And in the past, those people had made a special promise to Tobiah. So they kept telling me how good Tobiah was. And they kept telling Tobiah what I was doing. Tobiah kept sending me letters to make me afraid.
·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.
All during this time letters were going back and forth constantly between the nobles of Judah and Tobiah. Many of the nobles had ties to him because he was son-in-law to Shecaniah son of Arah and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. They kept telling me all the good things he did and then would report back to him anything I would say. And then Tobiah would send letters to intimidate me.
Also they reported his [Toviyah’s supposed] merits before me, and uttered my words to him. And Toviyah sent letters with the intent of intimidating me. [T.N. We see that the work of G-d had to be accomplished, not in a vacuum of peace and tranquility, but against the backdrop of manipulation and intimidation. Nehemiah gives G-d the credit and the glory for his escaping every snare.]
These men constantly praised Tobiah in my presence, describing his good deeds to me. They also reported to Tobiah what I said. And still he sent me his letters; his attempts to intimidate me were ceaseless.
But also they praised him before me, and told my words to him; and Tobiah sent letters, to make me afeared. (And so they praised him in front of me, and told him all my words, or what I had said; and Tobiah also sent letters to me, to make me afraid.)
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