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

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

Darby Bible Translation
And there were that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute upon our fields and vineyards;

World English Bible
There were also some who said, "We have borrowed money for the king's tribute using our fields and our vineyards as collateral.

Young's Literal Translation
And there are who are saying, 'We have borrowed money for the tribute of the king, on our fields, and our vineyards;

Nehemiah 5:4 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

We have borrowed money - This should be read, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute on our lands and vineyards. They had a tax to pay to the Persian king in token of their subjection to him, and though it is not likely it was heavy, yet they were not able to pay it.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the king's tribute

Nehemiah 9:37 And it yields much increase to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies...

Deuteronomy 28:47,48 Because you served not the LORD your God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things...

Joshua 16:10 And they drove not out the Canaanites that dwelled in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites to this day...

1 Kings 9:21 Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy...

Ezra 4:13,20 Be it known now to the king, that, if this city be built, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom...

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
Ezra 4:13
Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer.

Ezra 7:24
You are also to know that you have no authority to impose taxes, tribute or duty on any of the priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers, temple servants or other workers at this house of God.

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

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