I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let the exacting of usury stop!111
Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the usury2 you are charging them--the hundredth part of the money, grain, new wine and oil."
"We will give it back," they said. "And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say." Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath3 to do what they had promised.
I also shook4 out the folds of my robe and said, "In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise. So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!" At this the whole assembly said, "Amen,"5 and praised the LORD. And the people did as they had promised.
Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes,6 when I was appointed to be their governor7 in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year--twelve years--neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor.
But the earlier governors--those preceding me--placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekelsa of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God8 I did not act like that.
Instead,9 I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; web did not acquire any land.
Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations.
Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry10 were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.
Remember11 me with favor, O my God, for all I have done for these people.