The Jews complain of their debt, mortgage, and bondage.
Nehemiah 5:1 And greet cry of the puple and of her wyues was maad ayens her britheren Jewis. Nehemiah 5:2 And there weren that seiden, Oure sones and oure douytris ben ful manye; take we wheete for the prijs of hem, and ete we, and lyue. Nehemiah 5:3 And there weren that seiden, Sette we forth oure feeldis, and vyneris, and oure howsis, and take we wheete in hungur. Nehemiah 5:4 And othere men seiden, Take we money bi borewyng in to the tributis of the kyng, and yyue oure feeldis and vyneris. Nehemiah 5:5 And now as the fleischis of oure britheren ben, so and oure fleischis ben; and as ben the sones of hem, so and oure sones ben; lo! we han maad suget oure sones and oure douytris in to seruage, and seruauntissis ben of oure douytris, and we han not wherof thei moun be ayenbouyt; and othere men han in possessioun oure feeldis, and oure vyneris.
Nehemiah rebuketh the usurers, and causeth them to make a covenant of restitution.
Nehemiah 5:6 And Y was ful wrooth, whanne Y hadde herde the cry of hem bi these wordis. Nehemiah 5:7 And myn herte thouyte with me, and Y blamede the principal men and magistratis; and Y seide to hem, Axe ye not vsuris, ech man of youre britheren. And Y gaderide togidire a greet cumpeny ayens hem, Nehemiah 5:8 and Y seide to hem, As ye witen, we bi oure power ayenbouyten oure britheren Jewis, that weren seeld to hethene men; and ye therfor sillen youre britheren, and schulen we ayenbie hem? And thei holden silence, and founden not what thei schulen answere. Nehemiah 5:9 And Y seide to hem, It is not good thing, which ye doon; whi goen ye not in the drede of oure God, and repreef be not seid to vs of hethene men, oure enemyes? Nehemiah 5:10 Bothe Y and my britheren, and my children, han lent to ful many men monei and wheete; in comyn axe we not this ayen; foryyue we alien money, which is due to vs. Nehemiah 5:11 Yelde ye to hem to dai her feeldis, and her vyneris, her olyue places, and her housis; but rather yyue ye for hem bothe the hundrid part of money of wheete, of wyn, and of oile, which we weren wont to take of hem. Nehemiah 5:12 And thei seiden, We schulen yelde, and we schulen axe no thing of hem; and we schulen do so as thou spekist. And Y clepide the preestis, and Y made hem to swere, that thei schulden do aftir that, that Y hadde seid. Nehemiah 5:13 Ferthermore Y schook my bosum, and Y seide, So God schake awei ech man, that fillith not this word fro his hows, and hise trauels; and be he schakun awei, and be he maad voide. And al the multitude seide, Amen; and thei herieden God. Therfor the puple dide, as it was seid.
He forbeareth his own allowance, and keepeth hospitality.
Nehemiah 5:14 Forsothe fro that dai in which the kyng hadde comaundid to me, that Y schulde be duyk in the lond of Juda, fro the twentithe yeer til to the two and threttithe yeer of Artaxerses kyng, bi twelue yeer, Y and my britheren eeten not sustenauncis, that weren due to duykis. Nehemiah 5:15 But the firste duykis, that weren bifor me, greuyden the puple, and token of hem in breed, and in wiyn, and in monei, ech dai fourti siclis; but also her mynistris oppressiden the puple. Forsothe Y dide not so, for the drede of God; Nehemiah 5:16 but rather Y bildide in the werk of the wal, and Y bouyte no feeld, and alle my children weren gaderid to the werk. Nehemiah 5:17 Also Jewis and the magistratis of hem, an hundrid and fifti men; and thei that camen to me fro hethene men, that ben in oure cumpas, weren in my table. Nehemiah 5:18 Forsothe bi ech dai oon oxe was maad redi to me, sixe chosun wetheris, outakun volatils, and withynne ten daies dyuerse wynes; and Y yaf many othere thingis; ferthermore and Y axide not the sustenauncis of my duchee; for the puple was maad ful pore. Nehemiah 5:19 My God, haue thou mynde of me in to good, bi alle thingis whiche Y dide to this puple.