5:1 Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews.
5:2 For there were that said, “We, our sons and our daughters, are many. Let us get grain, that we may eat and live.”
5:3 Some also there were that said, “We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses. Let us get grain, because of the famine.”
5:4 There were also some who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute using our fields and our vineyards as collateral.
5:5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children. Behold, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters have been brought into bondage. Neither is it in our power to help it; for other men have our fields and our vineyards.”
5:6 I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
5:7 Then I consulted with myself, and contended with the nobles and the rulers, and said to them, “You exact usury, everyone of his brother.” I held a great assembly against them.
5:8 I said to them, “We, after our ability, have redeemed our brothers the Jews that were sold to the nations; and would you even sell your brothers, and should they be sold to us?” Then they held their peace, and found never a word.
5:9 Also I said, “The thing that you do is not good. Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies?
5:10 I likewise, my brothers and my servants, lend them money and grain. Please let us stop this usury.
5:11 Please restore to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that you are charging them.”
5:12 Then they said, “We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do, even as you say.” Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they would do according to this promise.
5:13 Also I shook out my lap, and said, “So may God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that doesn’t perform this promise; even thus be he shaken out, and emptied.” All the assembly said, “Amen,” and praised Yahweh. The people did according to this promise.
5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor.
5:15 But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people, and took bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants ruled over the people: but I didn’t do so, because of the fear of God.
5:16 Yes, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered there to the work.
5:17 Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, one hundred fifty men, besides those who came to us from among the nations that were around us.
5:18 Now that which was prepared for one day 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 I didn’t demand the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy on this people.
5:19 Remember to me, my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.
6:1 Now it happened, when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and to Geshem the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though even to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates;)
6:2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together in the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to harm me.
6:3 I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I can’t come down. Why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?”
6:4 They sent to me four times after this sort; and I answered them the same way.
6:5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me the same way the fifth time with an open letter in his hand,
6:6 in which was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel. Because of that, you are building the wall. You would be their king, according to these words.
6:7 You have also appointed prophets to preach of you at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now it will be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.”
6:8 Then I sent to him, saying, “There are no such things done as you say, but you imagine them out of your own heart.”
6:9 For they all would have made us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened from the work, that it not be done. But now, strengthen my hands.”
6:10 I went to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home; and he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple; for they will come to kill you; yes, in the night will they come to kill you.”
6:11 I said, “Should such a man as I flee? Who is there that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.”
6:12 I discerned, and behold, God had not sent him; but he pronounced this prophecy against me. Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
6:13 He hired so that I would be afraid, do so, and sin, and that they might have material for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
6:14 “Remember, my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.”
6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days.
6:16 It happened, when all our enemies heard of it, that all the nations that were about us were afraid, and were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was worked of our God.
6:17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and Tobiah’s letters came to them.
6:18 For there were many in Judah sworn to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as wife.
6:19 Also they spoke of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
from Daily #Bible Readings (WEB) http://ift.tt/2fBkf6A