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1 Now it came to pass, 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 up the doors upon the gates;)

2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some 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 Yet 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 heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: 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 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 made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, 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 as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.

12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

13 Therefore 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 reproach me.

14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me 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, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

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 Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.

19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.

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 on Nehemiah 6
    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 on Nehemiah 6
    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 on Nehemiah 6
    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 on Nehemiah 6
    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 on Nehemiah 6:3
  • Heather on Nehemiah 6
    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.
  • Russell on Nehemiah 6
    Vary good indeed now to read the next
  • Wade on Nehemiah 6
    My thoughts on this is that we will have no opposition from satan until we start doing Gods work and then o buddy get ready to have your life flipped up side down. If you read your Bible, pray, go to church and give the Gospel for Christ Gospel romans 3 10, Romans 3 23 Romans 6 23 Romans 5 8 Romans 10 9 10, 13 . These few things will cause you to have opposition like Nehemiah. That is... Unless you have not followed the Gospel your self and what those verses say I wrote above because if we do not follow the Gospel we are not a child of God and do not have the power of God with us.
  • Wade on Nehemiah 6
    Yvette The walls were important back then for defense of a city. He also didn 't want to get side tracked going to the king. Nicola I don 't think it is a sin to get scared but how we react to fear is what could be a sin. Jesus sweated blood in fear and distress but what made him sinless is that he obeyed God and went to the cross any way.
  • Nicola on Nehemiah 6
    Nehmiah had the gift of discernment. This is a good spiritual gift to possess. It shows that there is an enemy who wants to stop our progress. This scripture shows also that fear is asin.


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How long did it take to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under Nehemiah's leadership?
  • 70 weeks
  • 52 days
  • 40 days and nights
  • 13 months