Nehemiah 5:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Others were saying, "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine."

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

Darby Bible Translation
And there were that said, We have had to pledge our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses, that we might procure corn in the dearth.

World English Bible
Some also there were that said, "We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses. Let us get grain, because of the famine."

Young's Literal Translation
And there are who are saying, 'Our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses, we are pledging, and we receive corn for the famine.'

Nehemiah 5:3 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Because of the dearth - About the time of Zerubbabel, God had sent a judicial dearth upon the land, as we learn from Haggai, Haggai 1:9, etc., for the people it seems were more intent on building houses for themselves than on rebuilding the house of the Lord: "Ye looked for much, and, lo, it is come to little; because of mine house that is waste; and ye run, every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground brought forth; and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labor of the hands." This dearth might have been continued, or its effects still felt; but it is more likely that there was a new dearth owing to the great number of people, for whose support the land that had been brought into cultivation was not sufficient.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

mortgaged

Genesis 47:15-25 And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said, Give us bread...

Leviticus 25:35-39 And if your brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with you; then you shall relieve him: yes, though he be a stranger...

Deuteronomy 15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of your brothers within any of your gates in your land which the LORD your God gives you...

because

Malachi 3:8-11 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, Wherein have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings...

Library
An Ancient Nonconformist
'... So did not I, because of the fear of God.'--Neh. v. 15. I do not suppose that the ordinary Bible-reader knows very much about Nehemiah. He is one of the neglected great men of Scripture. He was no prophet, he had no glowing words, he had no lofty visions, he had no special commission, he did not live in the heroic age. There was a certain harshness and dryness; a tendency towards what, when it was more fully developed, became Pharisaism, in the man, which somewhat covers the essential nobleness
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Influences that Gave Rise to the Priestly Laws and Histories
[Sidenote: Influences in the exile that produced written ceremonial laws] The Babylonian exile gave a great opportunity and incentive to the further development of written law. While the temple stood, the ceremonial rites and customs received constant illustration, and were transmitted directly from father to son in the priestly families. Hence, there was little need of writing them down. But when most of the priests were carried captive to Babylonia, as in 597 B.C., and ten years later the temple
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Cross References
Nehemiah 5:2
Some were saying, "We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain."

Nehemiah 5:4
Still others were saying, "We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards.

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