A great protest was mounted by the people, including the wives, against their fellow Jews.
Some said, "We have big families, and we need food just to survive."
Others said, "We're having to mortgage our fields and vineyards and homes to get enough grain to keep from starving."
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."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)