15 At that time I saw people in Judah pressing juice from grapes on the Sabbath. Others were loading grain, wine, grapes, figs, and other things on their donkeys and taking them into Jerusalem; I warned them not to sell anything on the Sabbath. 16 Some people from the city of Tyre were living in Jerusalem, and they brought fish and all kinds of goods into the city to sell to our people on the Sabbath. 17 I reprimanded the Jewish leaders and told them, “Look at the evil you're doing! You're making the Sabbath unholy. 18 This is exactly why God punished your ancestors when he brought destruction on this city. And yet you insist on bringing more of God's anger down on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
19 So I gave orders for the city gates to be shut at the beginning of every Sabbath, as soon as evening[a] began to fall, and not to be opened again until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my men at the gates to make sure that nothing was brought into the city on the Sabbath. 20 Once or twice merchants who sold all kinds of goods spent Friday night outside the city walls. 21 I warned them, “It's no use waiting out there for morning to come. If you try this again, I'll use force on you.” From then on they did not come back on the Sabbath. 22 I ordered the Levites to purify themselves and to go and guard the gates to make sure that the Sabbath was kept holy.
Remember me, O God, for this also, and spare me because of your great love.
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