Requirements and Fences
The next mention is at the restoration back to the land, and to the commitment to keep Torah.
Neh 10:31 NASB – As for the peoples of the land who bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.
Then Nehemia witnesses people breaking the Sabbath, and begins a practice that begins an unfortunate habit of building “fences” that takes on a lift of its own. This was a righteous action, but the reality is that the provisions to safeguard the commands dont make peoples hearts change. The emergence of rabbinic Judaism began to take this idea and run rampant with making fences.
Neh 13:15 NASB – In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads, and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbath day. So I admonished them on the day they sold food.
Neh 13:16 NASB – Also men of Tyre were living there who imported fish and all kinds of merchandise, and sold them to the sons of Judah on the sabbath, even in Jerusalem.
Neh 13:17 NASB – Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the sabbath day?
Neh 13:18 NASB – “Did not your fathers do the same, so that our God brought on us and on this city all this trouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.”
Neh 13:20 NASB – Once or twice the traders and merchants of every kind of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem.
Neh 13:21 NASB – Then I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will use force against you.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath.
Neh 13:22 NASB – And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the sabbath day. For this also remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness.