Nehemiah 13:15-22

15 In those days saw I in Judah some men treading wine-presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses [therewith]; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified [against them] in the day wherein they sold victuals.
16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, who brought in fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?
18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
19 And it came to pass that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I over the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of wares lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember unto me, O my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy lovingkindness.

Nehemiah 13:15-22 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO NEHEMIAH 13

This chapter relates the reformation of various abuses crept in among the Jews by Nehemiah, who removed the Moabites and Ammonites, mixed with them, Ne 13:1-3, threw the household goods of Tobiah out of a chamber of the temple, and restored it to its former use, Ne 13:4-9, took care that the Levites had their portion given them which had been kept from them, Ne 13:10-14 prevented the profanation of the sabbath by selling goods on that day, Ne 13:15-22, and put a stop to the marrying of strange wives, which had prevailed again among them, Ne 13:23-31.

Nehemiah 13:15-22 In-Context

13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were counted faithful, and their business was to distribute unto their brethren.
14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the observances thereof.
15 In those days saw I in Judah some men treading wine-presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses [therewith]; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified [against them] in the day wherein they sold victuals.
16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, who brought in fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?
18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
19 And it came to pass that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I over the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of wares lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember unto me, O my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy lovingkindness.
23 In those days also saw I the Jews that had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, [and] of Moab:
24 and their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.
The American Standard Version is in the public domain.