Thursday, March 05, 2009

Trouble Within-Usury Nehemiah 5

Nehemiah 5:8 "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."

From what I can remember, it was not lawful for the children of Israel to charge usury to each other although they could charge other nations.

Now Nehemiah has found out from the people that those who are working and trying to care for their families are being taken advantage of by others who are seizing the opportunity to get mortgages on land and loan money. They are even putting the children in bondage.

v1 "And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.

v2"...we are many; therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live.

v3 "...We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth.

v4" ...We have borrowed money for the king's tribute..."

v5 "...we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters..."

Nehemiah got mad. I think he was more angry now that when Sanballat made fun of them and even attacked them.

v6 "And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words." I like the next phrase "v7 "Then I consulted with myself,..."

Nehemiah made a very strong speech to those who were charging the people all this interest. He got them to give it back...the land and a part of the money. In a vivid demonstration typical of the culture he let them know he would not put up with a breach of their promise and hoped God would agree.

v13 "Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise."

Nehemiah goes on to say that even though he was governor that he did not do as the other governors and demand stuff from the people as the other governor. He took a minimum, plus he continued to work on the walls. He even fed over a hundred people at his table on what he did get.

v17 "Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us."

To use my words, I think he said: 'I'm not taking advantage and neither will you get away with it.'

Jeremiah 18:6 "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel."

Nehemiah stops the charging of usury among the Jews and other stuff.

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