The plot of Sanballat and Tobiah (Neh 4:7-4:9)

“When Sanballat and Tobiah as well as the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward, they were very angry. The gaps were beginning to be closed. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem. They wanted to cause confusion there. So we prayed to our God. We set a guard as a protection against them day and night.”

Sanballat and Tobiah seemed to have gotten a number of different people to help them. They had the Arabs, the wandering people of the east, the Ammonites, from nearby, as well as the people from Ashdod. They were all angry about the fortifications around Jerusalem. They were all going to fight against Jerusalem. Somehow they wanted to cause confusion among the people of Jerusalem. Nehemiah said that they prayed to their God. However, they also set up a day and night guard to protect against potential invaders.

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