Nehemiah 6
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1  Now it came to pass, when it was reported to Sanvalat and Toviah, 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–

vai-HEE kha-a-SHER nish-MA l’-san-va-LAT v’-to-vi-YAH ul-GE-shem ha-ar-VEE ul-YE-ter o-y’-VAY-nu kee va-NEE-tee et ha-kho-MAH v’-LO NO-tar bah PA-retz gam ad ha-AYT ha-HEE d’-la-TOT lo he-e-MAD-tee va-sh’-a-REEM

א  וַיְהִי כַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁמַע לְסַנְבַלַּט וְטוֹבִיָּה וּלְגֶשֶׁם הָעַרְבִי וּלְיֶתֶר אֹיְבֵינוּ כִּי בָנִיתִי אֶת הַחוֹמָה וְלֹא נוֹתַר בָּהּ פָּרֶץ גַּם עַד הָעֵת הַהִיא דְּלָתוֹת לֹא הֶעֱמַדְתִּי בַשְּׁעָרִים.

6:1 I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein

Built, destroyed and rebuilt, this has been the fate of Jerusalem’s walls. Most recently, the walls of the city were renovated by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1538-42. Those who pass through the Jaffa Gate will see the dedication inscription in Arabic above, and a more modest Hebrew inscription saying that the walls were repaired once again in 1970. What is the significance of Jerusalem’s walls? On a simple level, they provide protection for the city. On a more mystical plane, walls provide a separation between what is inside and that which is outside.Though Jerusalem and its inhabitants are supposed to influence the rest of the world with holiness and spirituality, the walls remind us that it is important to take time to separate and focus inward as well. Everyone has an obligation to make an impact and a contribution to the rest of the world, but one must remember not to neglect themselves and their own needs in the process.

Comment

2  that Sanvalat 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.

ב  וַיִּשְׁלַח סַנְבַלַּט וְגֶשֶׁם אֵלַי לֵאמֹר לְכָה וְנִוָּעֲדָה יַחְדָּו בַּכְּפִירִים בְּבִקְעַת אוֹנוֹ וְהֵמָּה חֹשְׁבִים לַעֲשׂוֹת לִי רָעָה.

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?’

ג  וָאֶשְׁלְחָה עֲלֵיהֶם מַלְאָכִים לֵאמֹר מְלָאכָה גְדוֹלָה אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה וְלֹא אוּכַל לָרֶדֶת לָמָּה תִשְׁבַּת הַמְּלָאכָה כַּאֲשֶׁר אַרְפֶּהָ וְיָרַדְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם.

4  And they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.

ד  וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ אֵלַי כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה אַרְבַּע פְּעָמִים וָאָשִׁיב אוֹתָם כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה.

5  Then sent Sanvalat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;

ה  וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלַי סַנְבַלַּט כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה פַּעַם חֲמִישִׁית אֶת נַעֲרוֹ וְאִגֶּרֶת פְּתוּחָה בְּיָדוֹ.

6  wherein was written: ‘It is reported among the nations, and Geshem saith it, that thou and the Yehudim think to rebel; for which cause thou buildest the wall; and thou wouldest be their king, even according to these words.

ו  כָּתוּב בָּהּ בַּגּוֹיִם נִשְׁמָע וְגַשְׁמוּ אֹמֵר אַתָּה וְהַיְּהוּדִים חֹשְׁבִים לִמְרוֹד עַל כֵּן אַתָּה בוֹנֶה הַחוֹמָה וְאַתָּה הֹוֶה לָהֶם לְמֶלֶךְ כַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה.

7  And thou hast also appointed Neviim to proclaim of thee at Yerushalayim, saying: There is a king in Yehuda; and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.’

ז  וְגַם נְבִיאִים הֶעֱמַדְתָּ לִקְרֹא עָלֶיךָ בִירוּשָׁלִַם לֵאמֹר מֶלֶךְ בִּיהוּדָה וְעַתָּה יִשָּׁמַע לַמֶּלֶךְ כַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְעַתָּה לְכָה וְנִוָּעֲצָה יַחְדָּו.

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.’

ח  וָאֶשְׁלְחָה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר לֹא נִהְיָה כַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה אוֹמֵר כִּי מִלִּבְּךָ אַתָּה בוֹדָאם.

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.

ט  כִּי כֻלָּם מְיָרְאִים אוֹתָנוּ לֵאמֹר יִרְפּוּ יְדֵיהֶם מִן הַמְּלָאכָה וְלֹא תֵעָשֶׂה וְעַתָּה חַזֵּק אֶת יָדָי.

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 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.’

י  וַאֲנִי בָאתִי בֵּית שְׁמַעְיָה בֶן דְּלָיָה בֶּן מְהֵיטַבְאֵל וְהוּא עָצוּר וַיֹּאמֶר נִוָּעֵד אֶל בֵּית הָאֱלֹהִים אֶל תּוֹךְ הַהֵיכָל וְנִסְגְּרָה דַּלְתוֹת הַהֵיכָל כִּי בָּאִים לְהָרְגֶךָ וְלַיְלָה בָּאִים לְהָרְגֶךָ.

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.’

יא  וָאֹמְרָה הַאִישׁ כָּמוֹנִי יִבְרָח וּמִי כָמוֹנִי אֲשֶׁר יָבֹא אֶל הַהֵיכָל וָחָי לֹא אָבוֹא.

12  And I discerned, and, lo, God had not sent him; for he pronounced this prophecy against me, whereas Toviah and Sanvalat had hired him.

יב  וָאַכִּירָה וְהִנֵּה לֹא אֱלֹהִים שְׁלָחוֹ כִּי הַנְּבוּאָה דִּבֶּר עָלַי וְטוֹבִיָּה וְסַנְבַלַּט שְׂכָרוֹ.

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.

יג  לְמַעַן שָׂכוּר הוּא לְמַעַן אִירָא וְאֶעֱשֶׂה כֵּן וְחָטָאתִי וְהָיָה לָהֶם לְשֵׁם רָע לְמַעַן יְחָרְפוּנִי.

14  Remember, O my God, Toviah and Sanvalat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the Neviim, that would have me put in fear.

יד  זָכְרָה אֱלֹהַי לְטוֹבִיָּה וּלְסַנְבַלַּט כְּמַעֲשָׂיו אֵלֶּה וְגַם לְנוֹעַדְיָה הַנְּבִיאָה וּלְיֶתֶר הַנְּבִיאִים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ מְיָרְאִים אוֹתִי.

15  So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

טו  וַתִּשְׁלַם הַחוֹמָה בְּעֶשְׂרִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה לֶאֱלוּל לַחֲמִשִּׁים וּשְׁנַיִם יוֹם.

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 God.

טז  וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר שָׁמְעוּ כָּל אוֹיְבֵינוּ וַיִּרְאוּ כָּל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתֵינוּ וַיִּפְּלוּ מְאֹד בְּעֵינֵיהֶם וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי מֵאֵת אֱלֹהֵינוּ נֶעֶשְׂתָה הַמְּלָאכָה הַזֹּאת.

17  Moreover in those days the nobles of Yehuda sent many letters unto Toviah, and the letters of Toviah came unto them.

יז  גַּם בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם מַרְבִּים חֹרֵי יְהוּדָה אִגְּרֹתֵיהֶם הוֹלְכוֹת עַל טוֹבִיָּה וַאֲשֶׁר לְטוֹבִיָּה בָּאוֹת אֲלֵיהֶם.

18  For there were many in Yehuda sworn unto him, because he was the son-in-law of Shechanya the son of Arah; and his son Yehochanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah to wife.

יח  כִּי רַבִּים בִּיהוּדָה בַּעֲלֵי שְׁבוּעָה לוֹ כִּי חָתָן הוּא לִשְׁכַנְיָה בֶן אָרַח וִיהוֹחָנָן בְּנוֹ לָקַח אֶת בַּת מְשֻׁלָּם בֶּן בֶּרֶכְיָה.

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

יט  גַּם טוֹבֹתָיו הָיוּ אֹמְרִים לְפָנַי וּדְבָרַי הָיוּ מוֹצִיאִים לוֹ אִגְּרוֹת שָׁלַח טוֹבִיָּה לְיָרְאֵנִי.

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Nehemiah 5
Nehemiah 7

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Nehemiah 6