The problem of the famine (Neh 5:1-5:5)

“Now there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish kin. There were those who said. ‘With our sons and our daughters, we are many. We must get grain, so that we may eat and keep alive.’ There were also those who said. ‘We have to pledge our fields, our vineyards, and our houses in order to get grain during the famine.’ There were those who said. ‘We have to borrow money on our fields and vineyards to pay the king’s tax. Now our flesh is the same as that or our kindred. Our children are the same as their children. Yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves. Some of our daughters have already been ravished. We are powerless. Our fields and vineyards now belong to others.’”

Apparently there were 3 Jewish groups that were complaining about the famine in Jerusalem. The 1st group just wanted grain to stay alive because they had families. The 2nd group had pledged their land and houses in order to get grain. The 3rd group was complaining about the king’s taxes since they had to borrow money to pay it. Their children were becoming slaves, especially their daughters being ravished. They were powerless since they had lost their land to others.

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