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Nehemiah 13:15-22 (Common English Bible w/ Apocrypha)

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Keeping the Sabbath

15 In those days I saw people in Judah using the winepresses on the Sabbath. They were also collecting piles of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs, and every kind of load, and then bringing them to Jerusalem on the Sabbath. I warned them at that time against selling food. 16 In addition, people from Tyre who lived in the city were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them to the people of Judah on the Sabbath. This happened in Jerusalem itself! 17 So I scolded the officials of Judah: "What is this evil thing that you are doing?" I asked. "You are making the Sabbath impure! 18 This is just what your ancestors did, and God brought all this evil upon us and upon this city. And now you are bringing more wrath upon Israel by making the Sabbath impure!" 19 So when it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I gave orders that the doors should be shut. I also ordered that they shouldn't be reopened until after the Sabbath. To make sure that no load would come into the citya on the Sabbath, I stationed some of my own men at the gates. 20 Once or twice the traders and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21 But I warned them: "Why are you spending the night by the wall? If you do that again, I will lay hands on you!" At that point, they stopped coming on the Sabbath. 22 I also commanded the Levites to purify themselves and to come and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your mercy.
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