Nehemiah 5Expanded Bible (EXB)
Nehemiah Helps Poor People
5 The men and their wives ·complained [cried out] loudly against their ·fellow Jews [L Jewish brothers]. 2 Some of them were saying, “We have many sons and daughters in our families. To eat and stay alive, we need grain [C This group may have owned no land that could provide them food.].”
3 Others were saying, “We are ·borrowing money [mortgaging; C from their fellow Jews, which increased their frustration] against our fields, vineyards, and homes to get grain ·because there is not much food [during the famine].”
4 And still others were saying, “We are borrowing money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards. 5 ·We are just like our fellow Jews [L Our flesh is like our brothers’ flesh], and our ·sons [children] are like their ·sons [children]. But we have to sell our sons and daughters ·as slaves [into bondage/slavery; C an often temporary servitude to satisfy debts; Ex. 21:2–11]. Some of our daughters have already been ·sold [enslaved]. But ·there is nothing we can do [we are powerless/helpless], because our fields and vineyards already belong to other people.”
6 When I heard their ·complaints about these things [L outcry and these words], I was very angry. 7 After ·I thought about [reflecting on] it, I ·accused [reprimanded] the ·important people [nobles] and ·leaders [officials], “You are ·charging your own ·brothers [kinsmen] interest [committing usury; C in these situations, lenders were not to make a profit; Deut. 24:10; Prov. 22:26].” So I called a ·large meeting to deal with [great assembly against] them. 8 I said to them, “·As much as possible [To the best of our ability], we have ·bought freedom for [redeemed] our fellow Jews who had been sold to ·foreigners [L the Gentiles]. Now you are selling your fellow Jews to us [C the creditors were selling their fellow Jews into slavery, requiring Nehemiah and others to buy them back]!” ·The leaders [L They] were ·quiet [silent] and ·had nothing [L couldn’t find a word] to say.
9 Then I said, “What you are doing is not ·right [good]. ·Don’t you fear [L Should you not walk in fear of] God [Prov. 1:7]? Don’t let our ·foreign [Gentile] enemies shame us. 10 I, my ·brothers [colleagues], and my ·men [servants] are lending money and grain to the people. But stop charging them ·for this [interest]. 11 Give back their fields, vineyards, olive trees, and houses ·right now [L this very day]. Also give back the ·extra amount [interest] you charged—·the hundredth part [one percent] of the money, grain, new wine, and oil.”
12 They said, “We will give it back and not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.”
Then I called for the priests, and I made the ·important people [nobles] and ·leaders [officials] ·take an oath [swear; vow] to do what they had ·said [promised]. 13 Also I shook out the folds of my ·robe [L bosom] and said, “In this way may God shake out everyone who does not ·keep his [fulfill/L cause to stand this] promise. May God shake him out of his house and ·out of the things that are his [his possessions/property]. Let that person be shaken out and emptied!”
Then the whole ·group [assembly] said, “Amen,” and they praised the Lord. So the people did what they had ·promised [sworn; vowed].
14 I was appointed governor in the land of Judah in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ rule [C 445 bc]. I was governor of Judah for twelve years, until his thirty-second year. During that time neither my ·brothers [colleagues; relatives; or officials] nor I ate the food that was allowed for a governor [C Nehemiah is demonstrating his own selflessness during this time]. 15 But the governors before me [C in contrast] had placed a heavy ·load [burden] on the people. They took ·about one pound [L forty shekels] of silver from each person, along with food and wine. ·The governors’ helpers before me [Their associates/assistants] also ·controlled [oppressed; dominated] the people, but I did not do that, because I feared God [Prov. 1:7]. 16 I ·worked [devoted myself to working] on the wall, as did all my ·men [servants] who were ·gathered [assembled] there. We did not buy any ·fields [land].
17 ·Also [Furthermore], I fed one hundred fifty Jewish people and ·officers [officials] at my table, as well as those who came from the nations around us. 18 This is what was prepared every day: one ox, six ·good [choice] sheep, and birds. And every ten days there were all kinds of wine [in abundance]. But I never demanded the food that was due a governor, because the people were already ·working very hard [carrying a great burden].
19 Remember ·to be kind to me [L for my good], my God, for all I have done for these people.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience!
Bible Gateway Plus equips you to answer the toughest questions about faith, God, and the Bible. There's no software to install; it's all integrated seamlessly into your Bible Gateway experience. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.