6 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 no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates,2 then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at [a]Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to [b]harm me.3 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?”4 They sent messages to me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same way.5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in the same manner a fifth time with an open letter in his hand.6 In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and [c]Gashmu says, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel; therefore you are rebuilding the wall. And you are to be their king, according to these reports.7 You have also appointed prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem concerning [d]you, ‘A king is in Judah!’ And now it will be reported to the king according to these reports. So come now, let us take counsel together.”8 Then I sent a message to him saying, “Such things as you are saying have not been done, but you are inventing them [e]in your own mind.”9 For all of them were trying to frighten us, [f]thinking, “[g]They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.
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