For the LORD your God blesses you, as he promised you: and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; and you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)As he promised thee.—“1 will bless thee” was said to Abram (Genesis 12:2).
Thou Shalt lend.—The root of the word in Hebrew is closely connected with the word for “slave.” “The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).Deuteronomy 15:11. The meaning seems simply to be, "Thou must release the debt for the year, except when there be no poor person concerned, a contingency which may happen, for the Lord shall greatly bless thee." The general object of these precepts, as also of the year of Jubilee and the laws respecting inheritance, is to prevent the total ruin of a needy person, and his disappearance from the families of Israel by the sale of his patrimony.Thou shalt lend unto many; thou shalt be rich and able to lend not only to thy poor brother, but even to strangers of other nations, yea, to many of them.
and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shall not borrow; signifying they should be so rich and increased in goods, and worldly substance, that they should be able to lend to their neighbouring nations round about, but should stand in no need of borrowing of any of them. This is sometimes said of the language of these people, the Hebrew language, that it lends to all, but borrows of none, being an original primitive language; see Deuteronomy 28:12.
and thou shalt reign over many nations: which was fulfilled in the times of David and Solomon:
but they shall not reign over thee; that is, as long as they observed the commands of God; otherwise, when they did not, they were carried captive into other countries, and other people reigned over them, as at this day.For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. will bless thee] Heb. is stronger, shall have blessed thee.
thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow] Heb. shalt take, but shalt not give, pledges; cp. 8, Deuteronomy 24:10-13. This promise of a large foreign commerce, repeated Deuteronomy 28:12 f. (with the contrast in 43 f.) is peculiar to D among the codes of Israel. It covers, of course, not only the lending of money and bullion (banking proper), but the sale of goods on credit at interest, to other nations. Such a foreign trade appears to have flourished with great profit both to Judah and Israel under the long contemporary reigns of Uzziah and Jeroboam II (Isaiah 2:7; Hosea 12:7). There was large commerce with foreigners under Manasseh: cp. Ezekiel’s name for Jerusalem, the gate of the peoples (Deuteronomy 26:2, LXX), and the king of Persia’s refusal to allow the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt lest her former power of exacting tolls and customs should revive (Ezra 4:20). It is striking, however, that the fulfilment of D’s promise was most fully realised not while Israel remained on their own land but after their dispersion among the nations, from the Greek period onwards. Strabo’s words (quoted in Jos. XIV. Antt. vii. 2) are a remarkable acknowledgement of the political as well as financial superiority foreseen by D for Israel: ‘These Jews have penetrated to every city and it would not be easy to find a single place in the inhabited world which has not received this race, and where it has not become master.’ See further Jerusalem, i. 370 f., ii. 193 f., 392 ff.Deuteronomy 26:12., after bringing it out, were to make confession to the Lord of what they had done, and pray for His blessing. "At the end of three years:" i.e., when the third year, namely the civil year, which closed with the harvest (see at Exodus 23:16), had come to an end. This regulation as to the time was founded upon the observance of the sabbatical year, as we may see from Deuteronomy 15:1, where the seventh year is no other than the sabbatical year. Twice, therefore, within the period of a sabbatical year, namely in the third and sixth years, the tithe set apart for a sacrificial meal was not to be eaten at the sanctuary, but to be used in the different towns of the land in providing festal meals for those who had no possessions, viz., the Levites, strangers, widows, and orphans. Consequently this tithe cannot properly be called the "third tithe," as it is by many of the Rabbins, but rather the "poor tithe," as it was simply in the way of applying it that it differed from the "second" (see Hottinger, de decimies, exerc. viii. pp. 182ff., and my Archol. i. p. 339). As an encouragement to carry out these instructions, Moses closes in Deuteronomy 14:29 with an allusion to the divine blessing which would follow their observance.
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