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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Easton's Bible Dictionary
• Fausset's Bible Dictionary
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• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Lend, Loan
Hebrew - loaned, make the loan
Hebrew - loan
Hebrew - loan

The grant of temporary use. Because of Israel's experience of deliverance from slavery, her moral code, gave special care to marginal folk (Exodus 22:21-24; Deuteronomy 10:19; Psalms 82:3-4; Proverbs 31:8-9). Thus, loans were to be acts of generosity, not acts for profit at the poor's expense (Leviticus 25:35-37). Furthermore because the earth was God's (Leviticus 25:23; Deuteronomy 10:14) and human possessions were gifts from God (Deuteronomy 8:1-10), lending was sharing God's gifts.

Thus Old Testament forbade charging interest to fellow Israelites (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-38; Deuteronomy 23:19), for requesting loans indicated economic hardship. One might charge interest to sojourners (Deuteronomy 23:20), though this arrangement was not meant to be exploitative (Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33-34; Deuteronomy 10:19; Ezekiel 22:7). Laws for collateral focused on protecting the debtor. The pledge must not threaten the debtor's dignity (Deuteronomy 24:10-11), livelihood (Deuteronomy 24:6), family (Job 24:1-3,Job 24:9), or physical necessities (Exodus 22:26-27; Deuteronomy 24:12-13). Compassionate lending was one measure of a righteous person (Psalms 15:1; Ezekiel 18:5-9).

Years of release and the jubilee year (Exodus 23:10-11; Deuteronomy 15:1-15; Leviticus 25:1) provided a systematic means for addressing long-term economic hardship by returning family property, freeing slaves, and canceling debts. Deuteronomy 15:7-11 warns against scheming creditors who would refuse loans because a year of release was near; lending was to be an act of generosity (Deuteronomy 15:10). As in most human communities, greed prevailed; and the prophets railed against the exploitation of the poor (e.g., Amos 2:6-8; Amos 8:4), including violations of charging interest and abusing pledges (Ezekiel 18:12-13; Ezekiel 22:12; Habakkuk 2:6-9; see Nehemiah 5:6-11). See Borrow, Borrowing; Coins; Ethics in the Bible; Jubilee, Year of; Justice; Law; Poor, Widows, Orphans, Levites; Sabbatical Year; Slavery; Stranger

David Nelson Duke

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'LOAN'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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