Nehemiah 6 – Conspiracy Against Nehemiah

Having had their plans to derail the rebuilding of the wall thwarted, Sanballat, Tobiah, and their allies conspire to ambush and kill Nehemiah.  Several attempts are made to lure him into their trap, but he would not fall for it.  In desperation Sanballat sends a messenger with a letter (and pretending to speak for the king), speaking of rumors of Nehemiah trying to usurp the king’s authority and claim kingship for himself.  The ruse is intended to lure him to speak to Sanballat personally – at the king’s insistence (verses 5-7).  Nehemiah knows that Sanballat is lying and says so in so many words – then just prays for more strength (verses 8-9).

Jerusalem old city walls

We do not know much about Shemaiah, first mentioned in verse 10, or what the meaning is exactly of him being confined to his house – or what exactly had led  Nehemiah there.  It seems likely that he had been a priest.  But Nehemiah realized that he was not speaking from God, but rather was working for the enemy when he tried to get Nehemiah to go into the Temple (verses 10-13).  Nehemiah was not a priest, and so he knew that he was forbidden to go in (for just one example of scripture, refer to Numbers 16:39-40).  Nehemiah responds once again with prayer to God, asking for His justice in the matter (verse 14).

Only 52 days after it was started, the wall was finished (verse 15); and this amazing feat being accomplished in so short a time brought fear to the nations surrounding them, because they perceived that it only could have been accomplished with the help of God.  If God had helped them to do that, how else might He help them in gaining more power that could threaten them?  Verses 17-19 make clear that many of the nobles in Judah were guilty in this matter; and many sent letters to Tobiah and reported on Nehemiah to him.  So Tobiah now was sending letters to Nehemiah to intimidate him.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Nehemiah 4 – Opposition to the Work

Sanballat and Tobiah were jeering and trying to make mockery of the rebuilding efforts (verses 1-3).  But Nehemiah just prayed, and left it to God to deal with them.  Verse 6 shows that great progress was being made on the wall, and verses 7-8 allow that the opposition was growing because of the progress.  Nehemiah led them in prayer, and they set a guard by night and day.  Verse 10 shows that the overwhelming size of the effort to rebuild the wall among this danger was discouraging some of the people, and their lives were being threatened (verse 11).  This prompted the people who lived nearby to try to get them to abandon the work and come home (verse 12).

Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem

Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Nehemiah showed great leadership, standing firm and telling them not to be afraid, setting people by their own clans armed with swords and spears (verses 13-14).  The work continued with some men building with one hand while having the other on their weapons.  Then Nehemiah had half of the people working, and half of them standing guard over them (verses 21-23).  In verse 20, Nehemiah (aware of their vulnerability being stretched out along the wall) has them ready to sound a trumpet if attacks comes at some point, so everyone could rally to their defense at that location.  This was God’s work, and it would get done!

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.