Intrigues of Enemies Foiled
1Now when it was reported to Sanbal'lat and Tobi'ah and to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2Sanbal'lat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come and let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono." But they intended to do me harm. 3And I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?" 4And they sent to me four times in this way and I answered them in the same manner. 5In the same way Sanbal'lat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. 6In it was written, "It is reported among the nations, and Geshema also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall; and you wish to become their king, according to this report. 7And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, 'There is a king in Judah.' And now it will be reported to the king according to these words. So now come, and let us take counsel together." 8Then I sent to him, saying, "No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind." 9For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done." But now, O God, strengthen thou my hands.
10Now when I went into the house of Shemai'ah the son of Delai'ah, son of Mehet'abel, who was shut up, he said, "Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple; for they are coming to kill you, at night they are coming to kill you." 11But I said, "Should such a man as I flee? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live?b I will not go in." 12And I understood, and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobi'ah and Sanbal'lat had hired him. 13For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me an evil name, in order to taunt me. 14Remember Tobi'ah and Sanbal'lat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess No-adi'ah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.
The Wall Completed
15So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations round about us were afraidc and fell greatly in their own esteem; for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobi'ah, and Tobi'ah's letters came to them. 18For many in Judah were bound by oath to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecani'ah the son of Arah: and his son Jeho-ha'nan had taken the daughter of Meshul'lam the son of Berechi'ah as his wife. 19Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence, and reported my words to him. And Tobi'ah sent letters to make me afraid.