In those days I saw people in Judah working in the winepresses on the Sabbath day. They were bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys. And they were bringing loads of wine, grapes, and figs into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned them about selling food on that day.
People from the city of Tyre who were living in Jerusalem brought in fish and other things and sold them there on the Sabbath day to the people of Judah.
I argued with the important men of Judah and said to them, "What is this evil thing you are doing? You are ruining the Sabbath day.
This is just what your ancestors did. So our God did terrible things to us and this city. Now you are making him even more angry at Israel by ruining the Sabbath day."
So I ordered that the doors be shut at sunset before the Sabbath and not be opened until the Sabbath was over. I put my servants at the gates so no load could come in on the Sabbath.
Once or twice traders and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem.
So I warned them, "Why are you spending the night by the wall? If you do it again, I will force you away." After that, they did not come back on the Sabbath.
Then I ordered the Levites to purify themselves and to guard the city gates to make sure the Sabbath remained holy. Remember me, my God, for this. Have mercy on me because of your great love.