Friday, July 20, 2018

Nehemiah 6

Come with me into this book I never particularly liked, and imagine that Nehemiah is, as his name suggests, Yah Sighs, or if you like, repents.

But I never use that word. If I want to repent - because that is what I think I have done or should do, I feel free to turn from one mode of behaviour to the one that God desires, or just to turn to God. To do justice. To love mercy. It can be done. Or I feel free to sigh about those other people who grieve me for some reason - (even in God).

Then no one will need to give me a formula for repentance or an explanation to avoid it. And I lose my lust for punishment of others, for power over them and for torturing their immortal souls. I find myself with others instead of against them in prejudice, and with a preferential option for the widow, the orphan, and the refugee, instead of a desire for self-protection. This is the work of Holy Spirit.

Nehemiah נחם+יה is Yah is Comfort, like the Advocate in the process of rebuilding the temple of God, the open temple that is being built today. But Bob, he's building a wall! Yes, he is. But it's a different sort of wall. And it is clear that Nehemiah has enemies on both sides of it. This man does not usurp the role of king. His interest is not his own, it is the interest of the coming son of David. Just as the Spirit's interest is in the Son that has already come. As the Apocalypse indicates (21:25), the gates of the city will be open in the day and there will be no night there.

Nehemiah 6 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיְהִ֣י כַאֲשֶׁ֣ר נִשְׁמַ֣ע לְסַנְבַלַּ֣ט וְ֠טוֹבִיָּה וּלְגֶ֨שֶׁם הָֽעַרְבִ֜י וּלְיֶ֣תֶר אֹֽיְבֵ֗ינוּ כִּ֤י בָנִ֙יתִי֙ אֶת־הַ֣חוֹמָ֔ה וְלֹא־נ֥וֹתַר בָּ֖הּ פָּ֑רֶץ
גַּ֚ם עַד־הָעֵ֣ת הַהִ֔יא דְּלָת֖וֹת לֹא־הֶעֱמַ֥דְתִּי בַשְּׁעָרִֽים
1 And it happened that as Sanballet and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall, (and there was not a breach left in it,
but also until that time, I had not installed the portals in the gates),
3e 4C 41
16
וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח סַנְבַלַּ֤ט וְגֶ֙שֶׁם֙ אֵלַ֣י לֵאמֹ֔ר לְכָ֞ה וְנִֽוָּעֲדָ֥ה יַחְדָּ֛ו בַּכְּפִירִ֖ים בְּבִקְעַ֣ת אוֹנ֑וֹ
וְהֵ֙מָּה֙ חֹֽשְׁבִ֔ים לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת לִ֖י רָעָֽה
2 That Sanballet and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, let us engage together in cover in the grassland of Ono.
But they were devising to do me injury.
3d 4C 30
11
וָאֶשְׁלְחָ֨ה עֲלֵיהֶ֤ם מַלְאָכִים֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר מְלָאכָ֤ה גְדוֹלָה֙ אֲנִ֣י עֹשֶׂ֔ה וְלֹ֥א אוּכַ֖ל לָרֶ֑דֶת
לָ֣מָּה תִשְׁבַּ֤ת הַמְּלָאכָה֙ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר אַרְפֶּ֔הָ וְיָרַדְתִּ֖י אֲלֵיכֶֽם
3 And I sent to them messengers, saying, A great line of work I am doing, and I am not able to come down.
Why should the line of work cease as I slacken from it, and go down to you.
3e 4C 29
20
וַיִּשְׁלְח֥וּ אֵלַ֛י כַּדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּ֖ה אַרְבַּ֣ע פְּעָמִ֑ים
וָאָשִׁ֥יב אוֹתָ֖ם כַּדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה
4 And they sent to me a word like this four times.
And I returned to them a word like this.
3d 4B 16
10
וַיִּשְׁלַח֩ אֵלַ֨י סַנְבַלַּ֜ט כַּדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּ֛ה פַּ֥עַם חֲמִישִׁ֖ית אֶֽת־נַעֲר֑וֹ
וְאִגֶּ֥רֶת פְּתוּחָ֖ה בְּיָדֽוֹ
5 And Sanballet sent to me his lad, a word like this, a fifth time,
and an open letter in his hand.
3d 4A 22
10
כָּת֣וּב בָּ֗הּ בַּגּוֹיִ֤ם נִשְׁמָע֙ וְגַשְׁמ֣וּ אֹמֵ֔ר אַתָּ֤ה וְהַיְּהוּדִים֙ חֹשְׁבִ֣ים לִמְר֔וֹד עַל־כֵּ֛ן אַתָּ֥ה בוֹנֶ֖ה הַחוֹמָ֑ה
וְאַתָּ֗ה הֹוֶ֤ה לָהֶם֙ לְמֶ֔לֶךְ כַּדְּבָרִ֖ים הָאֵֽלֶּה
6 Written in it, In the nations it is reported, and Geshemu has said, You and the Judeans plot mutiny. Therefore you are building the wall.
And you are for them, to be king, according to these words.
3d 4C 32
16
וְגַם־נְבִיאִ֡ים הֶעֱמַ֣דְתָּ לִקְרֹא֩ עָלֶ֨יךָ בִֽירוּשָׁלִַ֜ם לֵאמֹ֗ר מֶ֚לֶךְ בִּֽיהוּדָ֔ה וְעַתָּה֙ יִשָּׁמַ֣ע לַמֶּ֔לֶךְ כַּדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה
וְעַתָּ֣ה לְכָ֔ה וְנִֽוָּעֲצָ֖ה יַחְדָּֽו
7 And you have even installed prophets to proclaim about you in Jerusalem, saying, A king in Judah, and, Now let it be reported to the king about these things.
So now, come, and let us take counsel together.
3e 4C 40
12
וָאֶשְׁלְחָ֤ה אֵלָיו֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לֹ֤א נִֽהְיָה֙ כַּדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֖ר אַתָּ֣ה אוֹמֵ֑ר
כִּ֥י מִֽלִּבְּךָ֖ אַתָּ֥ה בוֹדָֽאם
8 And I sent to him, saying, There are no things like these which you say,
but from your heart you contrive them.
3e 4C 23
8
כִּ֣י כֻלָּ֗ם מְיָֽרְאִ֤ים אוֹתָ֙נוּ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר יִרְפּ֧וּ יְדֵיהֶ֛ם מִן־הַמְּלָאכָ֖ה וְלֹ֣א תֵעָשֶׂ֑ה
וְעַתָּ֖ה חַזֵּ֥ק אֶת־יָדָֽי
9 B For all of them made us fear, saying, Let their hands slacken from the lines of work, that it not be done.
So now, encourage my hand.
3c 4C 25
8
וַאֲנִי־בָ֗אתִי בֵּ֣ית שְֽׁמַֽעְיָ֧ה בֶן־דְּלָיָ֛ה בֶּן־מְהֵֽיטַבְאֵ֖ל וְה֣וּא עָצ֑וּר
וַיֹּ֡אמֶר נִוָּעֵד֩ אֶל־בֵּ֨ית הָאֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶל־תּ֣וֹךְ הַֽהֵיכָ֗ל וְנִסְגְּרָה֙ דַּלְת֣וֹת הַהֵיכָ֔ל כִּ֚י בָּאִ֣ים לְהָרְגֶ֔ךָ וְלַ֖יְלָה בָּאִ֥ים לְהָרְגֶֽךָ
10 And myself, I entered the house of Shemaiah, child of Delaiah, child of Mehetabeel, (and he had been detained).
And he said, Let us engage at the house of God in the centre of the temple, and let us lock the gateways of the temple, for they are coming to slay you, and by night, coming to slay you.
3c 4C 21
42
וָאֹמְרָ֗ה הַאִ֤ישׁ כָּמ֙וֹנִי֙ יִבְרָ֔ח וּמִ֥י כָמ֛וֹנִי אֲשֶׁר־יָב֥וֹא אֶל־הַהֵיכָ֖ל וָחָ֑י
לֹ֖א אָבֽוֹא
11 And I said, Such a man as I, will he run? And who is there such as I who would come to the temple so to live?
I will not go.
3d 4C 25
3
וָאַכִּ֕ירָה וְהִנֵּ֥ה לֹֽא־אֱלֹהִ֖ים שְׁלָח֑וֹ
כִּ֤י הַנְּבוּאָה֙ דִּבֶּ֣ר עָלַ֔י וְטוֹבִיָּ֥ה וְסַנְבַלַּ֖ט שְׂכָרֽוֹ
12 And I recognized, and behold, God had not sent him.
But the prophecy he spoke of me. And Tobiah and Sanballet had hired him.
3e 4C 13
19
לְמַ֤עַן שָׂכוּר֙ ה֔וּא לְמַֽעַן־אִירָ֥א וְאֶֽעֱשֶׂה־כֵּ֖ן וְחָטָ֑אתִי
וְהָיָ֤ה לָהֶם֙ לְשֵׁ֣ם רָ֔ע לְמַ֖עַן יְחָֽרְפֽוּנִי
13 So he was hired, so that I would fear, and I would do so, and I would sin.
And it would be for them for an evil reputation, so that they could reproach me.
3e 4C 20
15
זָכְרָ֧ה אֱלֹהַ֛י לְטוֹבִיָּ֥ה וּלְסַנְבַלַּ֖ט כְּמַעֲשָׂ֣יו אֵ֑לֶּה
וְגַ֨ם לְנוֹעַדְיָ֤ה הַנְּבִיאָה֙ וּלְיֶ֣תֶר הַנְּבִיאִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָי֖וּ מְיָֽרְאִ֥ים אוֹתִֽי
14 Remember, my God, Tobiah and Sanballet, according to these their deeds,
and furthermore, Noadiah the prophetess, and the rest of the prophets who would have made me fear.
3c 4C 19
24
וַתִּשְׁלַם֙ הַֽחוֹמָ֔ה בְּעֶשְׂרִ֥ים וַחֲמִשָּׁ֖ה לֶאֱל֑וּל
לַחֲמִשִּׁ֥ים וּשְׁנַ֖יִם יֽוֹם
15 And the wall became whole on the twenty fifth of Elul,
in fifty two days.
3e 4A 16
7
וַיְהִ֗י כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר שָֽׁמְעוּ֙ כָּל־א֣וֹיְבֵ֔ינוּ וַיִּֽרְא֗וּ כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר סְבִֽיבֹתֵ֔ינוּ וַיִּפְּל֥וּ מְאֹ֖ד בְּעֵינֵיהֶ֑ם
וַיֵּ֣דְע֔וּ כִּ֚י מֵאֵ֣ת אֱלֹהֵ֔ינוּ נֶעֶשְׂתָ֖ה הַמְּלָאכָ֥ה הַזֹּֽאת
16 And it happened that as all our enemies heard, and all the nations that surrounded us saw, that they utterly let their eyes fall.
And they knew that from our God, this line of work was done.
3e 4C 34
18
גַּ֣ם ׀ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֗ם מַרְבִּ֞ים חֹרֵ֤י יְהוּדָה֙ אִגְּרֹ֣תֵיהֶ֔ם הוֹלְכ֖וֹת עַל־טוֹבִיָּ֑ה
וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר לְטוֹבִיָּ֖ה בָּא֥וֹת אֲלֵיהֶֽם
17 B Moreover in those days, many of the freeborn of Judah had their letters travel to Tobiah,
and those of Tobiah came to them.
3e 4C 23
12
כִּי־רַבִּ֣ים בִּֽיהוּדָ֗ה בַּעֲלֵ֤י שְׁבוּעָה֙ ל֔וֹ כִּי־חָתָ֥ן ה֖וּא לִשְׁכַנְיָ֣ה בֶן־אָרַ֑ח
וִֽיהוֹחָנָ֣ן בְּנ֔וֹ לָקַ֕ח אֶת־בַּת־מְשֻׁלָּ֖ם בֶּ֥ן בֶּֽרֶכְיָֽה
18 For many in Judah owed allegiance to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shekanayah, child of Arax,
and Yehoxanan his son had taken the daughter of Meshullam, child of Berechiah.
3e 4C 21
17
גַּ֣ם טוֹבֹתָ֗יו הָי֤וּ אֹמְרִים֙ לְפָנַ֔י וּדְבָרַ֕י הָי֥וּ מוֹצִיאִ֖ים ל֑וֹ
אִגְּר֛וֹת שָׁלַ֥ח טוֹבִיָּ֖ה לְיָֽרְאֵֽנִי
19 B Furthermore, they were mentioning his good before me, and my words they were bringing out to him.
Tobiah sent out letters to make me fear.
3d 4C 20
11


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