Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish kin.
For there were those who said, "With our sons and our daughters, we are many; we must get grain, so that we may eat and stay alive."
There were also those who said, "We are having to pledge our fields, our vineyards, and our houses in order to get grain during the famine."
And there were those who said, "We are having to borrow money on our fields and vineyards to pay the king's tax.
Now our flesh is the same as that of our kindred; our children are the same as their children; and yet we are forcing our sons and daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been ravished; we are powerless, and our fields and vineyards now belong to others."
I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these complaints.
After thinking it over, I brought charges against the nobles and the officials; I said to them, "You are all taking interest from your own people." And I called a great assembly to deal with them,
and said to them, "As far as we were able, we have bought back our Jewish kindred who had been sold to other nations; but now you are selling your own kin, who must then be bought back by us!" They were silent, and could not find a word to say.