Nehemiah 6Expanded Bible (EXB)
More Problems for Nehemiah
6 Then Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and our other enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there was not one ·gap [breach] in it. But I had not yet set the doors in the gates. 2 So Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, Nehemiah, let’s meet together in ·Kephirim [or one of the villages] on the plain of Ono.”
But they were ·planning [plotting; scheming] to harm me. 3 So I sent messengers to them with this answer: “I am ·doing [engaged in] a great work, and I can’t come down. ·I don’t want the work to [L Why should the work…?] stop while I leave to meet you.” 4 Sanballat and Geshem sent the same message to me four times, and each time I sent back the same answer.
5 The fifth time Sanballat sent his ·helper [servant; assistant] to me, and in his hand was an ·unsealed [open] letter. 6 This is what was written:
A report is going around to all the nations, and ·Geshem [Gashmu; C the same person as in 2:19] says it is true, that you and the Jewish people are planning to ·turn against the king [rebel; revolt] and ·that [therefore] you are rebuilding the wall. They say you are ·going [intending; planning; wishing] to be their king 7 and that you have ·appointed [anointed; established] prophets to ·announce [proclaim] in Jerusalem: “There is a king of Judah!” The king will hear about ·this [these reports/rumors]. So come, let’s ·discuss this [confer; take counsel] together.
8 So I sent him back this answer: “·Nothing you are saying is really happening. [We are not doing what you are saying.] You are just ·making it up [inventing/imagining them] in your own ·mind [L heart].”
9 Our enemies were trying to ·scare [intimidate; terrorize] us, thinking, “They will get too ·weak [discouraged; L their hands will grow slack] to work. Then the wall will not be finished.”
·But I prayed [So now], “God, ·make me strong [L strengthen my hands].”
10 ·One day [Then] I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel. Shemaiah ·had to stay at [was confined to his; C perhaps related to a vow or to ritual uncleanness] home. He said, “Nehemiah, let’s meet in the ·Temple [L house] of God. Let’s go inside the Temple and ·close [bar] the doors, because men are coming at night to kill you.”
11 But I said, “Should a man like me [C in his position] run away? Should I run ·for [to save] my life into the Temple [C to seek asylum; Ex. 21:13–14; 1 Kin. 1:50–53; 2:28–34; 2 Chr. 26:16–20; 27:2]? I will not go.” 12 I ·knew [realized; perceived; recognized] that God had not sent him but that Tobiah and Sanballat had ·paid [hired] him to prophesy against me. 13 They ·paid [hired] him to ·frighten [intimidate; terrorize] me so I would do this and sin. Then they could ·give me a bad name to shame [accuse and discredit/blame] me.
14 I prayed, “My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat and what they have done. Also remember the prophetess Noadiah and the other prophets who have been trying to ·frighten [intimidate; terrorize] me.”
The Wall Is Finished
15 The wall of Jerusalem was completed on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Elul [C October 2, 515 bc]. It took fifty-two days to rebuild. 16 When all our enemies heard about it and all the nations around us saw it, they were ·shamed [disheartened; or amazed]. They ·understood [recognized; realized] that the work had been ·done [accomplished] with the help of our God.
17 Also in those days the ·important people [nobles] of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and he answered them. 18 Many ·Jewish people [L in Judah] ·had promised to be faithful [were under oath; had sworn allegiance] to Tobiah, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah son of Arah. And Tobiah’s son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 ·These important people [L They] kept telling me about the good ·things [deeds] Tobiah was doing, and then they would tell Tobiah ·what I said about him [L my words]. So Tobiah sent letters to ·frighten [intimidate; terrorize] me.
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