THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE - complete online book

Selections From The Old And New Testaments in Simple English.

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the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel, and the Tower of the Hun­dred to the Sheep Gate. Then they stood in the Gate of the Guard. So the two processions took their position in the temple and I and half of the rulers who were with me.
Then the singers sang loudly, and the people offered many sacri­fices that day and rejoiced, for God had given them great cause for joy. The women and children rejoiced, too, so that the cries of joy at Jerusalem were heard far away.
Then the common people and their wives raised a loud cry against their fellow Jews. Some said, "We must give up our sons and our daughters in pledge to get grain that we may eat and live." Others said, "We must give up our fields and our vineyards and our houses, that we may get grain because there is so little." Others said, "We have borrowed money to pay the king's taxes. Although our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children; yet we must sell our sons and our daughters as slaves. Some of our daughters have already been made slaves, and it is not in our power to stop it, for our fields and our vineyards belong to the nobles."
WTien I heard their cry and these words, I was very angry. After I had thought about it, I rebuked the nobles and the rulers and said to them, "You make each of your fellow Jews pay what you loan him."
Then I called a great meeting to protest against what they were doing. And I said to them, " We ourselves have, as far as we could, bought back our fellow Jews who have been sold to foreigners. Would you sell your fellow Jews, and should they be sold to us?" Then they were silent and could not find a word to say. So I said, "What you are doing is not good. Ought you not to live in the fear of God, so as not to be an object of shame to our foreign foes ? I, too, my relatives, and my servants lend the people money and grain. Let us stop taking anything for what we lend. Give back to them at once their fields, their vineyards, their olive-yards, and their houses, and whatever you have made them pay for the money, the grain, the new wine and the oil."
Then they said, "We will give them back and will ask nothing from them; we will do even as you say." Then I called the priests
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