Nehemiah 6

1 Now it came to pass when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem, the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates),
2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they had thought to do me evil.
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down; why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you?
4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort, and I answered them after the same manner.
5 Then Sanballat sent his slave to say the same thing for the fifth time with an open letter in his hand,
6 in which was written, It is reported among the Gentiles, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel, for which cause thou dost build the wall, that thou may be their king, according to these words.
7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah! And now these words shall be heard by the king. Come now, therefore, and let us take counsel together.
8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou dost feign them out of thine own heart.
9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it not be done. Now, therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
10 Afterward I came in secret unto the house of Shemaiah, the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple; for they are coming to slay thee; yea, tonight they will come to slay thee.
11 Then I said, Should such a man as I flee? And who is there as I who could go into the temple and live? I will not go in.
12 And I perceived that God had not sent him, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me, for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13 For he was bribed to make me be thus afraid and sin and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works and on the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets, that did things to put me in fear.
15 So the wall was finished the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard of it, all the Gentiles that were about us feared, and they were much cast down in their own eyes, and they knew that this work was wrought of our God.
17 Likewise, in those days the principals of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.
18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son-in-law of Shechaniah, the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah.
19 They also reported his good deeds before me and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.

Nehemiah 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

Sanballat's plot to hinder Nehemiah. (1-9) False prophets try to frighten Nehemiah. (10-14) The wall finished, Treachery of some among the Jews. (15-19)

Verses 1-9 Let those who are tempted to idle merry meetings by vain companions, thus answer the temptation, We have work to do, and must not neglect it. We must never suffer ourselves to be overcome, by repeated urgency, to do anything sinful or imprudent; but when attacked with the same temptation, must resist it with the same reason and resolution. It is common for that which is desired only by the malicious, to be falsely represented by them as desired by the many. But Nehemiah knew at what they aimed, he not only denied that such things were true, but that they were reported; he was better known than to be thus suspected. We must never omit any known duty for fear it should be misconstrued; but, while we keep a good conscience, let us trust God with our good name. God's people, though loaded with reproach, are not really fallen so low in reputation as some would have them thought to be. Nehemiah lifted up his heart to Heaven in a short prayer. When, in our Christian work and warfare, we enter upon any service or conflict, this is a good prayer, I have such a duty to do, such a temptation to grapple with; now, therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. Every temptation to draw us from duty, should quicken us the more to duty.

Verses 10-14 The greatest mischief our enemies can do us, is, to frighten us from our duty, and to lead us to do what is sinful. Let us never decline a good work, never do a bad one. We ought to try all advice, and to reject what is contrary to the word of God. Every man should study to be consistent. Should I, a professed Christian, called to be a saint, a child of God, a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost, should I be covetous, sensual, proud, or envious? Should I yield to impatience, discontent, or anger? Should I be slothful, unbelieving, or unmerciful? What effects will such conduct have upon others? All that God has done for us, or by us, or given to us, should lead us to watchfulness, self-denial, and diligence. Next to the sinfulness of sin, we should dread the scandal.

Verses 15-19 The wall was begun and finished in fifty-two days, though they rested on the sabbaths. A great deal of work may be done in a little time, if we set about it in earnest, and keep close to it. See the mischief of marrying with strangers. When men once became akin to Tobiah, they soon became sworn to him. A sinful love leads to a sinful league. The enemy of souls employs many instruments, and forms many projects, to bring reproach on the active servants of God, or to take them from their work. But we should follow the example of Him who laid down his life for the sheep. Those that simply cleave to the Lord and his work will be supported.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO NEHEMIAH 6

Sanballat and his brethren, hearing the wall was finished, sent to Nehemiah, to have a meeting with him at a place named, which he refused, Ne 6:1,2, then they sent him a terrifying letter, suggesting that he, and the Jews with him, would be treated as rebels, since their intention, as reported, was to make him king, which letter he regarded not, Ne 6:3-9, then they employed some that pretended to be prophets to advise him to flee to the temple for safety, which he rejected, Ne 6:10-14 and so the work went on and was finished, though there was a secret correspondence carried on between their enemies and some false brethren among themselves, Ne 6:15-19.

Nehemiah 6 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010