The Jews complain of their debt, mortgage, and bondage.
Nehemiah 5:1 And there arose a great complaynt of the people and their wyues against their brethre the Iewes. Nehemiah 5:2 For there were some that saide, Our sonnes and daughters and we are very many: therefore wyll we take corne for them, that we may eate and liue. Nehemiah 5:3 Some also there were that saide: Let vs set our landes, vineyardes, and houses to pledge, and take vp corne in the dearth. Nehemiah 5:4 But some there were that saide: We haue borowed money for the kinges tribute, and that vpon our landes & vineyardes. Nehemiah 5:5 And now our fleshe is as the fleshe of our brethren, and our children as their children: and loe we bring into subiection our sonnes and our daughters as seruauntes, and some of our daughters are subdued vnto bondage alredie, and no strength is there in our handes to redeeme them, and other men haue our landes and vineyardes.
Nehemiah rebuketh the usurers, and causeth them to make a covenant of restitution.
Nehemiah 5:6 And when I heard their complaynt and such wordes, it displeased me sore. Nehemiah 5:7 And I aduised so in my minde, that I rebuked the counsellers and the rulers, and saide vnto them: Euery one of you layeth great burdens vpon his brother. And I brought a great congregation against them, Nehemiah 5:8 And saide vnto them: We after our habilitie haue redeemed our brethren the Iewes, which were solde vnto the heathen: And wyll you sell your brethre againe, and shall they be solde vnto vs? Then held they their peace, and coulde finde nothing to aunswere. Nehemiah 5:9 And [Nehemia] saide, It is not good that ye do: Ought ye not to walke in the feare of our God, because of the rebuke of the heathen that are our enemies? Nehemiah 5:10 I and my brethren, and my seruauntes, do lende them money and corne: I pray you let vs leaue of this burden. Nehemiah 5:11 Therefore this same day I pray you see that ye restore them their landes againe, their vineyardes, olyue gardens, and their houses, and remit the hundred parte of the money, of the corne, wine, and oyle that ye haue exacted of them. Nehemiah 5:12 Then saide they: We wyll restore them againe, & wyll require nothing of them, and wyll do as thou hast spoken. And I called the priestes, and tooke an oth of them that they should do so. Nehemiah 5:13 And I shooke my lappe and saide: God shake out euery man after the same maner from his house & laboure that maintaineth not this worde, euen thus be he shaken out, and voyde. And all the congregation saide, Amen, and praysed the Lorde: And the people did according to this promise.
He forbeareth his own allowance, and keepeth hospitality.
Nehemiah 5:14 And from the time foorth that the king committed vnto me to be captayne of them that were in the lande of Iuda, euen from the twentie yere, vnto the thirtie & two yere of king Artaxerxes, that is twelue yeres, I with my brethre liued not of such sustinaunce as was geuen to a captayne. Nehemiah 5:15 For the olde captaynes that were before me, had ben chargeable vnto the people, and had taken of them bread & wine, beside fouretie sicles of siluer, yea and their seruauntes had oppressed the people: But so did not I, and that because of the feare of God. Nehemiah 5:16 But I laboured also in the worke vpon the wall, and we bought no lande: and all my seruauntes came thither together vnto the worke. Nehemiah 5:17 Moreouer, there were at my table an hundred and fiftie of the Iewes and rulers, which came vnto me from among the heathen that are about vs. Nehemiah 5:18 And there was prepared for me dayly an oxe and sixe chosen sheepe, and birdes were prepared for me: and euer once in ten dayes wine for all in aboundance: Yet required not I the liuing of a captayne, for the bondage was greeuous vnto the people. Nehemiah 5:19 Thinke vpon me my God vnto the best, according to all that I haue done for this people.