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.
When I entered the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, 6who was hconfined at home, he said, "Let us meettogether in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night."
But I said, "7Should a manlike me flee? And could one such as I go into the templeito save his life? I will not go in."
Then I perceivedjthat surelyGod had not sent him, but he uttered his prophecyagainst me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
He was hired for thisreason, 8that I might becomefrightened and actaccordingly and sin, so that they might have an evilreport in order that they could reproach me.
149Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to theseworks of theirs, and alsoNoadiah10the prophetess and the rest of the prophetswho were trying to frighten me.
So 11the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-twodays.
1612Whenall our enemiesheard of it, and all the nationssurrounding us saw it, they klost their confidence; for 13they recognized that thiswork had been accomplishedlwith the help of our God.
17Also in thosedaysmanyletterswent from the nobles of Judah to Tobiah, and Tobiah's letters came to them.
For many in Judah were bound by oath to him because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah, and his sonJehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.
19Moreover, they were speaking about his gooddeeds in my presence and reported my words to him. Then Tobiahsentletters to frighten me.