1Now it happened, when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and
to Geshem the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the
wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though even to that time I
had not set up the doors in the gates;)
2that Sanballat and Geshem sent
to me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in
the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
3I sent messengers
to them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I can’t come down: why
should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?
to me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
5Then sent Sanballat his servant to me in like manner the fifth time with
an open letter in his hand,
6in which was written, It is reported among
the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews think to rebel; for
which cause you are building the wall: and you would be their king, according
to these words.
7You have also appointed prophets to preach of you at
Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to
the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take
8Then I sent to him, saying, There are no such things
done as you say, but you feign them out of your own heart.
9For they all
would have made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the
work, that it not be done. But now, God, strengthen you my hands.
10I went to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of
Mehetabel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of
God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they
will come to kill you; yes, in the night will they come to kill you.
said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there that, being such as I,
would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
discerned, and behold, God had not sent him; but he pronounced this prophecy
against me: and Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13For this cause was
he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might
have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the
prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in
15So the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of
the month Elul, in fifty-two days.
16It happened, when all our
enemies heard of it, that all the nations that were about us feared,
and were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work
was worked of our God.
17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent
many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them.
18For there were many in Judah sworn to him, because he was the
son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the
daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as wife.
19Also they spoke of
his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters
to put me in fear.