Study Guide

Ezra and Nehemiah Nehemiah Chapter 6: Threats and Intimidation

Nehemiah Chapter 6: Threats and Intimidation

  • When Israel's enemies—Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem again—hear that the wall's been completed, they ask to meet with Nehemiah.
  • Nehemiah sees that they plan to do him harm. No fool, this guy.
  • He refuses, asking why he should take time off from his work to do this.
  • They ask him four times, and he answers in the same way. No dice.
  • The fifth time, they up the ante.
  • The enemies' servant brings a letter saying that they've heard that the Jews intend to rebel against the Empire and that Nehemiah wants to be their king, with the prophets supporting him.
  • Nehemiah knows they're just trying to intimidate him.
  • He tells them that they're making all this stuff up just to scare them away from rebuilding.
  • He still won't meet with them. Talk to the hand.
  • Nehemiah goes to visit a guy named Shemaiah who says (actually, falsely prophesies) that they should go hide in the temple, since men are coming to kill Nehemiah.
  • Nehemiah cleverly sees that Shemaiah's been hired by Sanballat and Tobiah to trick him and make him an object of ridicule.
  • Only priests are allowed in the temple, so obviously he's trying to get our man to break the law.
  • He asks God not to forget what Shemaiah and the wicked prophetess Noadiah and other prophets did to try to trick him.
  • The wall's finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Elul, impossibly fast according to Shmoop's Senior Masonry Consultant.
  • The surrounding nations are all disheartened and scared by this.
  • They understand that God supports the Jews, since they haven't even been able to get their contractor to return their phone calls.
  • Nehemiah also mentions that some of the nobles were friends with Tobiah, due to his family's intermarrying with Jews.
  • The nobles try to make Tobiah sound good in Nehemiah's presence, while Tobiah sends Nehemiah letters designed to intimidate him.

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