“Judith said to them.
‘Listen to me.
I am about to do something
That will go down through all generations of our descendants.
Stand at the town gate tonight.
I will go out with my maid.
Within the days after
That you have promised to surrender the town to our enemies,
The Lord will deliver Israel by my hand.
Only, do not try to find out what I am doing.
I will not tell you,
Until I have finished what I am about to do.’”
Judith told them to listen carefully. She was about to do something daring that would be remembered for generations to come. She wanted to make sure that she could get out that night through the gate with her maid servant. If she was not able to get the problem solved within 5 days, Uzziah could surrender. However, she believed that God was on her side to help deliver Israel. She was not going to tell them what she was about to do, until she had completed the task. This sounds mysterious and intriguing.
“So I came to Jerusalem. I was there three days. Then I got up during the night. I and a few men with me went out. I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the animal I rode. I went out by night by the Valley Gate past the Dragon’s Spring to the Dung Gate. I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down. Its gates had been destroyed by fire. Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool. However, there was no place for the animal that I was riding to continue. So I went by way of the valley by night. I inspected the wall. Then I turned back. I entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing. I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest that they were to do the work.”
Nehemiah was in Jerusalem for 3 days. He did not say that he was fasting as Ezra had done. He told no one about his plan to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. He got up at night with a few men. He rode on an animal inspecting the situation in Jerusalem. Finally, he had to go on foot since his unnamed animal could go no further. What did he see? Interesting enough, Nehemiah made a complete tour of the wall with the southwestern side with the Valley Gate, the Dragon Springs, and the Dung Gate, where there was a lot of rubbish or garbage in those days. The Fountain Gate and King’s Pool was on the southeast side of the wall. So he had inspected the western, southern, and eastern portions of the wall. However, he had not told anyone about his inspection, but the few people that were with him.