1 Now it came to pass when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem, the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had built the wall and [that] there was no breach left in it (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates),
2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in [one of] the villages in the plain of Ono. But they had thought to do me evil.
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I [am] doing a great work so that I cannot come down; why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you?
4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort, and I answered them after the same manner.
5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to say the same thing for the fifth time with an open letter in his hand,
6 in which [was] written, It is reported among the Gentiles, and Gashmu saith [it], [that] thou and the Jews think to rebel, for which cause thou dost build the wall, that thou may be their king, according to these words.
7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, [There is] a king in Judah! And now these words shall be heard by the king. Come now, therefore, and let us take counsel together.
8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou dost feign them out of thine own heart.
9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it not be done. Now, therefore, [O God], strengthen my hands.
10 Afterward I came in secret unto the house of Shemaiah, the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabeel, 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 are coming to slay thee; yea, tonight they will come to slay thee.
11 Then I said, Should such a man as I flee? And who is there as I who could go into the temple and live? I will not go in.
12 And I perceived that God had not sent him, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me, for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13 For he was bribed to make me be thus afraid and sin and [that] they might have [matter] for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works and on the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets, that [did things to] put me in fear.
15 So the wall was finished the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard [of it], all the Gentiles that [were] about us feared, and they were much cast down in their own eyes, and they knew that this work was wrought of our God.
17 Likewise, in those days the principals of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and [the letters] of Tobiah came unto them.
18 For [there were] many in Judah sworn unto him, because he [was] the son-in-law of Shechaniah, the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah.
19 They also reported his good deeds before me and uttered my words to him. [And] Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.: