? Are they going to rebuild the wall and offer sacrifices all in one day? Do they think they can make something out of this pile of scorched stones?"

Douay-Rheims Bible
And said before his brethren, and the multitude of the Samaritans: What are the silly Jews doing? Will the Gentiles let them alone? will they sacrifice and make an end in a day? are they able to raise stones out of the heaps of the rubbish, which are burnt?

English Revised Version
And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?

Good News Translation
In front of his companions and the Samaritan troops he said, "What do these miserable Jews think they're doing? Do they intend to rebuild the city? Do they think that by offering sacrifices they can finish the work in one day? Can they make building stones out of heaps of burnt rubble?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In front of his allies and the army from Samaria, he said, "What do these miserable Jews think they're doing? Can they rebuild it by themselves? Are they going to offer sacrifices? Can they finish it in a day? Will they get the stones out of the rubbish heaps, burned as these stones are, and give them new strength?"

International Standard Version
He addressed his allies and the Samaritan officials, saying "What are these pathetic Jews doing? Are they intending to rebuild it by themselves? Do they intend to offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a single day? Can they make stones from this burned out rubble?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said: 'What do these feeble Jews? will they restore at will? will they sacrifice? will they make an end this day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?'

Literal Standard Version
and says before his brothers and the force of Samaria, indeed, he says, “What [are] the weak Jews doing? Are they left to themselves? Do they sacrifice? Do they complete in a day? Do they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish—and they are burned?”

NET Bible
and in the presence of his colleagues and the army of Samaria he said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they be left to themselves? Will they again offer sacrifice? Will they finish this in a day? Can they bring these burnt stones to life again from piles of dust?"

New Heart English Bible
And he spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, which are burned?"

World English Bible
He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, since they are burned?"

Young's Literal Translation
and saith before his brethren and the force of Samaria, yea, he saith, 'What are the weak Jews doing? are they left to themselves? do they sacrifice? do they complete in a day? do they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish? -- and they burnt!'

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Work is Ridiculed
1Now when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he was furious and filled with indignation. He ridiculed the Jews 2before his associates and the army of Samaria, saying, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Can they restore the wall by themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble?” 3Then Tobiah the Ammonite, who was beside him, said, “If even a fox were to climb up on what they are building, it would break down their wall of stones!”…

Cross References
Ezra 4:9
From Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates--the judges and officials over Tripolis, Persia, Erech and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa,

Ezra 4:10
and the rest of the peoples whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and elsewhere west of the Euphrates.

Nehemiah 4:10
Meanwhile, the people of Judah said: "The strength of the laborer fails, and there is so much rubble that we will never be able to rebuild the wall."

Nehemiah 6:15
So the wall was completed in fifty-two days, on the twenty-fifth of Elul.

Jeremiah 26:18
"Micah the Moreshite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah and told all the people of Judah that this is what the LORD of Hosts says: 'Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, and the temple mount a wooded ridge.'

Jeremiah 33:24
"Have you not noticed what these people are saying: 'The LORD has rejected the two families He had chosen'? So they despise My people and no longer regard them as a nation.

Zechariah 4:10
For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven eyes of the LORD, which scan the whole earth, will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel."


Treasury of Scripture

And he spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

the army

Ezra 4:9,10
Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites, …

feeble

1 Samuel 14:11,12
And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves…

1 Samuel 17:43,44
And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods…

Zechariah 12:8
In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.

fortify themselves.

Nehemiah 12:27,43
And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps…

revive

Nehemiah 4:10
And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

Ezekiel 37:3-13
And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest…

Habakkuk 3:2
O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.









(2) His brethren and the army of Samaria.--The counsellors and body-guard of Sanballat.

Will they fortify themselves?--Rather, will they leave them to themselves? The nations are referred to; but contempt is not scrupulous or precise.

Will they sacrifice?--This is the provocation of God mentioned in Nehemiah 4:5.

Verse 2. - Before his brethren. By "his brethren" would seem to be meant his chief counsellors - probably Tobiah among them. The army of Samaria. Some understand by this a Persian garrison, stationed in Samaria under its own commander, with which Sanballat had influence (Ewald, 'History of Israel,' vol. 5. p. 153), but there is no real ground for such a supposition. Psalm 83, belongs probably to David's time; and as Samaria had doubtless its own native force of armed citizens, who were Sanballat's subjects, it is quite unnecessary to suppose that he addressed himself to any other "army" than this. The Persians would maintain a force in Damascus, but scarcely in Samaria; and Persian soldiers, had there been any in that city, would have been more likely to support a royal cupbearer than a petty governor with no influence at court. We can really only explain the disturbed state of things and approach to open hostility which appears in Nehemiah's narrative, by the weakness of Persia in these parts, and the consequent power of the native races to act pretty much as they pleased - even to the extent of making war one upon another. Will they fortify themselves? No other rendering is tenable. Ewald ('History of Israel,' vol. 3. p. 154, note 5)defends it successfully. Will they sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? The meaning seems to be, "Will they begin and make an end in a day?" It is assumed that they will begin by offering a sacrifice to inaugurate their work. Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Rather, "Will they revive the burnt stones (the stones that are burned) out of the heaps of the rubbish?" Will they do what is im-possible-solidify and make into real stone the calcined and crumbling blocks which are all that they will find in the heaps of rubbish? If not, how are they to procure material?

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
before
לִפְנֵ֣י (lip̄·nê)
Preposition-l | Noun - common plural construct
Strong's 6440: The face

his associates
אֶחָ֗יו (’e·ḥāw)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 251: A brother, )

and the army
וְחֵיל֙ (wə·ḥêl)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 2426: An army, an intrenchment

of Samaria,
שֹֽׁמְר֔וֹן (šō·mə·rō·wn)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 8111: Samaria -- capital of northern kingdom of Israel

saying,
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ׀ (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“What
מָ֛ה (māh)
Interrogative
Strong's 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

are these feeble
הָאֲמֵלָלִ֖ים (hā·’ă·mê·lā·lîm)
Article | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's 537: Languid

Jews
הַיְּהוּדִ֥ים (hay·yə·hū·ḏîm)
Article | Noun - proper - masculine plural
Strong's 3064: Jews -- Jewish

doing?
עֹשִׂ֑ים (‘ō·śîm)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's 6213: To do, make

Can they restore [the wall] by themselves?
הֲיַעַזְב֨וּ (hă·ya·‘az·ḇū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 5800: To loosen, relinquish, permit

Will they offer sacrifices?
הֲיִזְבָּ֙חוּ֙ (hă·yiz·bā·ḥū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 2076: To slaughter for sacrifice

Will they complete it
הַיְכַלּ֣וּ (hay·ḵal·lū)
Verb - Piel - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 3615: To be complete, at an end, finished, accomplished, or spent

in a day?
בַיּ֔וֹם (ḇay·yō·wm)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3117: A day

Can they bring these
לָהֶ֤ם (lā·hem)
Preposition-l | Pronoun - third person masculine plural
Strong's 1992: They

burnt
שְׂרוּפֽוֹת׃ (śə·rū·p̄ō·wṯ)
Verb - Qal - QalPassParticiple - feminine plural
Strong's 8313: To be, on fire

stones
הָאֲבָנִ֛ים (hā·’ă·ḇā·nîm)
Article | Noun - feminine plural
Strong's 68: A stone

back to life
הַיְחַיּ֧וּ (hay·ḥay·yū)
Verb - Piel - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 2421: To live, to revive

from the mounds
מֵעֲרֵמ֥וֹת (mê·‘ă·rê·mō·wṯ)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine plural construct
Strong's 6194: A heap, a sheaf

of rubble?”
הֶעָפָ֖ר (he·‘ā·p̄ār)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6083: Dust, clay, earth, mud


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OT History: Nehemiah 4:2 He spoke before his brothers and (Neh Ne)
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