Now 1there was a greatoutcry of the people and of their wivesagainst their 2Jewishbrothers.
For there were those whosaid, "We, our sons and our daughters are many; therefore let us 3getgrain that we may eat and live."
3There were others whosaid, "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our houses that we might getgrain because of the famine."
Also there were those whosaid, "We have borrowedmoney4for the king'stax on our fields and our vineyards.
5"Now5our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, 6we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and awe are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others."
Then I was very7angrywhen I had heard their outcry and thesewords.
I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, "8You are exactingusury, each from his brother!" Therefore, I held a greatassemblyagainst them.
I said to them, "We according to our ability9have bredeemed our Jewishbrothers who were sold to the nations; now would you evensell your brothers that they may be sold to us?" Then they were silent and could not find a word to say.
Again I said, "The thingwhich you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our Godbecause of 10the reproach of the nations, our enemies?
"And likewise I, my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Please, let us leave off thisusury.
11"Please, giveback to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olivegroves and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money and of the grain, the newwine and the oil that you are exacting from them."
Then they said, "We 11will give it back and 12will requirenothing from them; we will doexactly as you say." So I called the priests and 13took an oath from them that they would do according to thiscpromise.
I 14alsoshook out the dfront of my garment and said, "Thus may Godshake out everyman from his house and from his possessionswho does not fulfillthisepromise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied." And 15all the assemblysaid, "Amen!" And they praised the LORD. Then the peopledid according to thisfpromise.