Enemies Sought To Assassinate Nehemiah
As the wall was drawing near completion, Nehemiah’s (and the Jews’) enemies became desperate. They went from merely mocking the Jews and planning a general attack to disrupt the work, to a specific ruse to lure Nehemiah into a trap. They did this by offering a meeting implying they wanted to talk things out. Nehemiah perceived his life was in danger and refused to go.
The Enemies Tried To Blackmail Nehemiah Into A Meeting
Unsuccessful in getting Nehemiah to a private meeting, the enemies tried to intimidate him and the Jews by spreading lies. They threatened to tell the king that the Jews planned to rebel and appoint Nehemiah as king over them. The letter indicated that if he would just meet with them, they would let the matter go. However, Nehemiah was not intimidated.
Jews Were Enlisted To Stop Nehemiah
A traitor named Shemaiah told Nehemiah his life was in danger and the place of safety was in the temple. Nehemiah’s response shows two things. First, he was not going to be intimidated or cower. Second, he would not violate God’s Law by entering the temple. He would rather be murdered than transgress the Law.
Nehemiah somehow found out Shemaiah was not speaking out of concern for him, but had been hired by his enemies to thwart his influence and the work.
Nehemiah Faced Opposition Due To Family Ties
The wall was finished in a short time. When completed, the enemies were distraught. It angered them that the Jews were getting stronger. Now a bigger problem surfaced. Jews were working with the enemy against Nehemiah. At least one of the families had family ties with Tobiah, an enemy, which brought them and others into an alliance with him. Through these connections, Tobiah attempted to intimidate Nehemiah.