Debt

The Mosaic law encouraged the practice of lending (Deut. 15:7; Ps. 37:26; Matt. 5:42); but it forbade the exaction of interest except from foreigners. Usury was strongly condemned (Prov. “28:8; Ezek. 18:8, 13, 17; 22:12; Ps. 15:5). On the Sabbatical” year all pecuniary obligations were cancelled (Deut. 15:1-11). These regulations prevented the accumulation of debt.

Various regulations as to the relation between debtor and creditor are laid down in the Scriptures. “(1.) The debtor was to deliver up as a pledge to the creditor “what he could most easily dispense with (Deut. 24:10, 11).” “(2.) A mill, or millstone, or upper garment, when given as a “pledge, could not be kept over night (Ex. 22:26, 27).” “(3.) A debt could not be exacted during the Sabbatic year (Deut. 15:1-15). “For other laws bearing on this relation see Lev. 25:14, 32, 39; “Matt. 18:25, 34.” “(4.) A surety was liable in the same way as the original debtor (Prov. 11:15; 17:18).

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