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Nehemiah



The book of Nehemiah, chapter 6, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 6

New English Translation


   Opposition to the Rebuilding Efforts Continues
   1 When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and no breach remained in it (even though up to that time I had not positioned doors in the gates), 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent word to me saying, "Come on! Let's set up a time to meet together at Kephirim in the plain of Ono." Now they intended to do me harm.
   3 So I sent messengers to them saying, "I am engaged in an important work, and I am unable to come down. Why should the work come to a halt when I leave it to come down to you?" 4 They contacted me four times in this way, and I responded the same way each time.
   5 The fifth time that Sanballat sent his assistant to me in this way, he had an open letter in his hand. 6 Written in it were the following words: "Among the nations it is rumored (and Geshem has substantiated this) that you and the Jews have intentions of revolting, and for this reason you are building the wall. Furthermore, according to these rumors you are going to become their king. 7 You have also established prophets to announce in Jerusalem on your behalf, 'We have a king in Judah!' Now the king is going to hear about these rumors. So come on! Let's talk about this."
   8 I sent word back to him, "We are not engaged in these activities you are describing. All of this is a figment of your imagination."
   9 All of them were wanting to scare us, supposing, "Their hands will grow slack from the work, and it won't get done." So now, strengthen my hands!
   10 Then I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel. He was confined to his home. He said, "Let's set up a time to meet in the house of God, within the temple. Let's close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. It will surely be at night that they will come to kill you."
   11 But I replied, "Should a man like me run away? Would someone like me flee to the temple in order to save his life? I will not go!" 12 I recognized the fact that God had not sent him, for he had spoken the prophecy against me as a hired agent of Tobiah and Sanballat. 13 He had been hired to scare me so that I would do this and thereby sin. They would thus bring reproach on me and I would be discredited.
   14 Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat in light of these actions of theirs - also Noadiah the prophetess and the other prophets who were trying to scare me!
   The Rebuilding of the Wall Is Finally Completed
   15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in just fifty-two days. 16 When all our enemies heard and all the nations who were around us saw this, they were greatly disheartened. They knew that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.
   17 In those days the aristocrats of Judah repeatedly sent letters to Tobiah, and responses from Tobiah were repeatedly coming to them. 18 For many in Judah had sworn allegiance to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah son of Arah. His son Jonathan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechiah. 19 They were telling me about his good deeds and then taking back to him the things I said. Tobiah, on the other hand, sent letters in order to scare me.

King James Version


   1 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)
   2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
   3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
   4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
   5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
   6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.
   7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.
   8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.
   9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
   10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut 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 will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
   11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
   12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah 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 matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
   14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
   15 ¶ So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
   16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.
   17 ¶ Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.
   18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the 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 reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
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