1Now it came to pass when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah and to Geshem the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (though even to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates)
2that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to harm me.
3I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease, while I leave it and come down to you?”
4They sent to me four times after this sort, and I answered them the same way.
5Then Sanballat sent his servant to me the same way the fifth time with an open letter in his hand
6in which was written,
“It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel. Because of that, you are building the wall. You would be their king, according to these words.
7You have also appointed prophets to preach of you at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now it will be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.”
8Then I sent to him, saying, “There are no such things done as you say, but you imagine them out of your own heart.”
9For they all would have made us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened from the work, that it not be done.”
But now, strengthen my hands.
“Let us meet together in God’s house,
inside the temple,
and let us shut the doors of the temple;
for they will come to kill you,
yes, in the night will they come to kill you.”
11I said, “Should such a man as I flee? Who is there that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.”
12I discerned, and behold, God had not sent him; but he pronounced this prophecy against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13He hired so that I would be afraid, do so, and sin, and that they might have material for an evil report, that they might reproach me.”
15So the wall was finished in the 25th day of Elul, in 52 days.
16It came to pass when all our enemies heard of it that all the nations that were about us were afraid, and were much cast down in their own eyes, for they perceived that this work was worked of our God.
17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them.
18For there were many in Judah sworn to him, because he was the son–in–law of Shecaniah the son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as wife.
19Also they spoke of his good deeds before me and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.