Nehemiah Chapter 5
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1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews.
Last updated: Mar, 2013
1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.
2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, [are] many: therefore we 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, because of the dearth.
4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, [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, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters 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 very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.
8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed 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 held they their peace, and found nothing [to answer].
9 Also I said, It [is] not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?
10 I likewise, [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 will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.
13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.
14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that is], twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
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, because of the fear of God.
16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants [were] gathered thither unto the work.
17 Moreover [there were] at 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] which 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 Think upon me, my God, for good, [according] to all that I have done for this people.
King James Version
1 And there is a great cry of the people and their wives, concerning their brethren the Jews,
2 yea, there are who are saying, 'Our sons, and our daughters, we -- are many, and we receive corn, and eat, and live.'
3 And there are who are saying, 'Our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses, we are pledging, and we receive corn for the famine.'
4 And there are who are saying, 'We have borrowed money for the tribute of the king, [on] our fields, and our vineyards;
5 and now, as the flesh of our brethren [is] our flesh, as their sons [are] our sons, and lo, we are subduing our sons and our daughters for servants, and there are of our daughters subdued, and our hand hath no might, and our fields and our vineyards [are] to others.'
6 And it is very displeasing to me when I have heard their cry and these words,
7 and my heart reigneth over me, and I strive with the freemen, and with the prefects, and say to them, 'Usury one upon another ye are exacting;' and I set against them a great assembly,
8 and say to them, 'We have acquired our brethren the Jews, those sold to the nations, according to the ability that [is] in us, and ye also sell your brethren, and they have been sold to us!' and they are silent, and have not found a word.
9 And I say, 'Not good [is] the thing that ye are doing; in the fear of our God do ye not walk, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies?
10 And also, I, my brethren, and my servants, are exacting of them silver and corn; let us leave off, I pray you, this usury.
11 Give back, I pray you, to them, as to-day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive-yards, and their houses, and the hundredth [part] of the money, and of the corn, of the new wine, and of the oil, that ye are exacting of them.'
12 And they say, 'We give back, and of them we seek nothing; so we do as thou art saying.' And I call the priests, and cause them to swear to do according to this thing;
13 also, my lap I have shaken, and I say, 'Thus doth God shake out every man, who doth not perform this thing, from his house, and from his labour; yea, thus is he shaken out and empty;' and all the assembly say, 'Amen,' and praise Jehovah; and the people do according to this thing.
14 Also, from the day that he appointed me to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the thirty and second year of Artaxerxes the king -- twelve years -- I, and my brethren, the bread of the governor have not eaten:
15 the former governors who [are] before me have made themselves heavy on the people, and take of them in bread and wine, besides in silver forty shekels; also, their servants have ruled over the people -- and I have not done so, because of the fear of God.
16 And also, in the work of this wall I have done mightily, even a field we have not bought, and all my servants are gathered there for the work;
17 and of the Jews, and of the prefects, a hundred and fifty men, and those coming in unto us of the nations that [are] round about us, [are] at my table;
18 and that which hath been prepared for one day [is] one ox, six fat sheep, also fowls have been prepared for me, and once in ten days of all wines abundantly, and with this, the bread of the governor I have not sought, for heavy is the service on this people.
19 Remember for me, O my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.