2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official 1 heard all this, they were very displeased that someone had come to seek benefit for the Israelites.
2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard all this, 2 they derided us and expressed contempt toward us. They said, “What is this you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”
4:1 (3:33) 3 Now when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall he became angry and was quite upset. He derided the Jews, 4:2 and in the presence of his colleagues 4 and the army of Samaria 5 he said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they be left to themselves? 6 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?”
[4:1] 3 sn Beginning with 4:1, the verse numbers through 4:23 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 4:1 ET = 3:33 HT, 4:2 ET = 3:34 HT, 4:3 ET = 3:35 HT, 4:4 ET = 3:36 HT, 4:5 ET = 3:37 HT, 4:6 ET = 3:38 HT, 4:7 ET = 4:1 HT, etc., through 4:23 ET = 4:17 HT. Thus in the Hebrew Bible chap. 3 of the Book of Nehemiah has 38 verses, while chap. 4 has only 17 verses.
[4:2] 6 tc The Hebrew text is difficult here. The present translation follows the MT, but the text may be corrupt. H. G. M. Williamson (Ezra, Nehemiah [WBC], 213-14) translates these words as “Will they commit their cause to God?” suggesting that MT לָהֶם (lahem, “to them”) should be emended to לֵאלֹהִים (lelohim, “to God”), a proposal also found in the apparatus of BHS. In his view later scribes altered the phrase out of theological motivations. J. Blenkinsopp’s translation is similar: “Are they going to leave it all to God?” (Ezra–Nehemiah [OTL], 242-44). However, a problem for this view is the absence of external evidence to support the proposed emendation. The sense of the MT reading may be the notion that the workers – if left to their own limited resources – could not possibly see such a demanding and expensive project through to completion. This interpretation understands the collocation עָזַב (’azav, “to leave”) plus לְ (lÿ, “to”) to mean “commit a matter to someone,” with the sense in this verse “Will they leave the building of the fortified walls to themselves?”