|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22; 1 - 31 Judicial laws. - The people of God should ever be ready to show mildness and mercy, according to the spirit of these laws. We must answer to God, not only for what we do maliciously, but for what we do heedlessly. Therefore, when we have done harm to our neighbour, we should make restitution, though not compelled by law. Let these scriptures lead our souls to remember, that if the grace of God has indeed appeared to us, then it has taught us, and enabled us so to conduct ourselves by its holy power, that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Titus 2:12. And the grace of God teaches us, that as the Lord is our portion, there is enough in him to satisfy all the desires of our souls.
Verses 25-27. - The law of lending money and borrowing. It is peculiar to the Jewish law to forbid the lending of money at interest by citizen to citizen. In the present passage, and in some others (Leviticus 25:35; Deuteronomy 15:7), it might seem that interest was only forbidden in the case of a loan to one who was poor; but the general execration of usury (Job 24:9; Proverbs 28:8; Ezekiel 18:13; Ezekiel 22:12), and the description of the righteous man as "he that hath not given his money upon usury" (Psalm 15:5; Ezekiel 18:8), seem rather to imply that the practice, so far as Israelites were concerned, was forbidden altogether. On the other hand, it was distinctly declared (Deuteronomy 23:20) that interest might be taken from strangers. There does not seem to have been any rate of interest which was regarded as excessive, and "usurious," in the modern sense. In Scripture usury means simply interest.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, Such only need to borrow money, and to whom it should be freely lent, when it may be to the good of the borrower, and not any injury to the lender: this law, according to the Jewish writers, only respects Israelites, and not Gentiles; agreeably to which is Jarchi's note,"if thou lend, that is, not to a Gentile; and to which of my people? the poor, and to which of the poor? that is with thee:"
thou shalt not be to him as an usurer; that will not lend without usury, nor without an exorbitant interest, and deals very hardly with the borrower if he is not punctual in the payment of it; the Israelites were not only not to be usurers, but they were not to be like them; they were not to require anything for lending a poor man a little money; as not any settled interest, so neither were they to take any previous gift or reward later, see Luke 6:34.
neither shalt thou lay upon him usury; or oblige him to give interest for money borrowed: it is in the plural, number, "neither shall ye lay"; and Aben Ezra observes, that the lender, scribe, and witness, all transgress this law; that is, when a man lends money on interest, and a bond is made by the scribe for it, and this signed by witnesses, all are guilty of the breach of it: yea, some Jewish writers (h) say, not only those, but whoever is a surety or bondsman for the payment, and even the borrower himself; see Gill on Psalm 15:5.
(h) Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 5. sect. 11. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
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