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Usury Laws in the Old Testament, Torah, and New Testament

Posted on 17th April 2012 by Camille Paldi,

The Old Testament

From the King James Version

[Exodus 22:25] If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

[Leviticus 25:36] Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.

[Leviticus 25:37] Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.

[Deuteronomy 23:19] Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:

[Deuteronomy 23:20] Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

[Ezekiel 18:17] He withholds his hand from sin and takes no usury or excessive interest.

Torah

Main article: Loans and interest in Judaism

The following quotations are from the Hebrew Bible1917 Jewish Publication Society translation:

If thou lend money to any of My people, even to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be to him as a creditor; neither shall ye lay upon him interest. (Exodus, 22:25)[27]

And if thy brother be waxen poor, and his means fail with thee; then thou shalt uphold him: as a stranger and a settler shall he live with thee. Take thou no interest of him or increase; but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon interest, nor give him thy victuals for increase. (Leviticus, 25:35-37)

Thou shalt not lend upon interest to thy brother: interest of money, interest of victuals, interest of any thing that is lent upon interest. Unto a foreigner thou mayest lend upon interest; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon interest; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou puttest thy hand unto, in the land whither thou goest in to possess it. (Deuteronomy, 23:20-21)

 

The New Testament

The New Testament contains references to usury, notably in the Parable of the talents:

“Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.”

Matthew 25:27

 

“…Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow. Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?”

Luke 19:22-23

 

Finally the master said to him ‘Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

Luke 19:23


Posted on 17th April 2012 by Camille Paldi


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