When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there were no more breaks in it - even though I hadn't yet installed the gates
- Sanballat and Geshem sent this message: "Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono."
so I sent messengers back with this: "I'm doing a great work; I can't come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?"
Four times they sent this message and four times I gave them my answer.
The fifth time - same messenger, same message - Sanballat sent an unsealed letter
with this message:
and that you have appointed prophets to announce in Jerusalem, 'There's a king in Judah!' The king is going to be told all this - don't you think we should sit down and have a talk?"
I sent him back this: "There's nothing to what you're saying. You've made it all up."
They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought, "They'll give up; they'll never finish it." I prayed, "Give me strength."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)