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Usury

USURY (Heb. neshekh, interest, nāshakh, to bite, to lend on interest, nāshâh, to remove, nash’, lead astray, Gr. tokos, interest on money). God gave specific instructions to Israel with regard to interest on money lent. Any money that a Jew lent to his brother was to be without interest (Exod.22.25; Deut.23.19). Money could, however, be lent to a stranger with interest (Deut.23.20). The main purpose for lending money among the Israelites was for the relief of the poor for which, according to law, no interest was to be demanded (Lev.25.35-Lev.25.36). During Israel’s time in Babylon many abuses arose regarding the lending of money (Ezek.18.8, Ezek.18.17). Because of this, Nehemiah, after the return from exile, took measures to have the practice stopped (Neh.5.10-Neh.5.12).