Nehemiah 6
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  When word reached Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a breach remained in it—though at that time I had not yet set up doors in the gateways—

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 rebuilt the wall and not a breach remained in it

Built, destroyed and rebuilt – this has repeatedly been the fate of Yerushalayim’s walls. Today’s iconic Old City walls were renovated in 1538-42 by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, whose dedicatory inscription adorns the Jaffa Gate. A more modest Hebrew inscription indicates another repair in 1970, quoting Nechemya“Healing had come to the walls of Yerushalayim” (Nehemiah 4:1). Jerusalem’s walls are significant in ways beyond what meets the eye; on a simple level, of course, they provide protection for the city. But on a more mystical plane, these walls provide a separation between what is inside and that which is outside. Though Yerushalayim and its inhabitants are supposed to influence the rest of the world with holiness and spirituality, the walls remind us that it is also important to separate and focus inward. 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  Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us get together in Kephirim in the Ono valley”; they planned to do me harm.

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

3  I sent them messengers, saying, “I am engaged in a great work and cannot come down, for the work will stop if I leave it in order to come down to you.”

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

4  They sent me the same message four times, and I gave them the same answer.

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

5  Sanballat sent me the same message a fifth time by his servant, who had an open letter with him.

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

6  Its text was: “Word has reached the nations, and Geshem too says that you and the Yehudim are planning to rebel—for which reason you are building the wall—and that you are to be their king. Such is the word.

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

7  You have also set up Neviim in Yerushalayim to proclaim about you, ‘There is a king in Yehuda!’ Word of these things will surely reach the king; so come, let us confer together.”

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

8  I sent back a message to him, saying, “None of these things you mention has occurred; they are figments of your imagination”—

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

9  for they all wished to intimidate us, thinking, “They will desist from the work, and it will not get done.” Now strengthen my hands!

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

10  Then I visited Shemaya son of Delaiah son of Mehetabel when he was housebound, and he said, “Let us meet in the House of Hashem, inside the sanctuary, And let us shut the doors of the sanctuary, for they are coming to kill you, By night they are coming to kill you.”

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  I replied, “Will a man like me take flight? Besides, who such as I can go into the sanctuary and live? I will not go in.”

יא  וָאֹמְרָה הַאִישׁ כָּמוֹנִי יִבְרָח וּמִי כָמוֹנִי אֲשֶׁר־יָבוֹא אֶל־הַהֵיכָל וָחָי לֹא אָבוֹא׃

12  Then I realized that it was not Hashem who sent him, but that he uttered that prophecy about me—Tobiah and Sanballat having hired him—

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

13  because he was a hireling, that I might be intimidated and act thus and commit a sin, and so provide them a scandal with which to reproach me.

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

14  “O my God, remember against Tobiah and Sanballat these deeds of theirs, and against Noadiah the Neviah, and against the other Neviim that they wished to intimidate me!”

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

15  The wall was finished on the twenty-fifth of Elul, after fifty-two days.

טו  וַתִּשְׁלַם הַחוֹמָה בְּעֶשְׂרִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה לֶאֱלוּל לַחֲמִשִּׁים וּשְׁנַיִם יוֹם׃

16  When all our enemies heard it, all the nations round about us were intimidated, and fell very low in their own estimation; they realized that this work had been accomplished by the help 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  Also in those days, the nobles of Yehuda kept up a brisk correspondence with Tobiah, and Tobiah with them.

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

18  Many in Yehuda were his confederates, for he was a son-in-law of Shechanya son of Arah, and his son Yehochanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechya.

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

19  They would also speak well of him to me, and would divulge my affairs to him. Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

 

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

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