Nehemiah

Nehemiah 5 ©

1The people complain of their debts, which had compelled them to mortgage their lands, and sell their children into bondage. 6Nehemiah rebuketh the usurers, and causeth them to swear to make a full and free restitution. 14He refuseth the governor's usual allowance, and keepeth up hospitality at his own expense.

1

AND there was a agreat cry of the people and of their wives against their 1brethren the Jews.

2

For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore bwe take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live.

3

Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, cbecause of the dearth.

4

There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's dtribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.

5

Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, ewe bring into bondage our sons and our fdaughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.

6

¶And I was gvery angry when I heard their cry and these words.

7

Then 2I consulted with myself, and hI rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, iYe exact *usury, every one of his brother. And jI set a great assembly against them.

8

And I said unto them, We after our ability have kredeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then lheld they their peace, and found nothing to answer.

9

Also I said, mIt is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk nin the fear of our God obecause of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?

o ch. 4.4.
10

I plikewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this *usury.

11

Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them.

12

Then said they, We will restore them, and qwill *require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and rtook an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.

13

Also I shook my slap, and said, So God tshake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and 3emptied. And all the congregation said, uAmen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.

t Zec. 5.4,5.
u ch. 8.6.
14

¶Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the vtwentieth year even unto the wtwo and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the xbread of the governor.

v ch. 2.1.
w ch. 13.6.
15

But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, ybecause of the fear of God.

16

Yea, also I zcontinued in the work of this wall, neither abought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.

17

Moreover there were bat my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.

18

Now that cwhich was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.

19

dThink upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.