Now it happened a when Sanballat, Tobiah, 1 Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it b (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates),
that Sanballat and 2 Geshem c sent to me, saying, "Come, let us meet together 3 among the villages in the plain of d Ono." But they e thought to do me harm.
So I 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 go down to you?"
But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner.
Then Sanballat sent his servant to me as before, the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand.
In it was written:
It is reported among the nations, and 4 Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, f that you may be their king. 7 And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, "There is a king in Judah!" Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together. 8 Then I sent to him, saying, "No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart." 9 For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, "Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done."
Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
10 Afterward I came to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was a secret informer; and he said, "Let us meet together in the house of God, within the 5 temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you." 11 And I said, "Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!" 12 Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that g he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and act that way and sin, so that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me. 14 h My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat, according to these their works, and the i prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who would have made me afraid.