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Hindrances To Rebuilding: Conflict From Within

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Nehemiah 5: 1-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

Nehemiah Deals with Oppression

5 And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren.  2 For there were those who said, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live.”

3 There were also some who said, “We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine.”

4 There were also those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our lands and vineyards.  5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards.”

6 And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words.  7 After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them.  8 And I said to them, “According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?”

Then they were silenced and found nothing to say.  9 Then I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?  10 I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury!  11 Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses,  ...

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