Now when 1Sanballat and Tobiah and 2Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (3although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates),
Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of 4Ono." But they intended to do me harm.
And I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?"
And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner.
In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand.
In it was written, "It is reported among the nations, and Geshema also says it, that you and 5the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king.
And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, 'There is a king in Judah.' And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together."
Then I sent to him, saying, "No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind."
For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done." But now, O God,b strengthen my hands.