Nehemiah Chapter 5, Complaints and Problems of Judah

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This chapter is full of many different problems which happened during the time of construction if the Walls around Jerusalem. This time frame took 52 days to complete.

Three different problems arose. ONE:Many landless People were without food. TWO:Landlords were forced to mortgage their land because of the famine. THREE: Borrowing was necessary to pay property tax imposed by the Persistent.

Verses 1-5, debts, interests and bondage.
Verses 6-13, payments of interest abolished.
Verses 14-19, examples of Unselfishness.

beemanlee's picture

Nehemiah 5:9-10, Nehemiah Randsomed Those Sold to Gentiles

So Nehemiah expounded The Torah Understanding of The Mitzvos mentioned against Coercion to The Lords of Judah who were lending their moneys. Nehemiah's position was to uphold Torah and The Mitzvos; Do not coerce him,(Exodus 22:24) to the money lending Lords of Judah, which were ignoring by selling The Poor People's Children as slaves to The Gentiles.

The requirement in Torah was to permit the borrower to reclaim his possessions taken as security (Exodus 22:35).

So Nehemiah's position was not to be angry at The Lords of Judah but to admonish them while keeping a inner calm about himself.

Nehemiah's words to The Lords of Judah were: Thus, you, yourselves, will pay The Gentiles for the very slaves you sold them!(quot from Rashi)

Lets read the next two verses of Nehemiah 5,

V9 Then I said, "What you are doing [is] not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our G-d because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?"
V10 "I also, [with] my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury!

As a large crowd was gathering around, Nehemiah spoke sarcastically to the Lords of Judah who were themselves silent from the embarrassment.

Nehemiah's words: It is better to walk in The Fear of The L-rd than do what you have done. Our enemies see how you dishonor The Torah, because you now will redeem the slaves you have sold to The Gentiles.

Behave in a G-d Fearing Way to avoid the resulting insults of your doing from The Gentiles.

Nehemiah adds in verse 10; We now relinquish this debt. This is both The Lords as well as Nehemiah and his companions being referred to here as together paying the debt of redemption for those slaves sold to The Gentiles.