“But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.”
King James Version (KJV)
5:15 The former - Not Ezra, who was no governor, nor Zerubbabel, but others between him and Nehemiah, whom he forbears to name. Beside, &c. - Which they required of the people every day to defray their other expenses. Their servants - Ruled them with rigor and cruelty; which fault of the servants is charged upon their masters, because they did not restrain them. He had an awe of God's mercy, and a fear of offending him. Those that truly fear God, will not dare to do any thing cruel or unjust. And this is not only a powerful, but an acceptable principle both of justice and charity.