Nehemiah 6: Nehemiah Finishes the Walls

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 125


Sometimes it can be hard to tell who really wants what is best for us. Men with evil intentions may try to trick us so they can personally gain from our misfortune. If we are obedient to God and trust the guidance of the Spirit, however, we may avoid deception. Nehemiah 6 tells us what Nehemiah did in a situation where others sought to harm him and disrupt his work.

Understanding the Scriptures

Nehemiah 6

Breach (v. 1)Holes, gaps 
Mischief (v. 2)Harm 
Feignest (v. 8)Makes up, pretends 
Perceived (vv. 12, 16)Realized 
Reproach (v. 13)Speak evil of 
Cast down in their own eyes (v. 16)Discouraged 
Was wrought of (v. 16)Came from 

Nehemiah 6:10–13—Why Would Nehemiah Not Go into the Temple?

Shemaiah was seemingly part of a plan to stop Nehemiah’s efforts, and Shemaiah’s being “shut up” in his house was part of the plan. Shemaiah made it sound like Nehemiah’s life was in danger and told Nehemiah that he should go to the temple, grab the horns of the altar, and plead that his life be protected, which was an action spoken of in the law of Moses (see Exodus 21:14; 1 Kings 1:50–51; 2:28; 2 Kings 11:15). Nehemiah recognized the plot against him and chose to trust the Lord for protection. Another reason Nehemiah did not go into the temple was because he was not a priest. Shemaiah and others hoped to ruin Nehemiah’s reputation with the people, but they failed.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Nehemiah 6.

Activity A iconAvoid Deception

  1. 1.

    Name the people in Nehemiah 6 who tried to do harm to Nehemiah, and explain how.

  2. 2.

    What things did Nehemiah do to avoid falling into their “traps”?

  3. 3.

    Write what the following scriptures say about what we can do to avoid being deceived: Helaman 3:29–30; Doctrine and Covenants 43:2–6; 46:7–8; Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37.