Nehemiah 13:15-31

15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day.
16 People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah.
17 I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day?
18 Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”
19 When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day.
20 Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem.
21 But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath.
22 Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.
23 Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab.
24 Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah.
25 I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.
26 Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.
27 Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?”
28 One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. And I drove him away from me.
29 Remember them, my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.
30 So I purified the priests and the Levites of everything foreign, and assigned them duties, each to his own task.
31 I also made provision for contributions of wood at designated times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me with favor, my God.

Nehemiah 13:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; 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.
ESV
15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food.
NLT
15 In those days I saw men of Judah treading out their winepresses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in grain, loading it on donkeys, and bringing their wine, grapes, figs, and all sorts of produce to Jerusalem to sell on the Sabbath. So I rebuked them for selling their produce on that day.
MSG
15 During those days, while back in Judah, I also noticed that people treaded wine presses, brought in sacks of grain, and loaded up their donkeys on the Sabbath. They brought wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of stuff to sell on the Sabbath. So I spoke up and warned them about selling food on that day.
CSB
15 At that time I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in stores of grain and loading [them] on donkeys, along with wine, grapes, and figs. All kinds of goods were being brought to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned [them] against selling food on that day.

Nehemiah 13:15-31 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 13:15-31 In-Context

13 I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zakkur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because they were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their fellow Levites.
14 Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.
15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day.
16 People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah.
17 I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day?
18 Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”
19 When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day.
20 Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem.
21 But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath.
22 Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.
23 Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab.
24 Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah.
25 I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.
26 Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.
27 Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?”
28 One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite. And I drove him away from me.
29 Remember them, my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.
30 So I purified the priests and the Levites of everything foreign, and assigned them duties, each to his own task.
31 I also made provision for contributions of wood at designated times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me with favor, my God.

Cross References 23

  • 1. Exodus 20:8-11; S Exodus 34:21; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Nehemiah 10:31
  • 2. S Nehemiah 10:31
  • 3. Jeremiah 44:23
  • 4. S Nehemiah 10:31; Jeremiah 17:21-23
  • 5. Leviticus 23:32
  • 6. S Genesis 8:1; S Nehemiah 1:8; Nehemiah 12:30
  • 7. Ezra 9:1-2; Malachi 2:11
  • 8. ver 1; S ver 1,S 3; Exodus 34:16; S Ruth 1:4; S Nehemiah 10:30
  • 9. Esther 1:22; Esther 3:12; Esther 8:9
  • 10. S Ezra 10:5
  • 11. S Exodus 34:16
  • 12. S 1 Kings 3:13; S 2 Chronicles 1:12
  • 13. 2 Samuel 12:25
  • 14. S Exodus 34:16; S 1 Kings 11:3
  • 15. Ezra 9:14; Ezra 10:2
  • 16. S Ezra 10:24
  • 17. S Nehemiah 2:10
  • 18. S Nehemiah 1:8; Nehemiah 6:14
  • 19. S Numbers 3:12
  • 20. S Nehemiah 9:2; Nehemiah 10:30
  • 21. Nehemiah 10:34
  • 22. Nehemiah 10:35-36
  • 23. ver 14,22; S Genesis 8:1; S Nehemiah 1:8
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