Borrow, Lend, Borrowing

Borrowing and lending was regulated in that Israel could lend to the heathen (Deut 15:6) and could even lend upon usury to a stranger; but this latter practice was forbidden among fellow Israelites (Deut 23:19, 20).

Wicked was the individual who did not return the borrowed item (Ps 37:21), but Israel did not sin against the Egyptians in this regard since they simply “asked” for the jewels (Exod 3:22; cf. Judg 5:25; 8:24).

In spite of restrictions on pledges, etc. (Deut 24:10-13, 17; 15:1-6) the debtor was still greatly oppressed (Prov 6:1; 22:7).

In the NT the Rom. commercial system, including money changers, bankers, and commercial usury, is pictured in Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27 and John 2:13-17. The NT does not condemn the principle of interest, but mercy is to be shown to the debtor (Matt 18:23-35). See Debt, Debtor.


A. Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life (n.d.), 211, 212; A. Deissmann, Light From the Ancient East (1927), 270, 331, 332; J. P. Lange, Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, I (1960), II (Exod. 3:22).