Devotions for the Poor

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

Friday, January 27, 2006

Nehemiah 5:1-5

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

For 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.

Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth.

There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.

Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children astheir 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 rredeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.

2 Comments:

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Pilgrim's Edition note on v. 1:

The poor people were complaining of their poverty and hardships which had driven them to borrow money at hight rates of interest (usury) and even sell their children as slaves to the wealthy Jews in order to get food. Nehemiah reproved the greedy Jews severly for their actions and ordered them to give back the slaves and the interest and remit the debt.

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Becca said...

My comment: With slavery so recent and prominent in their nation's history, it's a bit ironic they not be revolted by the concept. Of course, slavery probably seems a lot more palatable with you're not the slave. And this seems to have been more economic slavery than institutional ownership of other people. Is there a practical or moral difference? Nehemiah doesn't seem impressed by it, if there is.

 

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