Neemias 6

1 Word was given to Sanballat and Tobiah and to Geshem the Arabian and to the rest of our enemies, that I had done the building of the wall and that there were no more broken places in it though even then I had not put up the gates in the gateways.

2 Sanballat and Geshem sent to me saying: »Come; let us have a meeting in one of the little towns in the lowland of Ono.« But their purpose was to do me evil.

3 I sent men to them saying: »I am doing a great work, so that it is not possible for me to come. Should the work to be stopped while I go away from it and come to you?«

4 They sent this to me four times. I sent them the same answer.

5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me a fifth time with an open letter in his hand.

6 There was written in it: »It has been heard among the nations what Geshem is saying. / He is saying that you and the Jews are hoping to make yourselves free from the king's authority. That this is why you are building the wall. They say that it is your purpose to be their king.

7 »And that you have prophets preaching about you in Jerusalem, and saying: ‘There is a king in Judah.’ Now an account of these things will be sent to the king. So come now, and let us have a discussion.«

8 I responded to him, saying: »No such things as you say are being done. They are only a fiction you have made up yourself.«

9 They hoped to put fear in us, saying: »Their hands will become feeble and give up the work so that it may not get done.« But now, O God, make my hands strong.

10 And I went to the house of Shemaiah, the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was confined in his house. He said: »Let us have a meeting in the house of God, inside the Temple, and let the doors be closed for they will come to kill you. Truly, in the night they will come to kill you.«

11 I replied: »Am I the sort of man to go in flight? What man, in my position, would go into the Temple to keep safe? I will not go in.«

12 Then it became clear to me that God had not sent him. He spoke prophecy against me. Tobiah and Sanballat paid him money to do so.

13 For this reason they paid him money, in order that I might be overcome by fear and do what he said and do wrong. Then they would have reason to say evil about me and put shame on me.

14 Keep in mind, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat and what they did, and Noadiah, the woman prophet, and the rest of the prophets whose purpose was to frighten me.

15 The wall was complete on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul. It took fifty-two days.

16 When our enemies had news of this, all the nations round about us were full of fear and were greatly shamed. They saw that our God had done this work.

17 The leaders of Judah exchanged letters with Tobiah.

18 For in Judah there were a number of people who had made an agreement by oath with him. For he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah, the son of Arah and his son Jehohanan had taken as his wife the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah.

19 They spoke a good deal about the good he had done in my presence, and reported what I said to him. Tobiah sent letters with the purpose of causing me fear.