Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same
message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written: 'It is reported
among the nations - and Geshem says it is true - that you and the Jews are plotting to
revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports
you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this
proclamation about you in Jerusalem: "There is a king in Judah!" Now this report will
get back to the king; so come, let us confer together.'
The enemy could not get Nehemiah to compromise so, on the fifth
try, they used gossip and threats. Basically, they were saying that Nehemiah was going
to be the king of Judah as they were going to rebel against King Artaxerxes. Sanballat
basically said that he was going to pass on the lies unless he agreed to meet and
compromise. The penalty for rebellion against the king would have been death so Nehemiah
was really putting his life on the line here.