Neh 5:1–13

5:1–13 This section leaves the main topic of opposition by outsiders to consider the difficulties that arose from within. Probable causes of the economic stress mentioned are that Judah was cut off from trading with neighbors; farmers were away from their fields, because they stayed in Jerusalem, (4:22); there was a famine (v. 3); and previous administrators had burdened the people (v. 15). Times were so bad that children were sold into slavery, houses and vineyards were mortgaged, and money was borrowed at interest. The crushing realization for Nehemiah was that not foreigners but the people themselves were forcing these intolerable measures on each other.