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Nehemiah 13:15-22

Context

13:15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath, bringing in heaps of grain and loading them onto donkeys, along with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, and bringing them to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned them on the day that they sold these provisions. 13:16 The people from Tyre 1  who lived there were bringing fish and all kinds of merchandise and were selling it on the Sabbath to the people of Judah – and in Jerusalem, of all places! 2  13:17 So I registered a complaint with the nobles of Judah, saying to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? 13:18 Isn’t this the way your ancestors 3  acted, causing our God to bring on them and on this city all this misfortune? And now you are causing even more wrath on Israel, profaning the Sabbath like this!”

13:19 When the evening shadows 4  began to fall on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered 5  the doors to be closed. I further directed that they were not to be opened until after the Sabbath. I positioned 6  some of my young men at the gates so that no load could enter on the Sabbath day. 13:20 The traders and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem once or twice. 13:21 But I warned them and said, 7  “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you repeat this, I will forcibly remove you!” 8  From that time on they did not show up on the Sabbath. 9  13:22 Then I directed the Levites to purify themselves and come and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy.

For this please remember me, O my God, and have pity on me in keeping with your great love.

1 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

2 tn The words “of all places” are not in the Hebrew text but have been supplied in the translation to indicate the emphasis on Jerusalem.

3 tn Heb “your fathers.”

4 tn Heb “the gates of Jerusalem grew dark.”

5 tn Heb “said” (so also in v. 22).

6 tn Heb “caused to stand.”

7 tn The Hebrew text includes the words “to them,” but they have been excluded from the translation for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Heb “I will send a hand on you.”

9 sn This statement contains a great deal of restrained humor. The author clearly takes pleasure in the effectiveness of the measures that he had enacted.



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