5:1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives
against their brethren the Jews.
5:2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters,
[are] many: therefore we take up corn [for them], that we may
eat, and live.
5:3 [Some] also there were that said, We have mortgaged our
lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because
of the dearth.
5:4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the
king's tribute, [and that upon] our lands and vineyards.
5:5 Yet now our flesh [is] as the flesh of our brethren, our
children as their children: and lo, we bring into bondage our
sons and our daughters to be servants, and [some] of our
daughters are brought to bondage [already]: neither [is it] in
our power [to redeem them]; for other men have our lands and
5:6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
5:7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and
the rulers, and said to them, Ye exact interest, every one of
his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.
5:8 And I said to them, We after our ability have redeemed our
brethren the Jews, who were sold to the heathen; and will ye
even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold to us? Then they
held their peace, and found nothing [to answer].
5:9 Also I said, That [is] not good which ye do: ought ye not to
walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the
heathen our enemies?
5:10 I likewise, my brethren, and my servants, might exact of
them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury.
5:11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands,
their vineyards, their olive-yards, and their houses, also the
hundredth [part] of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and
the oil, that ye exact of them.
5:12 Then said they, We will restore [them], and will require
nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called
the priests, and took an oath of them, that they would do
according to this promise.
5:13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man
from his house, and from his labor, that performeth not this
promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the
congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people
did according to this promise.
5:14 Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their
governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to
the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that is],
twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the
5:15 But the former governors, that [had been] before me were
chargeable to the people, and had taken of them bread and wine,
besides forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants bore
rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of
5:16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither
bought we any land: and all my servants [were] gathered thither
to the work.
5:17 Moreover, [there were] at my table a hundred and fifty of
the Jews and rulers, besides those that came to us from among
the heathen that [were] about us.
5:18 Now [that] which was prepared [for me] daily [was] one ox
[and] six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and
once in ten days an abundance of all sorts of wine: yet for all
this I required not the bread of the governor, because the
bondage was heavy upon this people.
5:19 Think upon me, my God, for good, [according] to all that I
have done for this people.