Bible: Neh 5:6-14

5:6 I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these complaints. 1  5:7 I considered these things carefully 2  and then registered a complaint with the wealthy 3  and the officials. I said to them, “Each one of you is seizing the collateral 4  from your own countrymen!” 5  Because of them I called for 6  a great public assembly. 5:8 I said to them, “To the extent possible we have bought back our fellow Jews 7  who had been sold to the Gentiles. But now you yourselves want to sell your own countrymen, 8  so that we can then buy them back!” They were utterly silent, and could find nothing to say.

5:9 Then I 9  said, “The thing that you are doing is wrong! 10  Should you not conduct yourselves 11  in the fear of our God in order to avoid the reproach of the Gentiles who are our enemies? 5:10 Even I and my relatives 12  and my associates 13  are lending them money and grain. But let us abandon this practice of seizing collateral! 14  5:11 This very day return to them their fields, their vineyards, their olive trees, and their houses, along with the interest 15  that you are exacting from them on the money, the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil.”

5:12 They replied, “We will return these things, 16  and we will no longer demand anything from them. We will do just as you say.” Then I called the priests and made the wealthy and the officials 17  swear to do what had been promised. 18  5:13 I also shook out my garment, 19  and I said, “In this way may God shake out from his house and his property every person who does not carry out 20  this matter. In this way may he be shaken out and emptied!” All the assembly replied, “So be it!” and they praised the LORD. Then the people did as they had promised. 21 

5:14 From the day that I was appointed 22  governor 23  in the land of Judah, that is, from the twentieth year until the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes – twelve years in all – neither I nor my relatives 24  ate the food allotted to the governor. 25 

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