Biblical Principle #267: Law on Charging Interest

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The Law of Moses allowed an Israelite to charge interest to a foreigner but not to a fellow Israelite.


GOD explained to Moses why He would allow Israelites to charge interest payments to Gentiles, but not to their brethren:

19 “You shall not exact interest from your brother, interest for silver and interest for food and interest for anything that you may lend out with interest. 20 “You shall exact interest from a stranger, but from your brother you shall not exact interest, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all your works on the land into which you are entering there to take possession of it.

Deuteronomy 23:19-20 LES2

GOD’s reasoning for disallowing Israelites from charging interest of one another was that they were family and, by implication, they should not take advantage of each other.

GOD gave an additional caution in protection of the poor Israelites:

25 “ ‘And if you lend silver to your poor brother among you, you shall not keep pressuring him; you shall not charge him interest. 26 And if you take the garment of your neighbor as a pledge, you will give it back to him before sunset. 27 For this is his only covering; this is the garment covering his shame. What will he sleep in? So if he cries out to me, I will listen to him, for I am compassionate.

Exodus 22:25-27 LES2

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