Now when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah and to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had built the wall and that there was no gap left in it (though up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates),
Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come and let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono." But they intended to do me harm.
So I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it to come down to you?"
They sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner.
In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand.
In it was written, "It is reported among the nations—and Geshem also says it—that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall; and according to this report you wish to become their king.
You have also set up prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem concerning you, "There is a king in Judah!' And now it will be reported to the king according to these words. So come, therefore, and let us confer together."
Then I sent to him, saying, "No such things as you say have been done; you are inventing them out of your own mind"
—for they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done." But now, O God, strengthen my hands.