This verse describes how in Nehemiah’s time the Jews working to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem would work with one hand, while holding weapons of self-defense in the other. Though they relied on their own strength for protection, they always looked to God as the source of that strength. Today, it is the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces who protect the nation of Israel. At the swearing-in ceremonies for the Israeli army, each soldier is handed both a gun to hold in one hand and a Hebrew Bible to hold in the other. In this way, Israeli soldiers are the spiritual descendants of Nehemiah’s work force who are reminded that it is not their strength alone that protects the nation, but the will of God.

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Source: Israel in the News