“In those days I saw in Judah people men treading wine presses on the Sabbath. They were bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys. I saw also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. I warned them at that time against selling food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of merchandise. They sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I remonstrated with the nobles of Judah. I said to them.
‘What is this evil thing that you are doing?
You are profaning the Sabbath day.
Did not your ancestors act in this way?
Did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city?
Yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.’”
Nehemiah was astonished to see that the Sabbath was no longer being observed. Everything that he had set up was falling apart. He could not believe his own eyes when he saw what was happening. They were working the wine presses on the Sabbath. They were bringing in grain on the Sabbath. They were bringing wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of stuff on donkeys into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. He warned them against selling food on the Sabbath. The people from Tyre, who lived in Jerusalem, also brought in fish and merchandise to sell on the Sabbath. Then Nehemiah told the nobles of the city that they were profaning the Sabbath. This was the very thing that made God angry. This was the reason that disaster had hit Jerusalem.