Ellen G. White Writings

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Prophets and Kings, Page 646

Chapter 54—A Rebuke Against Extortion

This chapter is based on Nehemiah 5. PK 646

The wall of Jerusalem had not yet been completed when Nehemiah's attention was called to the unhappy condition of the poorer classes of the people. In the unsettled state of the country, tillage had been to some extent neglected. Furthermore, because of the selfish course pursued by some who had returned to Judea, the Lord's blessing was not resting upon their land, and there was a scarcity of grain. PK 646.1

In order to obtain food for their families, the poor were obliged to buy on credit and at exorbitant prices. They were also compelled to raise money by borrowing on interest to pay the heavy taxes imposed upon them by the kings of Persia. To add to the distress of the poor, the more wealthy among the Jews had taken advantage of their necessities, thus enriching themselves. PK 646.2

The Lord had commanded Israel, through Moses, that every third year a tithe be raised for the benefit of the poor; PK 646.3

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