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Bank, Banking

BANK, BANKING (τράπεζα, G5544, bench, table, Matt 21:12; Luke 19:23). A table, bench or counter on which ancient moneychangers (bankers) displayed their wares. English: “bank.” Also the shop or building in which financial transations were conducted. During the Rom. empire in NT times the bank became prominent among the people of Pal. The banker’s bench or shop stood beside those of bakers, butchers, and fish vendors. Jesus makes frequent references to the subject: “You ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest” (Matt 25:27; cf. 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:15). In Luke 19:23 the words “to give silver to the table” means “put the money in the bank to bear interest.” Roman law was more severe than Heb. law, and a creditor could put his debtor in bonds or in prison (Matt 18:25). Most bankers, however, got into the banking business through moneychanging which was necessary in any city which used coins from oth