For he will rescue the poor who cry out and the afflicted who have no helper.
He will have pity on the poor and helpless and save the lives of the poor.
He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious in his sight.
For I rescued the poor man who cried out for help, and the fatherless child who had no one to support him.
I was a father to the needy, and I examined the case of the stranger.
I shattered the fangs of the unjust and snatched the prey from his teeth.
Rescue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward slaughter.
If you say, "But we didn't know about this," won't He who weighs hearts consider it? Won't He who protects your life know? Won't He repay a person according to his work?
I know that the LORD upholds the just cause of the poor, justice for the needy.
There was a widespread outcry from the people and their wives against their Jewish countrymen.
Some were saying, "We, our sons, and our daughters are numerous. Let us get grain so that we can eat and live."
Others were saying, "We are mortgaging our fields, vineyards, and homes to get grain during the famine."
Still others were saying, "We have borrowed money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards.
We and our children are [just] like our countrymen and their children, yet we are subjecting our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters are already enslaved, but we are powerless because our fields and vineyards belong to others."
I became extremely angry when I heard their outcry and these complaints.
After seriously considering the matter, I accused the nobles and officials, saying to them, "Each of you is charging his countrymen interest." So I called a large assembly against them
and said, "We have done our best to buy back our Jewish countrymen who were sold to foreigners, but now you sell your own countrymen, and we have to buy them back." They remained silent and could not say a word.
Then I said, "What you are doing isn't right. Shouldn't you walk in the fear of our God [and not invite] the reproach of our foreign enemies?
Even I, as well as my brothers and my servants, have been lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop charging this interest.
Return their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and houses to them immediately, along with the percentage of the money, grain, new wine, and olive oil that you have been assessing them."
They responded: "We will return [these things] and require nothing more from them. We will do as you say." So I summoned the priests and made everyone take an oath to do this.
I also shook the folds of my robe and said, "May God likewise shake from his house and property everyone who doesn't keep this promise. May he be shaken out and have nothing!" The whole assembly said, " Amen," and they praised the LORD. Then the people did as they had promised.
He saves the needy from their sharp words and from the clutches of the powerful.
So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.