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Nehemiah 6Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Enemy’s Plot

Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there was no breach left in it, although at that time I had not set up doors in the gates, Sanballat and Geshem sent word to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” 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 stop while I leave to come down to [meet with] you?” They sent word to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same way. Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same way the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand. In it was written, “It is reported among the [neighboring] nations, and Gashmu is saying that you and the Jews are planning to revolt, and that is the reason you are rebuilding the wall. And according to these reports, you are to be their king. Also [it is reported that] you have appointed prophets to make a proclamation concerning you in Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ And now these things will be reported to the [Persian] king. So come now, and let us consult together.” I sent a message to him, saying, “Such things as you are saying have not been done; you are inventing them in your own mind.” For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, [O God,] strengthen my hands.

10 When I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was [a]confined at home, he said, “Let us meet [and take refuge] together in the house of God, [b]within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple, because they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night.” 11 But I said, “Should a man like me flee [in fear and hide]? Should [c]someone like me enter the temple [for sanctuary] to save his life? I will not go.” 12 Then I realized that God had not sent him, but he spoke this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He was hired for this reason, that I would be frightened and do as he said and sin, so that they would have [grounds to make] a malicious report in order to censure and disgrace me. 14 Remember, O My God, Tobiah and Sanballat in regard to these actions of theirs, and also [remember] the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who were trying to frighten me.

The Wall Is Finished

15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth [day] of [the month] Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 When all our enemies heard about it, and all the [Gentile] nations around us saw it, [d]they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 17 Moreover, in those days many letters went from the nobles of Judah to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18 For [e]many in Judah were bound by oath to him because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah. 19 Also, they were speaking about Tobiah’s good deeds in my presence, and reporting to him what I said. Then Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 6:10 The reason for the confinement is not given and is a matter of speculation. One possibility is that Shemaiah had become ceremonially defiled, in which case the Hebrew probably should be understood as “had been confined” because the purification process would have to be completed before he could enter the temple.
  2. Nehemiah 6:10 Only the priests were allowed to enter the sanctuary.
  3. Nehemiah 6:11 I.e. a man who is not a priest.
  4. Nehemiah 6:16 Lit they fell greatly in their own eyes.
  5. Nehemiah 6:18 Tobiah was related by marriage to various influential Jewish leaders (Ezra 2:5; Neh 3:4, 30; 7:10).
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Nehemiah 6New International Version (NIV)

Further Opposition to the Rebuilding

When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages[a] on the plain of Ono.

But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.

Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written:

“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem[b] says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”

I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”

11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.

14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

Opposition to the Completed Wall

16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.

17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. 18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

Footnotes:

  1. Nehemiah 6:2 Or in Kephirim
  2. Nehemiah 6:6 Hebrew Gashmu, a variant of Geshem
New International Version (NIV)

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