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Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible


Nehemiah 5:1-19

5  However, there came to be a great outcry+ of the people and their wives against their Jewish brothers.+  And there were those who were saying: “Our sons and our daughters we are giving as security* that we may get grain and eat and keep alive.”+  And there were those who were saying: “Our fields and our vineyards and our houses we are giving as security+ that we may get grain during the food shortage.”  And there were those who were saying: “We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute+ on our fields and our vineyards.+  And now our flesh is the same as the flesh of our brothers;+ our sons are the same as their sons, but here we are reducing our sons and our daughters to slaves,+ and there are some of our daughters already reduced; and there is no power in our hands while our fields and our vineyards belong to others.”  Now I became very angry as soon as I heard their outcry and these words.  So my heart took consideration within me, and I began finding fault+ with the nobles and the deputy rulers, and went on to say to them: “Usury+ is what YOU are exacting, each one from his own brother.” Further, I arranged a great assembly on their account.+  And I proceeded to say to them: “We ourselves have bought back+ our own Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations, as far as it was in our power; and at the same time will YOU yourselves sell YOUR own brothers,+ and must they be sold to us?” At this they became speechless, and they did not find a word.+  And I* went on to say: “The thing that YOU are doing is not good.+ Is it not in the fear+ of our God+ that YOU should walk because of the reproach+ of the nations, our enemies?+ 10  And also I, my brothers and my attendants are giving money and grain on loan among them. Let us, please, leave off this lending on interest.+ 11  Please, restore to them on this day their fields,+ their vineyards, their olive groves and their houses, and the hundredth* of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil that YOU are exacting as interest from them.” 12  To this they said: “We shall make restoration,+ and from them we shall ask nothing back.+ We shall do precisely as you are saying.”+ So I called the priests and made them swear to do according to this word.+ 13  Also, my bosom I shook out and then said: “In this manner may the [true] God shake out from his house and from his acquired property every man that does not carry out this word; and in this manner may he become shaken out and empty.” To this all the congregation* said: “Amen!”*+ And they began to praise Jehovah.+ And the people proceeded to do according to this word.+ 14  Another thing: From the day that he commissioned me to become their governor*+ in the land of Judah, from the twentieth+ year to the thirty-second+ year of Ar·ta·xerx′es+ the king, twelve years, I myself and my brothers did not eat the bread due the governor.+ 15  As for the former governors that were prior to me, they had made it heavy upon the people, and they kept taking from them for bread and wine daily* forty silver shekels.* Also, their attendants themselves domineered over the people.+ As for me, I did not do that way+ on account of the fear of God.+ 16  And, what is more, in the work of this wall I took a hand,+ and not a field did we acquire;+ and all my attendants were collected together there for the work. 17  And the Jews and the deputy rulers, a hundred and fifty men, and those coming in to us from the nations that were around us were at my table.+ 18  As for that which happened to be made ready daily, one bull, six select sheep and birds were made ready for me, and once every ten days every sort of wine+ in abundance. And along with this the bread due the governor I did not demand, because the service upon this people was heavy. 19  Do remember for me,+ O my God, for good,+ all that I have done in behalf of this people.+


“Giving as security,” by a slight correction of M. Compare vs 3.
“I,” MmarginLXXSyVg; M, “he.”
Or, “one percent,” that is, monthly.
“The congregation.” Heb., haq·qa·hal′; Gr., ek·kle·si′a.
Or, “So be it!” Heb., ʼa·men′; Gr., a·men′; Lat., a′men. See Ro 1:25.
“Their governor,” LXX; SyVg and one Heb. ms omit “their.”
“Daily,” Vg; M, “after.” Probably, “after (at) the rate of.”
A shekel weighed 11.4 g (0.367 oz t). See App 8A.