Sanballat mocks the Jews of Jerusalem (Neh 4:1-4:2)

“Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged. He mocked the Jews. He said in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria. ‘What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore things? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, including the burned ones?’”

There is some difficulty in whether this is the end of chapter 3 or the beginning of chapter 4. It will resolve itself at the beginning of chapter 5. I will follow the Oxford numbering. Now we begin to see the opposition to building this wall that first surfaced in Ezra, chapter 4. Sanballat had already appeared as mocking this work in chapter 2 of this work. He continues to mock the Jews in Jerusalem in front of his friends and the Samaritan army. How are these feeble Jews going to restore this wall in a single day? Will they work and sacrifice by using the old burnt out stones in the rubble heap? Clearly this royal official was opposed to this project.

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