The Plots of the Adversaries
1Now it came to pass, when Sanbal´lat, and Tobi´ah, 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;) 2that Sanbal´lat 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. 3And 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? 4Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. 5Then sent Sanbal´lat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand; 6wherein 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. 7And 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. 8Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart. 9For 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.
10Afterward I came unto the house of Shemai´ah the son of Delai´ah the son of Mehet´abeel, 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. 11And 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. 12And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobi´ah and Sanbal´lat had hired him. 13Therefore 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. 14My God, think thou upon Tobi´ah and Sanbal´lat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadi´ah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
15So the wall 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 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. 17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobi´ah, and the letters of Tobi´ah came unto them. 18For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son-in-law of Shechani´ah the son of Arah; and his son Jo´hanan had taken the daughter of Meshul´lam the son of Berechi´ah. 19Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobi´ah sent letters to put me in fear.