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Exodus 22:25-27

Context

22:25 “If you lend money to any of 1  my people who are needy among you, do not be like a moneylender 2  to him; do not charge 3  him interest. 4  22:26 If you do take 5  the garment of your neighbor in pledge, you must return it to him by the time the sun goes down, 6  22:27 for it is his only covering – it is his garment for his body. 7  What else can he sleep in? 8  And 9  when he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am gracious.

1 tn “any of” has been supplied.

2 sn The moneylender will be demanding and exacting. In Ps 109:11 and 2 Kgs 4:1 the word is rendered as “extortioner.”

3 tn Heb “set.”

4 sn In ancient times money was lent primarily for poverty and not for commercial ventures (H. Gamoran, “The Biblical Law against Loans on Interest,” JNES 30 [1971]: 127-34). The lending to the poor was essentially a charity, and so not to be an opportunity to make money from another person’s misfortune. The word נֶשֶׁךְ (neshekh) may be derived from a verb that means “to bite,” and so the idea of usury or interest was that of putting out one’s money with a bite in it (See S. Stein, “The Laws on Interest in the Old Testament,” JTS 4 [1953]: 161-70; and E. Neufeld, “The Prohibition against Loans at Interest in the Old Testament,” HUCA 26 [1955]: 355-412).

5 tn The construction again uses the infinitive absolute with the verb in the conditional clause to stress the condition.

6 tn The clause uses the preposition, the infinitive construct, and the noun that is the subjective genitive – “at the going in of the sun.”

7 tn Heb “his skin.”

8 tn Literally the text reads, “In what can he lie down?” The cloak would be used for a covering at night to use when sleeping. The garment, then, was the property that could not be taken and not given back – it was the last possession. The modern idiom of “the shirt off his back” gets at the point being made here.

9 tn Heb “and it will be.”



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