The Jews complain of their debt, mortgage, and bondage.
Nehemiah 5:1 And there arose a greate complaynte of the people, and of theyr wyues agaynst their brethren the Iewes. Nehemiah 5:2 And there were some that sayde: oure sonnes and doughters are to manye, let vs take corne for them and eate, that we maye lyue. Nehemiah 5:3 Some sayde: let vs set oure landes, vyneyardes and houses to pledge, and take vp corne in the darth. Nehemiah 5:4 But some sayde: let vs borowe money of the kynges trybute for oure landes and vyneyardes. Nehemiah 5:5 Now are oure brethrens bodyes as oure owne bodyes and their children as oure chyldren: els shoulde we subdue oure sonnes and doughters vnto bondage, & some of oure doughters are subdued already, and no strength is there in oure handes, and other men shall haue oure landes and vyneyardes.
Nehemiah rebuketh the usurers, and causeth them to make a covenant of restitution.
Nehemiah 5:6 But when I hearde theyr complaynte and such wordes, it displeased me sore, Nehemiah 5:7 and I aduysed so in my mynde, that I rebuked þe councelers, and the rulers, and sayde vnto them: wyll ye requyre vsury one of another? And I brought a greate congregacion against them Nehemiah 5:8 and sayde vnto them: we (after oure abilyte) haue bought oure brethren the Iewes, which were solde vnto the heythen. And wyll ye sell youre brethren, whom we haue boughte vnto vs? Then helde they theyr peace, and coulde fynde nothynge to aunswere. Nehemiah 5:9 And I sayde: It is not good that ye do. Oughte ye not to walcke in the feare of God because of the rebuke of the Heythen oure enemyes? Nehemiah 5:10 I and my brethren, and my seruauntes haue lente them moneye and corne: but as for vsury, let vs leaue it. Nehemiah 5:11 Therfore thys same day se that ye restore them theyr landes agayne, theyr vyneyardes, oyle gardens and houses, and the hundred part of the money of the corne, wyne and oyle that ye haue wonne of them. Nehemiah 5:12 Then sayde they: we wyll restore them agayne and wyll requyre nothynge of them, and wyl do as thou haste spoken. And I called the priestes, and toke an othe of them, that they shuld do so. Nehemiah 5:13 And I shoke my lappe, and sayde: God shake oute euerye man after the same maner from hys house and laboure, that maynteyneth not thys worde: euen thus be he shaken oute, and voyde. And all the congregacyon 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 captayne in the lande of Iuda, namely from the twentyeth year vnto the two and thyrtyeth yeare of kynge Arthaxerses (that is twelue yeare) I and my brethren lyued not of suche sustenaunce as was geuen to a captayne. Nehemiah 5:15 For the olde capytaynes that were before me, had bene chargeable vnto the people, and had taken of them bread and wyne, and fourtye sycles of syluer: yea and theyr 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 lande. And all my seruauntes came thither together vnto the worck. Nehemiah 5:17 Moreouer there were at my table an hundred and fyftye of the Iewes and rulers, whiche came vnto me, from among the Heythen, that are aboute vs. Nehemiah 5:18 And there was prepared me dayly an oxe, and syxe chosen shepe, and byrdes, and euer once in ten dayes a greate summe of wyne. Yet requyred not I the lyuynge of a captayne for the bondage was greuous vnto the people. Nehemiah 5:19 Thyncke vpon me my God vnto the best, accordynge to all that I haue done for thys people.