New International Version
Nehemiah Helps the Poor
5 Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews. 2 Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.”
4 Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax(C) on our fields and vineyards. 5 Although we are of the same flesh and blood(D) as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery.(E) Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.”(F)
6 When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. 7 I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, “You are charging your own people interest!”(G) So I called together a large meeting to deal with them 8 and said: “As far as possible, we have bought(H) back our fellow Jews who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your own people, only for them to be sold back to us!” They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say.(I)
9 So I continued, “What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach(J) of our Gentile enemies?