THEN when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arabian and the rest of our enemies heard the news that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (though at that time we had not set up the doors upon the gates),
Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, let us go together and encamp as a troop in the plain of Ono.
But they thought to do me harm.
And I sent a messenger to them, saying, I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down, lest the work cease, while I leave it and come down to you.
But they sent to me four times in this manner, and I answered them after the same manner.
Then Sanballat sent his servant to me in like manner the fifth time with a letter in his hand
Wherein was written, It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says it, that you and the Jews think to rebel;
that is why you are building the wall, that you may be their king, according to these words.
And you have also appointed prophets to prophesy concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, Behold, 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.
Then I sent to him, saying, There is no truth in such words as these which you say;
you are saying them out of your own heart.
For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work;
and they say to us, Do not do the work.
Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
Then I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel who used to hinder me from work;
and he said to me, 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 slay you;
yea, in the night they are coming to slay you.
And I said, Should I flee to men like you?
God forbid that I should flee and enter into the temple!
And, lo, I perceive that God had not sent him against me;
neither has it been said to me by a prophet that he will slay me, for Tobiah and Sanballet and their companions had hired him and sent him to kill me.
Therefore he was hired, that I should be afraid and do so and sin, so that I might become to them an evil report, that they might reproach me.
Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat and their companions according to these their impious works, and also Jodaiah the prophet and the rest of the prophets who tried to frighten me because of them.
¶ So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.
Now when all our enemies heard of it, they were afraid, and all the nations that were round about us trembled exceedingly from our presence;
for they perceived that this work was wrought of God.
Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them.
For there were many in Judah who had sworn to him that they would not harm 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.
Also they reported his good words before me, and told him anything I said.
And Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.