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Nehemiah 5:15

15 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 God I did not act like that.

Read Nehemiah 5:15 Using Other Translations

But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them for their daily ration forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God.
The former governors, in contrast, had laid heavy burdens on the people, demanding a daily ration of food and wine, besides forty pieces of silver. Even their assistants took advantage of the people. But because I feared God, I did not act that way.

What does Nehemiah 5:15 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Nehemiah 5:15

But the former governors, that had been before me, were
chargeable to the people
Between him and Zerubbabel, for Ezra was no governor; according to the Jewish chronology F13, when Ezra came to Jerusalem, Zerubbabel returned to Babylon, and there died, and his son Methullam was in his stead, and after him succeeded Hananiah his son:

and had taken of them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver;
which amounted to between four and five pounds, and this they had every day:

yea, even their servants bare rule over the people;
required a salary, or at least perquisites of them, which the governors connived at:

but so did not I, because of the fear of God;
neither took anything himself of the people, nor suffered his servants; because the fear of God was upon his heart, and before his eyes, and therefore could not allow himself to oppress the poor.


FOOTNOTES:

F13 Seder Olam Zuta, p. 108, 109.
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