The Jews complain of their debt, mortgage, and bondage.
Nehemiah 5:1 And there arose a great complaynte of þe people, and of theyr wyues agaynst their brethren the Iewes. Nehemiah 5:2 For there were some that sayd: our sonnes and daughters and we are to many, therfore wyll we take corne for them, þt we maye eate, and lyue. Nehemiah 5:3 Some also there were that sayde: let vs sett our landes, vyneyardes and houses to pledge, and take vp corne in the darth. Nehemiah 5:4 But som there were that sayde: let vs borowe money for the kynges trybute & that vpon our landes and vyneardes. Nehemiah 5:5 Behold, oure bodyes as the bodyes of oure brethren, and oure chyldren as theyr chyldren: elles shulde we subdue our sonnes and daughters vnto bondage, and some of oure daughters are subdued vnto bondage all ready, & no strength is there in houre handes, and other men haue our landes and vyneyardes.
Nehemiah rebuketh the usurers, and causeth them to make a covenant of restitution.
Nehemiah 5:6 And when I heard their complaynte and soch wordes, it displeased me sore, Nehemiah 5:7 and I aduised so in my mynde, þt I rebuked the councelers, and the rulers, and sayde vnto them: Euery one of you is to chargeable vnto hys brother. And I brought a greate congregacyon agaynst them, Nehemiah 5:8 and sayd vnto them we (after oure abilite) haue bought our brethren the Iewes, which were solde vnto þe heathen. And wyll ye sell your brethren agayne vnto the heathen, after that they haue bene solde vnto vs? Then helde they theyr peace, and coulde fynde nothynge to answere. Nehemiah 5:9 And Nehemia sayde: It is not good that ye do. Ought ye not to walke in the feare of God, because of the rebuke of the heathen þt are our enemyes? Nehemiah 5:10 I and my brethren, and my seruauntes do lend them money & corne: but as for vsurye, let vs leaue it. Nehemiah 5:11 Therfore, thys same daye I pray you se that ye restore them theyr landes agayne, theyr vineyardes, oyle gardens, and their houses, and remytte the hundred part of the money, of the corne, wyne and oyle that ye haue wonne of them. Nehemiah 5:12 Then sayd they: we will restore them agayne, & wyll requyre nothing of them, and will do as þu hast spoken. And I called þe prestes, & toke an oth of them, þt they shuld do so. Nehemiah 5:13 And I shoke my lappe, & sayde. God shake out euery man after the same maner from hys house & laboure, þt maynteyneth not this word: euen thus be he shaken oute, and voyde. And all the congregacyon sayde: Amen, and praysed the Lord. And the people dyd so.
He forbeareth his own allowance, and keepeth hospitality.
Nehemiah 5:14 And from the tyme forth þt (the kyng) committed vnto me to be a captayne of them that were in the land of Iuda, euen from the .xx. yere vnto the .xxxij. yeare of kynge Arthaxerses (that is .xij. yere) I wt my brethren lyued not of soch sustenaunce as was geuen to a captayne. Nehemiah 5:15 For þe olde captaynes þt were before me, had bene chargeable vnto the people, and had taken of them bread and wyne, and .xl. 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 But I laboured also in the worcke vpon the wal, and bought no lande. And all my seruauntes came thyther together vnto the worke. Nehemiah 5:17 More ouer, there were at my table an .C. and .l. of the Iewes and rulers, which came vnto me from among the heathen, that are about vs. Nehemiah 5:18 And ther was prepared for me dayly an oxe and .vj. chosen shep, and byrdes, & euer once in .x. dayes a greate summe of wyne. Yet requyred not I the lyuyinge of a captayne, for the bondage was greuous vnto the people. Nehemiah 5:19 Thincke vpon me my God vnto þe best, according to all þt I haue done for thys people.