1: Now it came to pass, when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and to Geshem the Arabian, and unto the rest of our enemies, that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein--though even unto that time I had not set up the doors in the gates--
2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying: 'Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono.' But they thought to do me mischief.
3 And 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?'
4 And they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
6 wherein was written: 'It is reported among the nations, and Geshem saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel; for which cause thou buildest the wall; and thou wouldest be their king, even according to these words.
7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to proclaim 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.'
8 Then I sent unto him, saying: 'There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.'
9 For they all would have us afraid, saying: 'Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done.' But now, strengthen Thou my hands.
10 And as for me, I went unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, who was shut up; and he said: 'Let us meet together in the house of G-d, 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.'
11 And I said: 'Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being such as I, could go into the temple and live? I will not go in.'
12 And I discerned, and, lo, G-d had not sent him; for he pronounced this prophecy against me, whereas Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13 For this cause 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 taunt me.
14 Remember, O my G-d, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have me put in fear.
15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
16 And it came to pass, when all our enemies heard thereof, that all the nations that were about us feared, and were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was wrought of our G-d.
17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.
18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto 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 to wife.
19 Also they spoke of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
Sources: Portions copyright © 1997 by Benyamin Pilant, All Rights Reserved