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. 20So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. 21Then I forewarned 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. 22And 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 mercy.
23In those days also saw I the Jews that had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab; 24and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people. 25And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God: 'Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves. 26Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, and he was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless even him did the foreign women cause to sin. 27Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to break faith with our God in marrying foreign women?'
28And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I chased him from me. 29Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
30Thus cleansed I them from everything foreign, and appointed wards for the priests and for the Levites, every one in his work; 31and for the wood-offering, at times appointed, and for the first-fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.