¶ And there arose a great complaint of the people, and of their wives against their brethren the Iews. And there were some that said: our sons and daughters are too many, let us take corn for them to eat, that we may live. Some said: Let us set our lands, vineyards, and houses, to pledge, and take up corn in the darth. But some said: let us borrow money of the king's tribute for our lands and vineyards. Now are our brethrens' bodies as our own bodies and their children as our children: else should we subdue our sons and daughters into bondage, and some of our daughters are subdued already, and no strength is there in our hands, and other men shall have our lands and vineyards.
¶ But when I heard their complaint and such words, it displeased me sore, and I advised so in my mind, that I rebuked the councelers, the rulers, and said unto them: Will ye require usury one of another? And I brought a great congregation against them and said unto them: We (after our ability) have bought our brethren the Iews, which were sold unto the Heathen. And will ye sell your brethren, whom we have bought unto us? Then held they their peace, and could find nothing to answer. Also I said: It is not good that ye do. Ought ye not to walk in the fear of God because of the rebuke of the Heathen our enemies? I and my brethren, and my servants have lent them money and corn: but as for usury, let us leave it. Therefore this same day see that ye restore them their lands again, their vineyards, oil gardens, and houses, and the hundredth part of the money of the corn, wine, and oil, that ye have won of them. Then said they: We will restore them again and will require nothing of them and will do as thou hast spoken. And I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do so. And I shook my lap, and said: God shake out every man after the same manner from his house and labour, that maintaineth not this word: even thus be he shaken out, and void. And all the congregation said: Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did so.
¶ And from the time forth that it was committed unto me to be a captain in the land of Iuda, namely from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of king Arthaxerses (that is twelve years) I and my brethren lived not of such sustenance as was given to a captain: For the old captains that were before me, had been chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, and forty sicles of silver: yea and their servants had oppressed the people. But so did not I, and that because of the fear of God. I laboured also in the work upon the wall, and bought no land. And all my servants came thither together unto the work. Moreover there were at my table an hundredth and fifty of the Iews and rulers, which came unto me, from among the Heathen, that are about us. And there was prepared me daily an ox, and six chosen sheep, and birds, and ever once in ten days a great sum of wine. Yet required not I the living of a captain for the bondage was grievous unto the people. Think upon me my God unto the best, according to all that I have done for this people.