Problems from Without: Enemies
1 And it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobijah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had built the wall, and that there was no breach left in it (though at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, let us meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. 3 And I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down. Why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you? 4 And they sent to me four times after this sort; and I answered them in the same manner. 5 Then sent Sanballat his servant to me in this manner the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand, 6 in which was written: It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel, for which cause thou buildest the wall, and according to these words thou wilt become their king. 7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning thee at Jerusalem saying, There is a king in Judah! And now it will be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. 8 And I sent to him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart. 9 For they all would have made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be slackened from the work, that it be not carried out. — Now therefore strengthen my hands! 10 And I came to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabeel, who had shut himself up. And he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple; for they are coming to kill thee; even in the night are they coming to kill thee. 11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, could go into the temple, and live? I will not go in. 12 And I perceived, and behold, God had not sent him; for he pronounced this prophecy against me; and Tobijah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have wherewith to spread an evil report, that they might reproach me. 14 My God, remember Tobijah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets who would have put me in fear. 15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And it came to pass that when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations that were about us were afraid and were much cast down in their own eyes, and they perceived that this work was wrought by our God. 17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobijah, and those of Tobijah came to them. 18 For there were many in Judah sworn to him; for he was a son-in-law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah. 19 Also they spoke of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. And Tobijah sent letters to put me in fear.