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1 Now it came to passe when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies heard, that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein: (though at that time I had not set vp the doores vpon the gates,)

2 That Sanballat, and Geshem sent vnto me, saying, Come, let vs meet together in some one of the villages in the plaine of Ono: But they thought to doe me mischiefe.

3 And I sent messengers vnto them, saying, I am doing a great worke, so that I can not come down: why should the worke cease, whilest I leaue it, and come downe to you?

4 Yet they sent vnto me foure times, after this sort; and I answered them after the same maner.

5 Then sent Sanballat his seruant vnto me, in like manner, the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand:

6 Wherein was written; It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu sayth it, that thou and the Iewes thinke to rebell: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their King, according to these words.

7 And thou hast also appointed Prophets to preach of thee at Ierusalem, saying, There is a King in Iudah. And now shall it be reported to the king, according to these wordes. Come now therefore, and let vs take counsell together.

8 Then I sent vnto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine owne heart.

9 For they all made vs afraid, saying, Their handes shall be weakened from the worke that it bee not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

10 Afterward I came vnto the house of Shemaiah the sonne of Delaiah, the sonne of Mehetabel, who was shut vp, and he said, Let vs meet together in the house of God, within the Temple, and let vs shut the doores of the Temple; for they will come to slay thee, yea in the night wil they come to slay thee.

11 And I said, Should such a man as I, flee? and who is there, that being as I am, would goe into the Temple to saue his life? I will not goe in.

12 And loe, I perceiued that God had not sent him, but that he pronounced this prophecie against mee: for Tobiah, and Sanballat had hired him.

13 Therefore was hee hired, that I should be afraid, and doe so, and sinne, and that they might haue matter for an euill report, that they might reproch mee.

14 My God, thinke thou vpon Tobiah, and Sanballat, according to these their workes, and on the prophetesse Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would haue put me in feare.

15 So the wall was finished, in the twentie and fifth day of the moneth Elul, in fiftie and two dayes.

16 And it came to passe that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen, that were about vs, saw these things, they were much cast downe in their owne eyes: for they perceiued that this worke was wrought of our God.

17 Moreouer, in those dayes the nobles of Iudah sent many letters vnto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came vnto them.

18 For there were many in Iudah sworne vnto him: because hee was the sonne in law of Shechaniah the sonne of Arah, and his sonne Iohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam, the sonne of Berechiah.

19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and vttered my wordes to him: and Tobiah sent letters to put me in feare.

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Commentary for Nehemiah 6

Sanballat's plot to hinder Nehemiah. (1-9) False prophets try to frighten Nehemiah. (10-14) The wall finished, Treachery of some among the Jews. (15-19)1-9 Let those who are tempted to idle merry meetings by vain companions, thus answer the temptation, We have work to do, and must not neglect it. We must never suffer ourselves to be overcome, by repeated urgency, to do anything sinful or imprudent; but when attacked with the same temptation, must resist it with the same reason and resolution. It is common for that which is desired only by the malicious, to be falsely represented by them as desired by the many. But Nehemiah knew at what they aimed, he not only denied that such things were true, but that they were reported; he was better known than to be thus suspected. We must never omit any known duty for fear it should be misconstrued; but, while we keep a good conscience, let us trust God with our good name. God's people, though loaded with reproach, are not really fallen so low in reputation as some would have them thought to be. Nehemiah lifted up his heart to Heaven in a short prayer. When, in our Christian work and warfare, we enter upon any service or conflict, this is a good prayer, I have such a duty to do, such a temptation to grapple with; now, therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. Every temptation to draw us from duty, should quicken us the more to duty.

10-14 The greatest mischief our enemies can do us, is, to frighten us from our duty, and to lead us to do what is sinful. Let us never decline a good work, never do a bad one. We ought to try all advice, and to reject what is contrary to the word of God. Every man should study to be consistent. Should I, a professed Christian, called to be a saint, a child of God, a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost, should I be covetous, sensual, proud, or envious? Should I yield to impatience, discontent, or anger? Should I be slothful, unbelieving, or unmerciful? What effects will such conduct have upon others? All that God has done for us, or by us, or given to us, should lead us to watchfulness, self-denial, and diligence. Next to the sinfulness of sin, we should dread the scandal.

15-19 The wall was begun and finished in fifty-two days, though they rested on the sabbaths. A great deal of work may be done in a little time, if we set about it in earnest, and keep close to it. See the mischief of marrying with strangers. When men once became akin to Tobiah, they soon became sworn to him. A sinful love leads to a sinful league. The enemy of souls employs many instruments, and forms many projects, to bring reproach on the active servants of God, or to take them from their work. But we should follow the example of Him who laid down his life for the sheep. Those that simply cleave to the Lord and his work will be supported.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Nehemiah 6

  • Mary b
    God people need to busy themselves with the lord work an idle mine is the devil work shop, this is what i learn from chapter 6.
  • BSP
    Verse 3~Nehemiah was very calm in his reply and he simply focused on finishing the work. We can take a lesson from Nehemiah and do our best not to involve ourselves in unnecessary drama.
  • A disciple
    A great work of building the wall was moving ahead and almost finished, because God was behind it! Right in step with the prosperity and progress of the righteous; the devil and his sons are working feverishly with deep conspiracy and many traitors on every side; SEEKING TO PUT US IN FEAR THAT THE WORK MIGHT CEASE! What an important thing for all of us to understand about this present time!
  • Chris
    Sounds like to me that he was basically asking why should he come down to be a part of their mischief when he is busy doing a good work. Like, why should he go an take part in something unfruitful when what he was doing was far more important and fruitful. Hope that helps. Just what I got from it.
  • Mathejane for verse 3
    I WANT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS VERSE .
  • Heather
    Wade I cannot find in the bible where it supports 'if we do not follow the Gospel we are not a child of God and the power of God is not with us '. I would like for you to discuss further your basis for this opinion. This is a broad statement that could be highly misinterpreted. I highly disagree with your statement. Or maybe confused. The power of God has been with me several times when I wasn 't following the Gospel.

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