Attempts to Discourage the Builders

1 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-
2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: "Come, let's meet together in the villages ofa the Ono Valley." But they were planning to harm me.
3 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?"
4 Four times they sent me the same proposal, and I gave them the same reply.
5 Sanballat sent me this same message a fifth time by his aide, who had an open letter in his hand.
6 In it was written: It is reported among the nations-and Geshemb 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
7 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.
8 Then I replied to him, "There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind."
9 For they were all trying to intimidate us, saying, "They will become discouragedc in the work, and it will never be finished." But now, [my God,] strengthen me.d