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 rebuilt 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 in this way, and I answered them in the same manner.
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. And according to these reports you want to be their king.
7You have also appointed prophets to proclaim in Jerusalem about you, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now it will be reported to the king according to these words. So come now, let us take counsel together.”
8Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, but you are inventing them in your own mind.”
9For they all wanted to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened from the work, so that it not be done.” But now, strengthen my hands.
10I went to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel who was confined to his home, and he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, inside the Holy Place, and let us shut the doors of the Holy Place; for they will come to kill you, yes, in the night they will come to kill you.”
11I said, “Should a man like me run away? Should a man like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.”
12Then I understood and saw that God had not sent him, for he pronounced this prophecy against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13He was hired so that I would be afraid and act in this way and sin, and also so that they could give me a bad name in order to discredit me.”
15So the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in 52 days.
16And it came to pass when all our enemies heard of it that all the nations that were around us were afraid, and were much cast down in their own eyes, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.
17Also, 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 who were bound by oath 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 a wife.
19Also they spoke of his good deeds before me and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.