Nehemiah and God’s people had faced an external enemy (chp 4) of the rebuilding the temple. Now they face the internal enemies of economic inequality… “it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields” (v5) and greed “you are exacting interest each from his brother.” (v7). Nehemiah is angered at the situation (vs6) and reminds the wealthy that what they “are doing is not good” (v9). Nehemiah leads by example and refuses to accept the large allowance due him. (v15)
As God’s people we do not live by the economic principles of the world but by generosity. Instead, we “walk in fear of our God” (v9), seeking to bless rather than to gain.