Nehemiah 51Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews. 2For there were who said, We, our sons and our daughters, are many. Let us get grain that we may eat and live. 3There were some also who said, We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses. Let us get grain because of the dearth. 4There were also who said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute upon our fields and our vineyards. 5Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our sons as their sons. And, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already. Neither is it in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards. 6And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7Then I consulted with myself, and contended with the ranking men and the rulers, and said to them, Ye exact usury, everyone of his brother. And I held a great assembly against them. 8And I said to them, According to our ability we have redeemed our brothers the Jews, who were sold to the nations, and would ye even sell your brothers, and should they be sold to us? Then they were silent, and found not a word. 9Also I said, The thing that ye do is not good. Ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies? 10And I likewise, my brothers and my servants, lend them money and grain. I pray you, let us leave off this usury. 11Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 12Then they said, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them, so will we do, even as thou say. Then I called the priests, and took an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. 13Also I shook out my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, who does not perform this promise, even thus be he shaken out and emptied. And all the assembly said, Truly, and praised Jehovah. And the people did according to this promise. 14Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor. 15But the former governors who were before me charged the people, and took bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people. But I did not so, because of the fear of God. 16Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither did we buy any land. And all my servants were gathered there to the work. 17Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, a hundred and fifty men, besides those who came to us from among the nations that were round about us. 18Now that which was prepared for one day 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 I did not demand the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. 19Remember to me, O my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.
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