Specific Examples

Ex. 22:25 "If thou lend (lavah) money to any of my people who is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer (noseh - meaning extortioner), neither shalt thou lay upon him usury (nesek)."

Lev. 25:35-38 "And if thy brother who dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee [meaning he cannot support himself among you], then thou shalt relieve him, yea, though he be a stranger (ger), or a sojourner, that he may live with thee. Take no usury (nesek) from him or increase (tarebit), but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury (nesek), nor lend him thy victuals (food supplies) for increase (marebit - meaning fruits or profits).

In Deut. 23:19-21 the word usury (nesek) meaning interest is used five times. The word for stranger (nokri meaning foreignor) appears once.

David complains of his enemies in Ps 109 and asks God to allow them to reap evil. Ps 109:11, "Let the extortioner (nasah) catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour...because he persecuted the poor and needy man" (other resons are also given here in Ps 109:16). Ps 15 says "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in the holy hill?...He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taking reward of the innocent." Studying this seems to indicate that David believed taking interest came under the moral law.

Sir. 29:1-3 (Apoc.) reads "extortioner and an oppressor to devour (nasak)". This and Ps 109:11 are two verses where "nasak" was translated extortion rather than interest.

It appears from the original Hebrew usage that all interest was considered to be a form of extortion.

Ezek. 22:12 speaks of interest takers and extortioners in the same sentence, and Mt 23:25 says the Pharisees are hypocrites being "full of extortion and excess."

Lk 18:11, I Cor. 5:10, 5:11, 6:10 are scriptures condemning extortioners.

Amos 2 tells how the garments used as legal instruments for securing a debt and the wine of those who had been fined had been taken. The wine seized from fines must refer to a payment in kind taken from debtors. Whether this was according to the law illegal interest or not, it is clear that it produced suffering of the poor which disobeys Ex 23:6; 22:22,26.

QUESTION 2. Is it lord or Lord in Lk 16:18?

Is it "Lord" or "lord" in Lk 16:8?

Some will contend that I have added something to the scriptures, because English Bibles have a small "1" for "lord" in Luke 16:18. Does verse 8 refer to the rich man and not to the Lord Jesus? Actually, they are the ones who are adding to the scriptures. No distinction like this is found in the Greek manuscripts nor in the German translations.

The Greek manuscripts said "kurios" for Lord in Luke 16:8. This word is used in almost every place translated where they mean the Lord our God, or Lord Jesus. Greek words like "lord" or "father" were not set apart with capitalization. The observant reader will be correct that this kurios could mean either Lord or lord. However, three things give evidence that kurios meant Lord Jesus in Luke 16:8. 1. First, the Lord Jesus told this story, because there was something commendable or some good example to commend there to his disciples. 2. There is no period after verse 8 in the Greek manuscripts which means verse 9 is spoken with verse 8. Verse 9 reads, "For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." Even the King James has no period between verse 8 and 9. Now, does it seem likely the rich man said, "the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."? The truth is simply the Lord who spoke the sentence (which was numbered by emn verse 8 and 9) was the Lord Jesus. 3. The Bible itself gives a distinction between where lord is (meaning the rich man) and where the Lord is meant. The story does not use the word "kurios" meaning the rich man once. Instead, it uses possessive words such as O :<i;:>.V \„: rr-o v ^.v-:/;. Kupiw nou which translate where the steward is talking "lord of his" or "his lord", and later lord of the steward. If Jesus had included verse 8 and 9 in his story of the steward he would have used different word(s) for "lord" than just "kurios". It seems evident that Luke wrote what "the Lord (Jesus) commended in verse 8 and 9.

QUESTION 3. Are the items in Neh 5:10, 11 rent or interest?

Nehemiah commanded that the Jews give back a hundredth part of corn, wine and oil to their poor brethrn, is this hundredth part rent or interest?

Verse 10 calls it interest (usury) in English and Verse 11 does so in Luther's German trans. It is O.K. to accept that these verses in scripture have labelled it correctly, for to do so contradicts no other scripture. In Joseph's time 20% seems to have been customary as rent. 1% would hardly indicate rent.

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