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CHAPTER 6 Nov.18 
Plots against Nehemiah
It was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and to Geshem the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall, and that there was no breach left therein (though even to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates). 2Then Sanballat and Geshem sent to me saying, Come, let us meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono. But they intended to harm me. 3I sent messengers to them saying, I am doing a great work, so that I can’t come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it, and come down to you? 4They sent to me four times in this manner; and I kept giving them the same answer. 5Then, again Sanballat sent his servant to me the fifth time with an open letter in his hand, 6in which was written, It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel. Because of that, you are building the wall. You would be their king, according to this report. 7You have also appointed prophets to speak up for you at Jerusalem saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now it will be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. 8Then I sent to him, saying, ‘There are no such things done as you say, but you imagine them out of your own heart’. 9For they all would have made us afraid, saying, Their hands will be weakened from the work, that it not be done. But now, may my hands be strengthened. 10I went to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home; and he said, Let us meet together in God’s house, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple; for they will come to kill you. Yes, in the night will they come to kill you.
Nehemiah Is Not Afraid
11I said, Should such a man as I flee? Who is there that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in. 12I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13He was hired so that I would be afraid, follow his advice, and sin. Thus they would have material for an evil report, that they might reproach me. 14Remember, my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear. 
The Wall is Finished
15So the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16It happened that when all our enemies heard of it, then all the nations that were about us were afraid, and were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done of our God. 17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them. 18For there were many in Judah sworn to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as wife. 19Also they spoke of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.


6:1 There was no breach left- Amos 9:11-15 refers and the “remnant” of the ten tribes to the land under Ezra: “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old”. The passage goes on to prophecy a time of great fertility and victory over “Edom”. “I will raise up” uses a Hebrew word commonly featured in the records of the restoration, when the people were exhorted to “arise up and build” (Ezra 1:5; 3:2; 10:4,15; Neh. 2:18,20). The statement that they would “close up the breaches thereof” is exactly the language of Neh. 6:1, which records that the walls were rebuilt so that there was no breach [s.w.] therein. It was after the Babylonian invasion that Zion was “fallen” and ‘ruined’ (s.w. Jer. 31:18; 45:4; Lam. 2:2,17). “I will build it” is exactly the theme of the records of the return from Babylon (Ezra 1:2,3,5; 3:2,10; 4:1-4; Neh. 2:5,17,18,20; 3:1-3, 13-15; 4:1,3,5,6,10,17,18; 6:1,6; 7:1). Surely Amos 9 is saying that at the rebuilding at the time of the restoration, God’s people could have ushered in the Kingdom age of agricultural plenty and victory over their Arab neighbours. But they intermarried with Edom, and suffered drought because they didn’t fulfil the requirements to rebuild Zion correctly. But the words of Amos were still to come true in some form- they are given an application in Acts 15:17 which may appear to be way out of context, i.e. to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Thus words which could have had a plain fulfilment at the restoration were given a delayed fulfilment; but they were not fulfilled in a literal sense, but in a spiritual one. And so it may be with many prophecies about us today; they could be fulfilled if God’s people are more ‘fulfilling’ of them.  
6:3 Why should the work cease- This should be our perspective in such times of conflict; cries of unity and reconciliation can be used as a mantra to make God’s work cease, and we shouldn’t be afraid to see them for what they are. The way the opponents of God’s work created a false allegation- that Nehemiah was setting himself up as king- and then tried to blackmail him over it (:7,8) is typical of what happens in these situations. We can simply insist we are telling the truth and not be afraid to name false accusation for what it is (:8).
6:11 As eunuchs weren’t allowed within the temple, this could suggest Nehemiah was a eunuch; for he says that for a man like him to enter the temple would be a sin (:13). He would likely have had to be made one in order to be the king’s cupbearer (1:11), but he used the limitations which this world had unreasonably placed upon him in order to funnel his creative energy into God’s work and the welfare of His people and the things of His Kingdom.