The Jews complain of their debt, mortgage, and bondage.
Nehemiah 5:1 And there arose a greate complaynte of ye people, & of their wyues against their brethren the Iewes. Nehemiah 5:2 And there were some yt sayde: oure sonnes and doughters are to many, let vs take corne for the, & eate, that we maye lyue. Nehemiah 5:3 Some saide: Let vs set or londes, vynyardes & houses to pledge, & take vp corne in the derth. Nehemiah 5:4 But some saide: Let vs borowe money of the kinge vpo vsury for oure londes and vynyardes. Nehemiah 5:5 Now are oure brethrens bodies as oure awne bodies, and their children as oure children: els shulde we subdue oure sonnes and doughters vnto bondage, and some of oure doughters are subdued allready, and no strength is there in oure handes, and other men shal haue oure londes and vynyardes.
Nehemiah rebuketh the usurers, and causeth them to make a covenant of restitution.
Nehemiah 5:6 But whan I herde their complaynte and soch wordes, it displeased me sore, Nehemiah 5:7 and I aduysed so in my mynde, yt I rebuked the councelers, and the rulers, and sayde vnto them: Wyl ye requyre vsury one of another? And I broughte a greate congregacion agaynst them, Nehemiah 5:8 and sayde vnto them: We (after oure abilyte) haue boughte oure brethren the Iewes, which were solde vnto the Heythen. And wyl ye sell youre brethren, whom we haue boughte vnto vs? Then helde they their peace, & coulde fynde nothinge to answere. Nehemiah 5:9 And I sayde: It is not good that ye do. Oughte ye not to walke in the feare of God, because of the rebuke of the Heythen oure enemies? Nehemiah 5:10 I and my brethre, and my seruauntes haue lent them money and corne: but as for vsury, let vs leaue it. Nehemiah 5:11 Therfore this same daye se that ye restore the their londes agayne, their vynyardes, oyle gardens and houses, and the hundreth parte of the money of the corne, wyne and oyle that ye haue wonne of them. Nehemiah 5:12 Then sayde they: We wyl restore them agayne, and wyl requyre nothinge of them, and wyl do as thou hast spoken. And I called the prestes, and toke an ooth of the, that they shulde do so. Nehemiah 5:13 And I shoke my lappe, and sayde: God shake out euery man after the same maner fro his house and laboure, that maynteyneth not this worde: euen thus be he shaken out, and voyde. And all ye congregacion sayde: Amen, and praysed the LORDE. And the people dyd so.
He forbeareth his own allowance, and keepeth hospitality.
Nehemiah 5:14 And from the tyme forth that it was commytted vnto me to be a Debyte in the londe of Iuda, namely from the twentieth yeare vnto the two and thirtieth yeare off kynge Artaxerses (that is twolue yeare) I and my brethre lyued not of soch sustenaunbe as was geuen to a Debyte: Nehemiah 5:15 For the olde Debytes that were before me, had bene chargeable vnto the people, and had take of the bred and wyne, and fortye Sycles of syluer: Yee and their seruauntes had oppressed the people. But so dyd not I, and that because of the feare of God. Nehemiah 5:16 I laboured also in the worke vpon the wall, and boughte no lode. And all my seruautes came thither together vnto ye worke. Nehemiah 5:17 Morouer there were at my table an hundreth and fiftie of the Iewes and rulers, which came vnto me, from amonge the Heythen, that are aboute vs. Nehemiah 5:18 And there was prepared me daylie an oxe, and sixe chosen shepe, and byrdes, and euer once in ten dayes a greate summe of wyne. Yet requyred not I the lyuynge of a Debyte for ye bondage was greuous vnto ye people. Nehemiah 5:19 Thynke vpo me my God vnto ye best, acordige to all that I haue done for this people.