1 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.
2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, [are] many: therefore we take up corn [for them], that we may eat, and live.
3 And there were that saide, We must gage our landes, and our vineyardes, and our houses, and take vp corne for the famine.
4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, [and that upon] our lands and vineyards.
5 Yet now our flesh [is] as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and [some] of our daughters are brought unto bondage [already]: neither [is it] in our power [to redeem them]; for other men have our lands and vineyards.
6 Then was I very angrie when I heard their crie and these wordes.
7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.
8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing [to answer].
9 Also I said, It [is] not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?
10 For euen I, my brethren, and my seruants doe lende them money and corne: I pray you, let vs leaue off this burden.
11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth [part] of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them.
12 Then said they, We will restore it, and will not require it of them: we will doe as thou hast said. Then I called the Priestes, and caused them to sweare, that they shoulde doe according to this promes.
13 So I shooke my lappe, and said, So let God shake out euery man that wil not perfourme this promise from his house, & from his labour: euen thus let him be shaken out, & emptied; all the Cogregation said, Amen, & praised the Lord: and the people did according to this promes.
14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that is], twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
15 For the former gouernours that were before me, had bene chargeable vnto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, besides fourtie shekels of siluer: yea, and their seruants bare rule ouer the people: but so did not I, because of the feare of God.
16 But rather I fortified a portio in the worke of this wall, and we bought no lande, and all my seruants came thither together vnto the worke.
17 Moreouer there were at my table an hundreth & fiftie of the Iewes, & rulers, which came vnto vs from among the heathen that are about vs.
18 Now [that] which was prepared [for me] daily [was] one ox [and] six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.
19 Remember me, O my God, in goodnesse, according to all that I haue done for this people.