Nehemiah 5:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
and said: "As far as possible, we have bought back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!" They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And I said to them, We, according to our ability, have redeemed our brethren the Jews, who were sold to the nations; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? And they were silent and found no answer.

World English Bible
I said to them, "We, after our ability, have redeemed our brothers the Jews that were sold to the nations; and would you even sell your brothers, and should they be sold to us?" Then they held their peace, and found never a word.

Young's Literal Translation
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.

Nehemiah 5:8 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Ye exact usury - This was expressly contrary to the law of God; and was doubly cruel at this time, when they were just returning out of the land of their captivity, and were suffering from the effects of a dearth. Some think that it was about the time of a Sabbatical year, when their land must have lain at rest without cultivation, and during which they were expressly commanded not to exact any debt. Deuteronomy 15:2.

I set a great assembly against them - Brought all these delinquents before the rulers of the people.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

We after

Matthew 25:15,29 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability...

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not.

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith.

redeemed

Leviticus 25:47-49 And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by you, and your brother that dwells by him wax poor...

sell your

Exodus 21:16 And he that steals a man, and sells him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Deuteronomy 24:7 If a man be found stealing any of his brothers of the children of Israel, and makes merchandise of him, or sells him...

shall they

Romans 14:15 But if your brother be grieved with your meat, now walk you not charitably. Destroy not him with your meat, for whom Christ died.

1 Corinthians 8:11 And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

held

Job 29:10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.

Job 32:15 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.

Matthew 22:12 And he said to him, Friend, how came you in here not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped...

Library
An Ancient Nonconformist
'... So did not I, because of the fear of God.'--Neh. v. 15. I do not suppose that the ordinary Bible-reader knows very much about Nehemiah. He is one of the neglected great men of Scripture. He was no prophet, he had no glowing words, he had no lofty visions, he had no special commission, he did not live in the heroic age. There was a certain harshness and dryness; a tendency towards what, when it was more fully developed, became Pharisaism, in the man, which somewhat covers the essential nobleness
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Influences that Gave Rise to the Priestly Laws and Histories
[Sidenote: Influences in the exile that produced written ceremonial laws] The Babylonian exile gave a great opportunity and incentive to the further development of written law. While the temple stood, the ceremonial rites and customs received constant illustration, and were transmitted directly from father to son in the priestly families. Hence, there was little need of writing them down. But when most of the priests were carried captive to Babylonia, as in 597 B.C., and ten years later the temple
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Cross References
Leviticus 25:48
they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them:

Nehemiah 5:9
So I continued, "What you are doing is not right. Shouldn't you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?

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