And, see, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Nehemiah 6:12. I perceived that God had not sent him — Partly by considering the sinful nature and pernicious consequences of this counsel; partly by the suggestion of God’s Spirit, whose direction I sought in this matter; and partly by the event, which manifested that there was no such danger from the approach of the enemy as was pretended.Nehemiah 6:14, Nehemiah 6:17-19; Nehemiah 13:4-5, Nehemiah 13:28. I perceived; partly, by considering the sinful nature and pernicious consequence of this counsel; partly, by the suggestion of God’s Spirit, whose counsel and help I sought in this matter; and partly, by the event, which discovered that there was no such danger from the approach of the enemy as was pretended.
but that he pronounced the prophecy against me; for by fleeing, as he advised, it would seem that he was guilty of the crimes of rebellion and treason he was charged with; and leaving the people, as they would in course break up, he himself could not be long in safety, no, not in the temple:And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. And lo, I perceived that] R.V. And I discerned, and, lo. The R.V. gives the verb the requisite sense of ‘recognition’ as in Genesis 27:23, ‘he discerned him not.’ Not as some commentators ‘I considered.’ Of a sudden, as it were, Nehemiah distinguishes the man’s object. The interjection ‘and, lo,’ follows after the recognition of Shemaiah’s character and intent.
God had not sent him] The emphasis lies on ‘God,’ i.e. it was not God that sent him, but Sanballat and his party. Cf. Jeremiah 23:21, ‘I sent not these prophets, yet they ran: I spake not unto them, yet they prophesied.’ Nehemiah’s words probably refer to the Deuteronomic law about the false prophet that ‘speaketh rebellion against God’ and seeketh ‘to draw thee away from the Lord thy God’ (Deuteronomy 13:5; Deuteronomy 13:10).
he pronounced this prophecy against me] i.e. his prophecy was not on behalf of God to declare a divine message, but to oppose Nehemiah.
for (R.V. And) Tobiah and Sanballat] The clause is not a parenthetical explanation, but gives the third point which Nehemiah ‘discerned’ in Shemaiah’s action. He had ‘discerned’ (1) that Shemaiah’s message was not of God, (2) that its purpose was hostile to himself, (3) that it was the result of bribery on the part of Tobiah and Sanballat.
This is the first statement that Tobiah and Sanballat were in communication with a party in Jerusalem itself hostile to Nehemiah, cf. Nehemiah 6:17-19; Nehemiah 13:4; Nehemiah 13:28. ‘Tobiah and Sanballat.’ The usual order of the names is inverted, it has been suggested, because ‘Tobiah was the immediate briber, Sanballat only finding the funds’ (Pulpit Comm.). More probably, however, his name stands first in this passage because in intrigues with the Jews of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 13:4 ff.) he was the more active and dangerous.
hired] Cf. Ezra 4:5.Verse 12. - And, lo, I perceived, etc. Rather, "And I considered; and lo! God had not sent him." I reflected on the whole matter, and came to the conclusion that, though he might be a prophet, he had not on this occasion exercised his prophetical office - he had not declared to me God's will (compare the case of the "old prophet," 1 Kings 13:11-18). And I was right, "for (in fact) he had pronounced this prophecy against me, because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him." "Tobiah and Sanballat" here - not "Sanballat and Tobiah," as elsewhere (Nehemiah 2:10, 19; Nehemiah 4:7; Nehemiah 6:1), because Tobiah was no doubt the immediate briber, Sanballat merely furnishing the funds. Nehemiah 2:19. הוה, the particip., is used of that which any one intends or prepares to do: thou art intending to become their king. על־כּן, therefore, for no other reason than to rebel, dost thou build the wall.
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