О Lord, deliver me from the man of excellent intention and impure heart: for the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.
Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite and Geshem the Arabian: were doubtless men of public spirit and zeal.
Preserve me from the enemy who has something to gain: and from the friend who has something to lose.
Remembering the words of Nehemiah the Prophet: "The trowel in hand, and the gun rather loose in the holster."
Those who sit in a house of which the use is forgotten: are like snakes that lie on mouldering stairs, content in the sunlight.
And the others run about like dogs, full of enterprise, sniffing and barking: they say, "This house is a nest of serpents, let us destroy it,
And have done with these abominations, the turpitudes of the
Christians." And these are not justified, nor the others.
And they write innumerable books; being too vain and distracted for silence: seeking every one after his own elevation, and dodging his emptiness.
If humility and purity be not in the heart, they are not in the home: and if they are not in the home, they are not in the City.
The man who has builded during the day would return to his hearth at nightfall: to be blessed with the gift of silence, and doze before he sleeps.
But we are encompassed with snakes and dogs: therefore some must labour, and others must hold the spears.