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.
For he had taken price, that I should be afeared, and do their will, and that I should do sin; and they should have evil (against me), which they should put to me with shame. (For he had taken money from them, to make me afraid, so that I would do their will, and that I would sin; and then they would have evil to put against me, which they would put on me for my shame.)
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