“When your wares
Came from the seas,
The kings of the earth
With your abundant wealth,
With your merchandise.
Now you are wrecked
By the seas,
In the depths
Of the waters.
With all your crew,
Have sunk with you.
All the inhabitants
Of the coastlands
Are appalled at you.
Are horribly afraid.
Among the people
Hiss at you.
You have come
To a dreadful end.
You shall be no more
Many people benefited from the various goods that Tyre brought from the different towns on the Mediterranean Sea. Their wealth and merchandise enriched many kings. Now they have been wrecked by the deep sea. Both the merchandise and the crew are gone. Now all the inhabitants of the coastland towns were appalled at Tyre. In fact, their kings were horribly afraid as their faces convulsed. The merchants from these towns now hissed at the name of Tyre because they had come to a dreadful end. Tyre would not exist anymore.
Have brought you
Into the high seas.
The east wind
Has wrecked you
In the heart
Of the seas.
All your warriors
With all your company
That is with you,
Into the heart
Of the seas
On the day
Of your ruin.”
The rowers of the Tyre ships brought them into the high seas. The east wind then wrecked them in the heart of the sea. All their riches, goods, and merchandise sank. Their sailors, pilots, caulk workers, trade merchant dealers, their warriors, and all their company would sink into the heart of the sea on the day of their ruin. Tyre, its ships, its people, and all its goods would sink into the choppy Mediterranean Sea.
“She considers a field.
She buys it.
With the fruit of her hands,
She plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength.
She makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff.
Her hands hold the spindle.”
The good wife does not sit around all day and gossip. She goes out and buys fields, just like men do. She plants a vineyard, just like other workers. She has strength with strong arms. She buys and sells merchandise like her husband. She stays up late figuring things out. She even knows how to handle the spindle. She is like a super woman. She even has contact with others in business doings. Thus she is not a stay at home wife, but really a business partner.
“When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut. I gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. I set some of my servants over the gates to prevent any burden from being brought in on the Sabbath day. Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem, once or twice. But I warned them. I said to them.
‘Why do you spend the night in front of the wall?
If you do so again I will lay hands on you.’
From that time on, they did not come on the Sabbath. I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves. They should come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Also in my favor,
O my God,
According to the greatness of thy steadfast love.’”
Apparently Nehemiah must have some royal authority. He ordered that the gates of the city be closed during the Sabbath, from the sunset of Friday to the sunset on Saturday. He even put guards on the gates. The merchants stayed outside the gates in the hopes that they could conduct business just outside the gates. He scared off the merchants by saying that he was going to lay hands on them. He then commanded the Levites to stand guard at the gates during the Sabbath to keep it holy. Then he once again uttered a prayer to God to spare him out of his great love.
“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.
“If the peoples of the land bring in merchandise or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day. We will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.”
They would do no business on the Sabbath. They would keep holy the Sabbath, which was Saturday. They would not buy from the peoples of the land any grain or merchandise on the Sabbath or holy days. They would forgo crops on the 7th year, the Sabbath year. Finally, they would forgive debts. This was based on Leviticus, chapter 25. This was the beginning of the new Sabbath day regulations.