Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that nobreachremained in it, 1although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates,
then Sanballat and Geshemsent a message to me, saying, "Come, let us meettogether at aChephirim in the plain of 2Ono." But they were planning to bharm me.
So I sentmessengers to them, saying, "I am doing a greatwork and I cannotcomedown. Why should the workstopwhile I leave it and comedown to you?"
They sent messages to me fourtimes in thismanner, and I answered them in the sameway.
Then Sanballatsent his servant to me in the samemanner a fifthtime with an openletter in his hand.
In it was written, "It is reported among the nations, and cGashmusays, that 3you and the Jews are planning to rebel; therefore you are rebuilding the wall. And you are to be their king, according to thesereports.
"You have alsoappointedprophets to proclaim in Jerusalemconcerningdyou, 'A king is in Judah!' And now it will be reported to the king according to thesereports. So comenow, let us takecounseltogether."
Then I sent a message to him saying, "Suchthings as you are saying have not beendone, but you are 4inventing them ein your own mind."
For all of them were trying to frighten us, fthinking, "gThey will becomediscouraged with the work and it will not be done." But now, 5O God, strengthen my hands.