We were coming into the home stretch, the wall almost finished and the gates ready to be hung. The word was out in a minute that our work was nearly done. (It's amazing how fast the down-low travels in a place with no cell towels.)
2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: “Come, let’s meet together in the villages of the Ono Valley.” They were planning to harm me.
3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing important work and cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” 4 Four times they sent me the same proposal, and I gave them the same reply.
Nehemiah 6: 2-4 CSB
Can we say, "Give it a rest, boys!"? But no. Sanballat send another letter, and this time he got just plain nasty.
5-6 The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said:
“Geshem tells me that everywhere he goes he hears that the Jews are planning to rebel, and that is why you are building the wall. He claims you plan to be their king—that is what is being said. 7 He also reports that you have appointed prophets to campaign for you at Jerusalem by saying, ‘Look! Nehemiah is just the man we need!’
“You can be very sure that I am going to pass along these interesting comments to King Artaxerxes! I suggest that you come and talk it over with me—for that is the only way you can save yourself!”
Nehemiah 6: 5-7 TLB
Sanballat and his associates settled down for a minute, or at least I thought they had.
I'm a praying kind of guy (you may have noticed that about me). I'm all the time asking the Lord for power and prowess, especially in the this hot mess I've gotten myself into. So, when I get a message that one of our priests saying he's had a word from God, I'm all over it.
10 Then I met secretly with Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, at his house. He said: "Let’s meet at the house of God, inside The Temple; Let’s find safety behind locked doors because they’re coming to kill you, Yes, coming by night to kill you."
11 I said, “Why would a man like me run for cover? And why would a man like me use The Temple as a hideout? I won’t do it.”
12-13 I sensed that God hadn’t sent this man. The so-called prophecy he spoke to me was the work of Tobiah and Sanballat; they had hired him. He had been hired to scare me off—trick me—a layman, into desecrating The Temple and ruining my good reputation so they could accuse me.
Nehemiah 6: 10-12 MSG
16 When our enemies in the surrounding nations learned that the work was finished, they felt helpless, because they knew that our God had helped us rebuild the wall...
19 The people would always tell me about the good things Tobiah had done, and then they would tell Tobiah everything I had said. So Tobiah kept sending letters, trying to frighten me.
Nehemiah 6: 16, 19 CEV