Isn't this exactly what your ancestors did? And because of it didn't God bring down on us and this city all this misery? And here you are adding to it - accumulating more wrath on Jerusalem by profaning the Sabbath."
As the gates of Jerusalem were darkened by the shadows of the approaching Sabbath, I ordered the doors shut and not to be opened until the Sabbath was over. I placed some of my servants at the gates to make sure that nothing to be sold would get in on the Sabbath day.
Traders and dealers in various goods camped outside the gates once or twice.
But I took them to task. I said, "You have no business camping out here by the wall. If I find you here again, I'll use force to drive you off." And that did it; they didn't come back on the Sabbath.
Then I directed the Levites to ceremonially cleanse themselves and take over as guards at the gates to keep the sanctity of the Sabbath day. Remember me also for this, my God. Treat me with mercy according to your great and steadfast love.
Also in those days I saw Jews who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.
Half the children couldn't even speak the language of Judah; all they knew was the language of Ashdod or some other tongue.
So I took those men to task, gave them a piece of my mind, even slapped some of them and jerked them by the hair. I made them swear to God: "Don't marry your daughters to their sons; and don't let their daughters marry your sons - and don't you yourselves marry them!
Didn't Solomon the king of Israel sin because of women just like these? Even though there was no king quite like him, and God loved him and made him king over all Israel, foreign women were his downfall.
Do you call this obedience - engaging in this extensive evil, showing yourselves faithless to God by marrying foreign wives?"
One of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite; I drove him out of my presence.
Remember them, O my God, how they defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priests and Levites.
All in all I cleansed them from everything foreign. I organized the orders of service for the priests and Levites so that each man knew his job.
I arranged for a regular supply of altar wood at the appointed times and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.