Nehemiah 2:19, the Bible’s only named Arab

But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn.

//Today’s verse is the only named Arab in the Bible. Will you let me evoke my right as a book reviewer to quote from David Plotz’s Good Book again?

“When Geshem the Arab and his cronies hear that Nehemiah is rebuilding the wall, they ‘mocked and ridiculed’ him. Nehemiah responds by saying: ‘the God of heaven is the one who will give us success, and we His servants are going to start building; but you have no share or claim or historic right in Jerusalem.’ In what can be seen as a darkly humorous divine joke, the only Arab in the Bible turns out to be (1) an enemy of the Jews and (2) at odds with them over who should control Jerusalem. It’s 2,500 years later: Has anything changed?”

I’ve told you thrice, now: Go get David’s insightful book. Here it is again:

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