Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evilthing is this that ye do , and profane the sabbathday?18Did not your fathers thus, and did not our Godbring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bringmorewrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.19
And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be darkbefore the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut , and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servantsset I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbathday.20
So the merchants and sellers of all kind of warelodgedwithoutJerusalemonce or twice.21
Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye abouta the wall? if ye do so again , I will layhands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.22
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbathday.Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatnessb of thy mercy.23
In those days also saw I Jews that had marriedwives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:24
And their childrenspakehalf in the speech of Ashdod, and couldc not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of eachpeople.25
And I contended with them, and cursedd them, and smotecertain of them, and plucked off their hair , and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.
Did not Solomonking of Israelsin by these things? yet among manynations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and Godmade him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandishwomen cause to sin .
Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this greatevil, to transgress against our God in marryingstrangewives?