That Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Sanballat and Geshem.—In the original of Nehemiah 6:1, Tobiah is not distinguished from Sanballat by another preposition, as Geshem is; and here he is omitted, as not to appear in the conference otherwise than as Sanballat’s secretary.
In some one of the villages in the plain of Ono.—Probably, in Hahkiphirem, the name of a village in the plain of Ono, which was on the borders of Philistia, more than twenty miles from Jerusalem.Let us meet together; to consult about the common service of our master the king of Persia, or to make a friendly accommodation.
Ono; a city in the tribe of Benjamin; of which see Nehemiah 11:35 1 Chronicles 8:12.
saying, come, let us meet together in some one of the villages; in Cephirim, which Jarchi takes to be the name of a place, perhaps the same with Cephirah, a city in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:26
in the plain of Ono; which was in the same tribe, see 1 Chronicles 8:12, they might pretend a friendly meeting, to accommodate differences between them, or to converse together about the general interest of the king of Persia in those parts:That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. Sanballat and Geshem] It is noticeable that Tobiah’s name is not also mentioned. Some commentators have held that this omission is to be accounted for by the fact of Tobiah being ‘the mere servant of Sanballat’ (see Nehemiah 2:10). But the explanation seems very improbable when we consider the prominence of Tobiah in Nehemiah 2:10; Nehemiah 2:19, Nehemiah 4:7, Nehemiah 6:17; Nehemiah 6:19, Nehemiah 13:7-8, and the way in which his name is mentioned in Nehemiah 6:12; Nehemiah 6:14. It is better to suppose that Nehemiah’s enemies deputed two of the most crafty of their number to make these overtures for an interview. An invitation to meet and discuss matters with only two of the leaders would wear a friendly and innocent appearance. Perhaps Tobiah and the other conspirators were intended to take advantage of Nehemiah’s absence and to make a surprise attack upon Jerusalem.
in some one of the villages] R.V. in one of the villages. According to this translation the invitation leaves it open to Nehemiah to select the place of meeting. But literally the Hebrew gives ‘in the villages (Chephirim)’. It is very possible that this word gives the name of a place (cf. Chephirah, Ezra 2:25), as Rashi long ago suggested. It is certainly natural to expect that Sanballat and Geshem would name a place for the proposed interview; and the form of the Hebrew word favours this explanation. The proposed meeting-place then would be ‘Hacchephirim.’
in the plain of Ono] On Ono, see Ezra 2:33 (Nehemiah 7:37; Nehemiah 11:35; 1 Chronicles 8:12). An interview in the plain of Ono would have necessitated Nehemiah’s absence from Jerusalem during three or four days. The object of his enemies was doubtless to seize or assassinate him at a distance from Jerusalem.
thought to do me mischief] ‘thought’ i.e. ‘considered how.’ Cf. Nehemiah 6:6, ‘think to rebel.’ Genesis 50:20, ‘ye thought (R.V. meant) evil against me.’ ‘Mischief,’ lit. ‘evil,’ by which expression Nehemiah hints that his foes plotted to assassinate him. Cf. 1 Samuel 23:9, ‘Saul devised mischief.’ Esther 8:3, ‘the mischief of Haman the Agagite.’Verse 2. - In some one of the villages. The Hebrew has "in the villages," which seems too vague. Bertheau therefore suggests, "in Hakkiphirim," taking the word as the name of a particular village, which is probably right. Ono was near Lydda, in the plain country bordering on Philistia. They thought to do me mischief. A euphemism for "they thought to murder me."
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