Thomson(i) 1 Now there was a great cry of the people and their wives, against their brethren the Jews. 2 There were some who said, We with our sons and our daughters are many, therefore we will take corn that we may eat and live. 3 There were others who said, As for our fields and our vineyards and our houses, let us mortgage them that we may get corn and eat. 4 There were others who said, We have borrowed money to pay the king's tribute, and pledged our fields and our vineyards and our houses, 5 and now our flesh is the same as that of our brethren, our sons the same as theirs, yet behold we are subjecting our sons and our daughters to be slaves, nay, some of our daughters are already subjected to bondage, and we have no means to redeem them, for our nobles have got our fields and our vineyards. 6 Upon hearing their cry and these speeches, I was exceedingly grieved. 7 And having consulted in my own mind, I chid the nobles and the chiefs, and said to them, would any man exact of his brother what you exact? Then having assembled a great meeting against them, 8 I said to them, We with our free will offerings have purchased' our brethren the Jews who were sold to the nations; and are you going to sell your brethren that they may be sold to us? And when they held their peace and found no answer, 9 I said, This thing which you do is not good. It is not in this manner that you are in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of the nations, our enemies. 10 My brethren and my acquaintances, and I myself, have lent them money and provisions. Let us I pray you relinquish our demands for this. 11 Restore to them, I beseech you, this very day their fields, and their vineyards, and their olive yards, and their houses; and abate the price at which you have sold to each other corn and wine and oil. 12 Thereupon they said, We will restore, and require nothing of them. We will do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests and having caused them to swear that they would do according to this decree, 13 I shook my lap and said, So may God shake every man who will not perform this promise, out of his house and from his labour, and let them be shaken out and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen; and praised the Lord, and the people executed the decree. 14 From the day I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Juda; from the twentieth to the thirty second year of Arthasastha; for twelve years, I and my brethren did not eat the daily allowance which was their due; 15 those daily allowances with which they who were before me had loaded them, and which they had exacted from them in bread and wine, to the amount at least of forty didrachms of silver. They indeed who had been displaced, tyrannised over the people; but as for me I did not do so; because I feared God. 16 Even in the work of the wall, I did not domineer over them; nor did I purchase a field: and all who were employed with me there in the work, 17 even a hundred and fifty chief men of the Jews, besides those who came to us, from the nations around us, were at my table. 18 And the daily provisions for my table, was one ox, six choice sheep, and a kid for myself; and every ten days wine in plenty for all. Yet for all this I did not demand the daily allowance of bread, because the bondage was heavy upon the people. 19 Remember me, my God, for good, for all I have done for this people.