The Abomination of Usury and Interest, and the Slavery of Debt

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To view a list of all studies in this blog, click here.

Recommended before reading this study,

The Soul, the Aeolian Body, Death, the Mistranslation of the Word Spirit, the Identity of the Airflow of God

The Law of Moses forbids lending at interest in any form,

“You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest. (Deutereonomy 23:19 [ESV])

Because the purpose of lending was to help the needy who needed to borrow in the first place,

If your brother becomes poor… you shall support him… Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. (Leviticus 25:35-36 [ESV])

As such, making a profit out of the need of a fellow brother to have to borrow is wicked, for this is the very meaning of what “oppressing”, or rather, “exploiting” the poor means,

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. (Proverbs 14:31 [NIV])

One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty. (Proverbs 22:16 [NIV])

You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns. (Deuteronomy 24:14 [NASB])

Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am Yehovah your God. (Leviticus 25:17 [MODIFIED-KJV])

In which case, a common form of lending is money lent at interest, and although it was forbidden for the Israelites to do so to each other as brothers, it was permitted for them to do so to foreigners,

You may charge a foreigner interest, but you may not charge your brother interest, that Yehovah your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. (Deuteronomy 23:20 [MODIFIED-ESV])

Because God intended the Israelites to rule over the Gentiles, which are also called the “nations”, and to be above them, by lending to them at interest to rule over them,

Yehovah will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. Yehovah will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of Yehovah your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. (Deuteronomy 28:12-13 [MODIFIED-NIV])

Just as the elect will one day rule over nations,

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ –just as I have received authority from my Father. (Revelation 2:26-27 [NIV])

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5 [NIV])

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37:11 [KJV])

Yet it was forbidden for them to borrow from the nations,

For Yehovah your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
(Deuteronomy 15:6 [MODIFIED-NIV])

Because as a people that were freed from slavery from Egypt,

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am Yehovah, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. (Exodus 6:6 [MODIFIED-NIV])

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and Yehovah your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today. (Deuteronomy 15:15 [MODIFIED-NIV])

They could not then become enslaved by borrowing from the nations, since a borrower is a slave to his lender,

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7 [NIV])

Which is why Paul forbids being indebted to anyone,

Be indebted to no one, except to one another in love, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Law. (Romans 13:8 [BSB])

Because just as the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, so have the elect been freed from the slavery of sin,

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to set-apartness, and the end aeonial life.
(Romans 6:22 [MODIFIED-AKJV])

And just as the Israelites were forbidden to borrow from the nations, which relates with the elect being forbidden to be yoked with unbelievers,

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 [NIV])

And also forbidden to file lawsuits with the ungodly,

If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Master’s people? (1 Corinthians 6:1 [MODIFIED-NIV])

So are the elect also forbidden from borrowing from unbelievers and the ungodly, and should thus, have no debts, which includes credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, payday loans, bank loans, and all other forms of debt. Yet just as the poor or needy Israelites could borrow from fellow Israelites without interest, as opposed to borrowing from the nations,

If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. (Exodus 22:25 [ESV])

So in likewise manner can the elect who are in need also borrow from other fellow believers in the assemblies of God,

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. (Acts 4:32 [NIV])

Just as the Law of Moses commanded Israelites to support brothers who became poor and could no longer sustain themselves,

If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. (Leviticus 25:35 [ESV])

And whichever believer lends to him must not only lend without interest,

I took counsel with myself, and I brought charges against the nobles and the officials. I said to them, “You are exacting interest, each from his brother.” And I held a great assembly against them and said to them, “We, as far as we are able, have bought back our Jewish brothers who have been sold to the nations, but you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us!” They were silent and could not find a word to say. So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies? Moreover, I and my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us abandon this exacting of interest. (Nehemiah 5:7-10 [ESV])

But also in accordance with the new covenant of Yeshuah Messiah, lend without expecting anything in return,

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. (Luke 6:34 [NIV])

Because even though the Law of Moses permitted the Israelites to lend to nations at interest to rule over them, the time for the elect to rule over nations has not yet come,

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— (Revelation 2:26 [NIV])

And so, in the present time, rather than lending and expecting repayment, which is “indebting” others, the elect freely give so that in the same measure the elect may freely receive,

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 [NIV])

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you–and even more. (Mark 4:24 [NIV])

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10:8 [NIV])

Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. (Psalm 112:5 [NIV])

Which exceeds the command of the Law of Moses to release debts on every seventh year,

At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because Yehovah’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. (Deuteronomy 15:1-2 [MODIFIED-NIV])

Because the Law of Moses forbids holding any debt beyond a seventh year,

Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to Yehovah against you, and you be guilty of sin. (Deuteronomy 15:9 [MODIFIED-ESV])

As such, all the needs of all the assemblies of God will be met, and the elect will be indebted to no one,

that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
 (Acts 4:34-35 [NIV])

And in doing thus, will the love of the elect for each other be seen by all people,

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 [ESV])

And not only must the elect give freely to those in the assemblies of God, but also to anyone outside the assemblies who are poor and in need,

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (Luke 6:35 [ESV])

Yeshuah answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21 [MODIFIED-NIV])

When Yeshuah heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22 [MODIFIED-NIV])

He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Master?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. (Acts 10:2-4 [MODIFIED-NIV])

A psalm of David. Yehovah, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your set-apart mountain?… who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken. (Psalm 15:1-5 [MODIFIED-NIV])

And in freely giving to all, the elect demonstrate the mercy of God, who freely gives to both the righteous and the unrighteous,

that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:45 [NIV])

Which is the way of those who live in the new covenant of Yeshuah Messiah, in loving others as yourself, by freely giving,

And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.‘ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
(Matthew 22:39-40 [ESV])

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to Yehovah, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17 [MODIFIED-ESV])

If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which Yehovah your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. (Deuteronomy 15:7-8 [MODIFIED-NASB])

Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (Matthew 5:42 [NIV])

If anyone with earthly possessions sees his brother in need, but withholds his compassion from him, how can the love of God abide in him? (1 John 3:17 [BSB])

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13 [NIV])

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?(James 2:15-16 [NIV])

And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. (Isaiah 58:10 [NASB])

Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. (Proverbs 28:27 [NIV])

And because there no longer exists a distinction between Jew or Gentile,

There is neither Jew nor Gentile… (Galatians 3:28 [NIV])

Since salvation has also come to the Gentiles,

Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. (Romans 11:11 [NIV])

Lending to anyone at interest, Jew or Gentile, is forbidden and also an abomination,

…charges interest. Will he live? He will not! Because he has done all these abominable deeds he will certainly die. He will bear the responsibility for his own death. (Ezekiel 18:13 [NETBIBLE])

he shall not give his money with interest… he shall turn his hand from injustice; he shall execute a just judgment between a man and his neighbor; (Ezekiel 18:8 [ABP])

He who increases his wealth by interest… gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor. (Proverbs 28:8 [NASB])

And also he who participates in usury commits an abomination, 

engages in usury… Will he live? He will not! Because he has done all these abominable deeds he will certainly die. He will bear the responsibility for his own death. (Ezekiel 18:13 [NETBIBLE])

…and shall not take money by usury; he shall turn his hand from injustice; he shall execute a just judgment between a man and his neighbor; (Ezekiel 18:8 [ABP])

He who increases his wealth by… usury gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor. (Proverbs 28:8 [NASB])

For unlike lending at interest, usury is an unjust gain of money that is not earned as a hired laborer,

For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:18 [ESV])

Nor money earned by renting a property or possession,

For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. (Acts 28:30 [NIV])

Nor money earned by selling a property or possession,

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. (Acts 2:44-45 [NIV])

But is money that is unjustly gained from various forms of “usury”, which is a gain of money of money given, predicated on chance and time, such as gambling, lotteries, stocks, all forms of insurances, pensions, annuities, social security, and all other forms of usury, of which whoever participates in any of these unjust financial instruments commits an abomination.

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