I sensed that God hadn’t sent this man. The so-called prophecy he spoke to me was the work of Tobiah and Sanballat; they had hired him. He had been hired to scare me off—trick me—a layman, into desecrating The Temple and ruining my good reputation so they could accuse me.
While I was speaking these words, I realized God had not sent him to me. God would never tell me to break His laws. Shemaiah’s prophecy was “inspired” by the money of Tobiah and Sanballat. After hearing his message, they thought I would be scared and thus vulnerable to sin. They hoped to use such a lapse in behavior to discredit me.
And I understood that God had not sent him, but he spake as prophesying to me; and Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him for meed. (And then I understood that God had not sent him, but that he only spoke as if prophesying to me; and that Tobiah and Sanballat had bribed him to say it.)
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