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And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

5:1 a great cry of the people. For a long time, while the city’s walls and buildings were deteriorating, there had been a growing disparity between the prosperous and the poor among the Jewish exiles. This had been further aggravated by the two-month period of concentrating on the city’s wall repair and defense. Nehemiah had not really appreciated the gravity of the situation until the poor began complaining. Their property had been taken by the moneylenders and even their children sold into slavery.

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