Nehemiah 5:1-5 (The Message)

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1 A great protest was mounted by the people, including the wives, against their fellow Jews. 2 Some said, "We have big families, and we need food just to survive." 3 Others said, "We're having to mortgage our fields and vineyards and homes to get enough grain to keep from starving." 4 And others said, "We're having to borrow money to pay the royal tax on our fields and vineyards. 5 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."
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