Nehemiah 5:1-19, NLT
Nehemiah Defends the Oppressed
1About this time some of the men and their wives raised a cry of protest against their fellow Jews.
3Others said, “We have mortgaged our fields, vineyards, and homes to get food during the famine.”
4And others said, “We have had to borrow money on our fields and vineyards to pay our taxes.
6When I heard their complaints, I was very angry.
8At the meeting I said to them, “We are doing all we can to redeem our Jewish relatives who have had to sell themselves to pagan foreigners, but you are selling them back into slavery again. How often must we redeem them?” And they had nothing to say in their defense.
9Then I pressed further, “What you are doing is not right! Should you not walk in the fear of our God in order to avoid being mocked by enemy nations?
12They replied, “We will give back everything and demand nothing more from the people. We will do as you say.” Then I called the priests and made the nobles and officials swear to do what they had promised.
13I shook out the folds of my robe and said, “If you fail to keep your promise, may God shake you like this from your homes and from your property!”
The whole assembly responded, “Amen,” and they praised the Lord. And the people did as they had promised.
14For the entire twelve years that I was governor of Judah—from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of the reign of King Artaxerxes*5:14 That is, 445–433 b.c.—neither I nor my officials drew on our official food allowance.
16I also devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land. And I required all my servants to spend time working on the wall.
19Remember, O my God, all that I have done for these people, and bless me for it.