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Nehemiah 6:6-14

Context
6:6 Written in it were the following words:

“Among the nations it is rumored 1  (and Geshem 2  has substantiated 3  this) that you and the Jews have intentions of revolting, and for this reason you are building the wall. Furthermore, according to these rumors 4  you are going to become their king. 6:7 You have also established prophets to announce 5  in Jerusalem 6  on your behalf, ‘We have a king in Judah!’ Now the king is going to hear about these rumors. So come on! Let’s talk about this.” 7 

6:8 I sent word back to him, “We are not engaged in these activities you are describing. 8  All of this is a figment of your imagination.” 9 

6:9 All of them were wanting 10  to scare us, supposing, “Their hands will grow slack from the work, and it won’t get done.”

So now, strengthen my hands! 11 

6:10 Then I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel. He was confined to his home. 12  He said, “Let’s set up a time to meet in the house of God, within the temple. Let’s close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. It will surely be at night that they will come to kill you.”

6:11 But I replied, “Should a man like me run away? Would someone like me flee to the temple in order to save his life? 13  I will not go!” 6:12 I recognized the fact that God had not sent him, for he had spoken the prophecy against me as a hired agent of Tobiah and Sanballat. 14  6:13 He had been hired to scare me so that I would do this and thereby sin. They would thus bring reproach on me and I 15  would be discredited. 16 

6:14 Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat in light of these actions of theirs – also Noadiah the prophetess and the other prophets who were trying to scare me!

1 tn Heb “heard.”

2 tn Heb “Gashmu”; in Neh 2:19 this name appears as Geshem. Since it is important for the modern reader to recognize that this is the same individual, the form of the name used here in the translation is the same as that in v. 19.

3 tn Heb “is saying.”

4 tn Heb “words.” So also in v. 7.

5 tn Heb “call.”

6 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

7 tn Heb “Let us consult together.”

8 tn Heb “We are not according to these matters that you are saying.”

9 tn Heb “For from your heart you are inventing them.”

10 tn The participle has a desiderative nuance here, describing the desire of the subject and not necessarily the actual outcome. See also v. 14.

11 tn The statement “So now, strengthen my hands” is frequently understood as an implied prayer, but is taken differently by NAB (“But instead, I now redoubled my efforts”).

12 tn Heb “shut in.” The reason for his confinement is not stated. BDB 783 s.v. עָצַר suggests that it had to do with the fulfillment of a vow or was related to an issue of ceremonial uncleanness.

13 tn Heb “go into the temple and live.”

14 tn Heb “and Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.”

15 tc The translation reads לִי (li, “to me”) rather than the MT reading לָהֶם (lahem, “to them”).

16 tn Heb “would have a bad name.”



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