NASB — Nehemiah 5 — KJV

Usury Abolished

1 Now athere was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their bJewish brothers. 2 For there were those who said, “We, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore let us aget 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 afor the king’s tax [on] our fields and our vineyards. 5 Now aour flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, bwe are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage [already], and Iwe are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others.”

[1] aLv 25:35 bDt 15:7
[2] aHg 1:6
[4] aEzr 4:13; 7:24
[5] ILit there is not the power in our hands aGn 37:27 bLv 25:39

6 ¶ Then I was very aangry 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, “aYou 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 ahave Iredeemed 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 athe 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 awill give [it] back and bwill require nothing from them; we will do exactly as you say.” So I called the priests and ctook an oath from them that they would do according to this Ipromise. 13 I aalso shook out the Ifront of my garment and said, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this IIpromise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And ball the assembly said, “Amen!” And they praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this IIpromise.

[6] aEx 11:8
[7] aEx 22:25; Lv 25:36; Dt 23:19, 20
[8] ILit bought aLv 25:48
[9] aNe 4:4
[12] ILit word a2Ch 28:15 bNe 10:31 cEzr 10:5
[13] ILit bosom IILit word aAc 18:6 bNe 8:6

Nehemiah’s Example

14 ¶ Moreover, from the day that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from athe twentieth year to the bthirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, [for] twelve years, neither I nor my Ikinsmen have eaten the governor’s food [allowance]. 15 But the former governors who were before me Ilaid 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 abecause of the fear of God. 16 I also Iapplied 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, a[there 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 athat 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 bI did not demand the governor’s food [allowance], because the servitude was heavy on this people. 19 aRemember me, O my God, for good, [according to] all that I have done for this people.

[14] ILit brothers aNe 1:1 bNe 13:6
[15] ILit made heavy aNe 5:9; Jb 31:23
[16] IOr held fast
[17] a1K 18:19
[18] a1K 4:22, 23 b2Th 3:8
[19] aNe 13:14, 22, 31


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The Jews complain of their debt, mortgage, and bondage.

1 ¶ And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. 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. 3 [Some] also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. 4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, [and that upon] our lands and vineyards. 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 unto bondage [already]: neither [is it] in our power [to redeem them]; for other men have our lands and vineyards.

[1] Ex 3:7; 22:25; Lv 25:35; Dt 15:7; Jb 31:38; 34:28; Is 5:7; Lk 18:7; Ac 7:26; 1Co 6:6; Jm 5:4.
[2] Gn 41:57; 42:2; 43:8; Ps 127:3; 128:2; Mal 2:2.
[3] Gn 47:15; Lv 25:35; Dt 15:7; Mal 3:8.
[4] Dt 28:47; Jsh 16:10; 1K 9:21; Ezr 4:13, 20; Ne 9:37.
[5] Gn 37:27; Ex 21:1; Lv 25:39; 2K 4:1; Is 58:7; Mt 18:25; Jm 2:5.

Nehemiah rebuketh the usurers, and causeth them to make a covenant of restitution.

6 ¶ And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. 8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing [to answer]. 9 Also I said, It [is] not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? 10 I likewise, [and] my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. 11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth [part] of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 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 should do according to this promise. 13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, 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.

[6] Ex 11:8; Nu 16:15; Ne 13:8, 25; Mk 3:5; Ep 4:26.
[7] Ex 22:25; Lv 19:15; 25:36; Dt 15:2; 23:19; 24:10; 2Ch 19:6; 28:9; Ps 4:4; 15:1, 5; 27:8; 82:1; Pv 27:5; Ezk 22:12; 45:9; Mt 18:17; 2Co 5:16; Ga 2:11; 1Ti 5:20; Tit 2:15.
[8] Ex 21:16; Lv 25:47; Dt 24:7; Jb 29:10; 32:15; Mt 22:12; 25:15, 29; Ro 3:19; 14:15; 1Co 8:11; 2Co 8:12; Ga 6:10.
[9] Gn 13:7; 20:11; 42:18; Lv 25:36; 1S 2:24; 2S 12:14; Ne 5:15; Pv 16:29; 17:26; 18:5; 19:2; 24:23; Ezk 36:20; Ac 9:31; Ro 2:24; 1Ti 5:14; Tit 2:5; 1P 2:12.
[10] Ex 22:25; Ne 5:7; Ps 15:5; Ezk 18:8, 13; Mi 2:1; Lk 3:13; 1Co 9:12; 2Co 5:11, 20; 6:1; Phm 1:8.
[11] Lv 6:4; 1S 12:3; 2S 12:6; Ne 5:3; Is 58:6; Lk 3:8.
[12] 2K 23:2; 2Ch 6:22; 15:13; 28:14; Ezr 10:5, 12; Ne 10:29; 13:25; Jr 34:8; Mt 19:21; 26:63; Lk 19:8.
[13] Nu 5:22; Dt 27:14; 1S 15:28; 1K 11:29; 2K 23:3; 1Ch 16:36; Ps 50:14; 76:11; 119:106; Ec 5:5; Zc 5:3; Mt 10:14; Ac 13:51; 18:6.

He forbeareth his own allowance, and keepeth hospitality.

14 ¶ Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that is], twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. 15 But the former governors that [had been] before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God. 16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants [were] gathered thither unto the work. 17 Moreover [there were] at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that [are] about us. 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 store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. 19 Think upon me, my God, for good, [according] to all that I have done for this people.

[14] Ezr 4:13; Ne 2:1; 13:6; Ro 13:6; 1Co 9:4, 18; 2Th 3:8.
[15] 1S 2:15; 8:15; Ne 5:9; Jb 31:23; Ps 112:1; 147:11; Pv 16:6; 29:12; Ec 12:13; Is 50:10; Mt 5:47; Lk 18:2; 2Co 11:9; 12:13.
[16] Nu 16:15; Lk 8:15; Ac 20:33; Ro 2:7; 1Co 15:58; 2Co 12:16; Ga 6:9; Php 2:20; 1Th 2:5.
[17] 2S 9:7, 13; 1K 18:19; Is 32:8; Ro 12:13; 1P 4:9.
[18] 1K 4:22; Ne 5:14; Ps 37:21, 26.
[19] Gn 40:14; Ne 13:14, 22, 31; Ps 18:23; 25:6; 40:17; 106:4; Jr 29:11; Mt 10:42; 25:34; Mk 9:41.


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