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Home > Study Desk
Passage Display[Printer-friendly Verses]   
 Nehemiah 5
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The New American Standard Bible
   Book of NehemiahClick Verse Reference for Study Notes
    5:1-19 - Study Chapter  - Click for Chapter Audio

Usury Abolished

1 Now there R102 was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish R103 brothers. 2 For there were those who said, "We, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore let us get R104 grain that we may eat and live." 3 There were others who said, "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses that we might get grain because of the famine." 4 Also there were those who said, "We have borrowed money for R105 the king's tax on our fields and our vineyards. 5 "Now our R106 flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, we R107 are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and we F44 are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others."

6 Then I was very angry R108 when I had heard their outcry and these words. 7 I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, "You R109 are exacting usury, each from his brother!" Therefore, I held a great assembly against them. 8 I said to them, "We according to our ability have R110 redeemed F45 our Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations; now would you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us?" Then they were silent and could not find a word to say. 9 Again I said, "The thing which you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the R111 reproach of the nations, our enemies? 10 "And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off this usury. 11 "Please, give back to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the new wine and the oil that you are exacting from them." 12 Then they said, "We will R112 give it back and will R113 require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say." So I called the priests and took R114 an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. F46 13 I also R115 shook out the front F47 of my garment and said, "Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; F48 even thus may he be shaken out and emptied." And all R116 the assembly said, "Amen!" And they praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this promise. F48

Nehemiah's Example

14 Moreover, from the day that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the R117 twentieth year to the thirty-second R118 year of King Artaxerxes, for twelve years, neither I nor my kinsmen F49 have eaten the governor's food allowance. 15 But the former governors who were before me laid F50 burdens on the people and took from them bread and wine besides forty shekels of silver; even their servants domineered the people. But I did not do so because R119 of the fear of God. 16 I also applied F51 myself to the work on this wall; we did not buy any land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17 Moreover, there R120 were at my table one hundred and fifty Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us. 18 Now that R121 which was prepared for each day was one ox and six choice sheep, also birds were prepared for me; and once in ten days all sorts of wine were furnished in abundance. Yet for all this I R122 did not demand the governor's food allowance, because the servitude was heavy on this people. 19 Remember R123 me, O my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

F44: Lit there is not the power in our hands
F45: Lit bought
F46: Lit word
F47: Lit bosom
F48: Lit word
F48: Lit word
F49: Lit brothers
F50: Lit made heavy
F51: Or held fast

R102: Leviticus 25:35
R103: Deuteronomy 15:7
R104: Haggai 1:6
R105: Ezra 4:13; 7:24
R106: Genesis 37:27
R107: Leviticus 25:39
R108: Exodus 11:8
R109: Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:36; Deuteronomy 23:19,20
R110: Leviticus 25:48
R111: Nehemiah 4:4
R112: 2 Chronicles 28:15
R113: Nehemiah 10:31
R114: Ezra 10:5
R115: Acts 18:6
R116: Nehemiah 8:6
R117: Nehemiah 1:1
R118: Nehemiah 13:6
R119: Nehemiah 5:9; Job 1:31:23
R120: 1 Kings 18:19
R121: 1 Kings 4:22,23
R122: 2 Thessalonians 3:8
R123: Nehemiah 13:14,22,31


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