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1Now it came to pass when Sanvalat, and Toviyah, and Geshem the Arab, and the rest of oyveinu (our enemies), heard that I had rebuilt HaChomah, and that there was no peretz (gap) left therein (though at that time I had not set up the dalatot in the she'arim), 2That Sanvalat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they were choshevim (the ones scheming) to do me ra'ah (harm). 3And I sent malachim unto them, saying, I am doing a melachah gedolah, so that I cannot come down. Why should the melachah cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? 4Yet they sent unto me this message arbah pe'amim; and I answered them after the same manner. 5Then sent Sanvalat his aid unto me in like manner the fifth time with an unsealed iggeret in his hand; 6Wherein was written, It is reported among the Goyim, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Yehudim are choshevim (the ones scheming) revolt, for which cause thou buildest the Chomah, that thou mayest be their Melech, according to these reports. 7And thou hast also appointed nevi'im to make this proclamation about thee at Yerushalayim, saying, There is a Melech in Yehudah! Now this report will get back to HaMelech. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. 8Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such devarim (things) done as thou sayest, but thou inventest them out of thine own lev. 9For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, Their hands shall get too weakened for the melachah, that it be not completed. Now therefore, strengthen my hands! 10Afterward I came unto the bais Shemayah ben Delayah ben Mehetave'el, who was confined; and he said, Let us meet together in the Bais HaElohim, within the Heikhal, and let us close the dalatot of the Heikhal, for they will come to slay thee; yea, tonight they come to slay thee. 11And I said, Should such a man as I flee? And who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the Heikhal to save his life? I will not go in. 12And, hinei, I perceived that Elohim had not sent him; but that he pronounced this nevu'ah (prophecy) against me, for Toviyah and Sanvalat had hired him. 13Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have given me a shem rah (bad name), that they might discredit me. 14Remember, Elohai, Toviyah and Sanvalat according to these their ma'asim, and also the neviah (prophetess) Noadyah, and the rest of the nevi'im, that would have intimidated me. 15So the Chomah was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. 16And it came to pass, that when all oyveinu (our enemies) heard thereof, and all the Goyim around us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes, for they perceived that this melachah was accomplished by Eloheinu. 17Moreover in those days the nobles of Yehudah sent many iggerot unto Toviyah, and the iggrot of Toviyah were making reply unto them. 18For there were many ba'alei shevuah in Yehudah unto him, because he was the choson (son-in-law) of Shechanyah ben Arach, and his son Yehochanan had taken the bat Meshullam ben Berechyah. 19Also 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.]
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2002,2003,2008,2010,2011 by Artists for Israel International, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.