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Foreigners are cast out of the assembly. Nehemiah returns to Babylon, only to hear that the tithing and offerings system has fallen apart, so he goes back to Jerusalem to restore order: Nehemiah 13:1–6; 5:14–19; 13:7–31

It didn’t take long for Nehemiah and Ezra’s first found of reforms to fall apart. As soon as Nehemiah went back to Babylon, people had stopped bringing their tithes and offerings, with the results the priests and singers had to go back to their fields rather than do their religious duties. The men started marrying foreign wives again, and trading on the Sabbath started. Nehemiah confronted the nobles of Judah:

Nehemiah 13:17-18 Why are you profaning the Sabbath in this evil way? … Wasn’t it just this sort of thing that your ancestors did that caused our God to bring all this trouble upon us and our city? Now you are bringing even more wrath upon Israel by permitting the Sabbath to be desecrated in this way!

We’re not sure how much support he had, because Nehemiah was forced to have his servants close the city gates (and guard them) from Friday night until the Sabbath ended, just to keep the merchants out. A few camped outside the gates until Nehemiah threatened them with arrest.

The Sabbath seems to have become firmly entrenched ever since.

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