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1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. 2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live. 3 Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. 4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. 5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards. 6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. 8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer. 9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? 10 I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. 11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. 13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise. 14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. 15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God. 16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work. 17 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us. 18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. 19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

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1 angela h = "There was a dearth (shortage of food). The wealthy Jews were taking advantage of the poor Jews. The poor were mortgaging their land and property to buy food. The wealthy were not only loaning money or grain but doing it with very high interest rates. "
2 angela h = "The poor Jews were actually bonding (selling their daughters as servants) just to survive. They were very distraught because, having already mortgaged their property, they had no hope of getting their daughters back. "
3 angela h = "Nehemiah became very angry and was grieved down to his soul because of the hardness of the Jews against the brethren."I consulted within myself" means he knew within his own conscience (which he had already given over to God) that this was wrong."
4 angela h = "Nehemiah scolded the nobles for charging interest to their fellow Jews. He sets up some type of accountability council to be sure this practice is abolished.  "
5 angela h = "Nehemiah further explains to them that they were being counterproductive. They were supposed to be liberating the Jews, as Nehemiah was, not selling them to slavery. He straightly charges them not to sell their brethren to the enemy or to each other."
6 angela h = "He is essentially asking them if they have no fear of God. God certainly doesn't like for His people using each other for gain."
7 angela h = "Nehemiah is saying it is okay to loan money and food to the Jews, but it is not okay to charge interest, to take their property, or their children from them."
8 angela h = "Nehemiah tells them to give back  (or take off the debt) the property and 1% of the money, food, wine, or oil taken from them. "
9 angela h = "The wealthy Jews promised (in the presence of priests) that they would do as they were asked. "
10 angela h = "This is a curse. Nehemiah says that anyone who breaks the promise will be made poor by God Himself. Everyone agreed to this. Amen means let it be so.See http://biblehub.com/commentaries/nehemiah/5-13.htm"
11 angela h = "Nehemiah tells us here that he did not live on taxpayer money in his 12 years as governor. He tells us that not only did the governors before him live at the expense of the Jews, but their servants did as well."
12 angela h = "Nehemiah and his company did not leave the wall until the work was done. They stayed right there."
13 angela h = "He tells us there are more than 150 people in his company. He gives us the amount of food it was taking to keep them going. He forwent his salary as governor because the people had enough of a burden without supporting him.Imagine what would happen in our country if some of our officials had a like mind."
14 angela h = "Nehemiah writes a very short prayer at the end of this chapter. He is asking God to bless him for his kindness to the Jews."