Nehemiah 5
King James Bible: Purple Letter Edition
1And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren, the Jews. 2For there were those who said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many; therefore we take up grain for them, that we may eat, and live. 3Some also there were who said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy grain, because of the famine {dearth}. 4There were also those who said, We have borrowed money for the king's tax {tribute}, and that upon our lands and vineyards. 5Yet 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.

6And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact interest {usury}, everyone of his brother. And I held {set} a great assembly against them. 8And I said unto them, We, after our ability, have redeemed our brethren the Jews, who were sold unto the nations {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. 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 {heathen}, our enemies? 10I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and grain. I pray you, let us cease this exacting of interest {leave off this usury}. 11Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive yards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 12Then 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. 13Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from His house, and from His labor, 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.

14Moreover, 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. 15But the former governors who had been before me had laid a burden upon {were chargeable unto} the people, and had taken of them food {bread} and wine, besides forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bore rule over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. 16Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land; and all my servants were gathered there {thither} unto the work. 17Moreover, there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those who came unto us from among the nations {heathen} that are about us. 18Now 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. 19Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

King James Bible: Purple Letter Edition
© 2009 by Jim Musser. Used by Permission. All rights Reserved.

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