Nehemiah: Building a kingdom not an empire (Nehemiah 5:1-12)
We look at how Nehemiah cares for the poor in chapter 5. Instead of building an empire, the people need to experience God's kingdom.
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1And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. 2For 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. 3Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. 4There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. 5Yet 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. 6And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7Then 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. 8And 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. 9Also 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? 10I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury. 11Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 12Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. (KJV)
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