For the entire twelve years that I was governor of Judah - from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of the reign of King Artaxerxes 1 - neither I nor my officials drew on our official food allowance.
The former governors, in contrast, had laid heavy burdens on the people, demanding a daily ration of food and wine, besides forty pieces 2 of silver. Even their assistants took advantage of the people. But because I feared God, I did not act that way.
I also devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land. And I required all my servants to spend time working on the wall.
I asked for nothing, even though I regularly fed 150 Jewish officials at my table, besides all the visitors from other lands!
The provisions I paid for each day included one ox, six choice sheep or goats, and a large number of poultry. And every ten days we needed a large supply of all kinds of wine. Yet I refused to claim the governor’s food allowance because the people already carried a heavy burden.
Remember, O my God, all that I have done for these people, and bless me for it.