When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that no gap was left in it-though at that time I had not installed the doors in the gates-
Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: "Come, let's meet together in the villages of the Ono Valley." But they were planning to harm me.
So I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?"
Four times they sent me the same proposal, and I gave them the same reply.
Sanballat sent me this same message a fifth time by his aide, who had an open letter in his hand.
In it was written: It is reported among the nations-and Geshem agrees-that you and the Jews plan to rebel. This is the reason you are building the wall. According to these reports, you are to become their king
and have even set up the prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim on your behalf: "There is a king in Judah." These rumors will be heard by the king. So come, let's confer together.
Then I replied to him, "There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind."
For they were all trying to intimidate us, saying, "They will become discouraged in the work, and it will never be finished." But now, [my God,] strengthen me.