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Enemies Try to Make Nehemiah Fearful

Now it happened when it was heard by Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, (A)although at that time I had not made the doors to stand in the gates, that Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at [a]Chephirim in the plain of (B)Ono.” But they were planning to [b]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 and come down to you?” And they sent messages to me four times in this manner, and I responded to them in the same manner. Then Sanballat sent his young man to me in the same manner a fifth time with an open letter in his hand. In it was written,

“It is heard among the nations, and [c]Gashmu says, that (C)you and the Jews are planning to rebel; therefore you are rebuilding the wall. And you are to be their king, according to these words.

You have also [d]set up prophets to call out in Jerusalem concerning [e]you, ‘A king is in Judah!’ So now it will be heard by the king according to these words. So now, come, let us take counsel together.”

Then I sent a message to him, saying,

“Such words as you are saying have not been done, but you are (D)devising them in your own heart.”

For all of them were trying to frighten us, [f]thinking, “Their hands will [g]become limp in doing the work, and it will not be done.” But now, (E)O God, strengthen my hands.

10 Now I entered the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, (F)who was [h]confined at home, and he said, “Let us meet together 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.” 11 But I said, “(G)Should a man like me flee? And could one such as I go into the temple just to live? I will not go in.” 12 Then I recognized [i]that surely God had not sent him, but he spoke his prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He was hired for this reason, (H)that I might become afraid and act accordingly and sin, so that they could give me a bad name in order that they could reproach me. 14 (I)Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these works of theirs, and also Noadiah (J)the prophetess and the rest of the prophets who were trying to make me afraid.

The Wall Is Finished

15 So (K)the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 (L)Now it happened that when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, [j]their confidence fell. And (M)they knew that it was from our God that this work had been accomplished. 17 Also in those days many letters went from the nobles of Judah to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18 For many in Judah were sworn by oath to him because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as a wife. 19 Moreover, they were speaking about his good deeds in my presence and bringing my words to him. Then Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.


  1. Nehemiah 6:2 Or one of the villages
  2. Nehemiah 6:2 Lit do evil to me
  3. Nehemiah 6:6 In v 1 and elsewhere, Geshem
  4. Nehemiah 6:7 Lit made prophets stand, cf. 4:13; 6:1; 7:3
  5. Nehemiah 6:7 Lit you, saying
  6. Nehemiah 6:9 Lit saying,
  7. Nehemiah 6:9 Lit drop from
  8. Nehemiah 6:10 Lit shut up
  9. Nehemiah 6:12 Lit and behold, God
  10. Nehemiah 6:16 Lit they fell exceedingly in their own eyes