Nehemiah Stops Oppression of the Poor1Now there arose aa great outcry of the people and of their wives bagainst their Jewish brothers. 2For there were those who said, “With our sons and our daughters, we are many. So let us get grain, that we may eat and keep alive.” 3There were also those who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine.” 4And there were those who said, “We have borrowed money for cthe king’s tax on our fields and our vineyards. 5Now dour flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children are as their children. Yet ewe are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards.” 6I was very angry when I heard ftheir outcry and these words. 7I took counsel with myself, and I brought charges against the nobles and the officials. I said to them, g“You are exacting interest, each from his brother.” And I held a great assembly against them 8and said to them, “We, as far as we are able, hhave bought back our Jewish brothers who have been sold to the nations, but you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us!” They were silent and could not find a word to say.
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