What was happening was that families who ran out of money for food had to sell their children or mortgage their fields, vineyards, and homes to these rich men; and some couldn’t even do that, for they already had borrowed to the limit to pay their taxes.
And others said, “We’re having to borrow money to pay the royal tax on our fields and vineyards. Look: We’re the same flesh and blood as our brothers here; our children are just as good as theirs. Yet here we are having to sell our children off as slaves—some of our daughters have already been sold—and we can’t do anything about it because our fields and vineyards are owned by somebody else.”
And other men said, Take we money by borrowing, for usury, into the tributes of the king, and give our fields and vineries. (And still others said, We have borrowed money with interest, against our fields and our vineyards, so we could pay the tributes, or the taxes, to the king.)
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