Repairing the wall of Jerusalem was hard work. Not only were the men working from dawn until dusk, they also needed to guard the incomplete wall at night and be prepared to battle their enemies. After learning of a planned attack on the city, the demands were even heavier on the labourers:
Nehemiah 4:16-18 But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm.