Exodus 22:26
If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:
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(26, 27) Thy neighbour’s raiment.—The simlah, or salmah, here translated “raiment,” was the large flowing outer raiment, elsewhere called beged, which was commonly of woollen, and corresponded to the abba of the modern Arabs. It was a warm wrapper, and has sometimes been compared to a Scotch plaid. The poor Israelite did not much want it by day; but needed it as a blanket by night—a practice known to many modern tribes of Arabs. The present passage forbids the retention of this garment as a pledge during the night, and seems to imply a continuous practice of pledging the simlah by day, and being allowed to Enjoy the use of it, nevertheless, as a nocturnal covering.

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.The law regarding pledges is expanded, Deuteronomy 24:6, Deuteronomy 24:10-13. 26, 27. If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, &c.—From the nature of the case, this is the description of a poor man. No Orientals undress, but, merely throwing off their turbans and some of their heavy outer garments, they sleep in the clothes which they wear during the day. The bed of the poor is usually nothing else than a mat; and, in winter, they cover themselves with a cloak—a practice which forms the ground or reason of the humane and merciful law respecting the pawned coat. Thy neighbour’s; to wit, that is poor, as appears by comparing this with the next verse, where he is supposed to have but one garment, and with Deu 24:12,13.

By that the sun goeth down; because he speaks of such raiment or covering wherein he used to sleep, Exodus 22:27. But you are not to think that the creditor would every morning take, and every night redeliver his pledge; and therefore this is rather a prohibition to take any such thing for a pledge as a man hath great and daily need of, by this argument, that if he did take it, he could not keep it. Compare Deu 24:6.

If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge,.... So that it seems that the lender, though he might not impose usury on the borrower, or oblige him to pay interest for what he lent him, yet for the security of his money he might take his clothes, either his bed clothes or wearing apparel, or any instruments or goods of his; but when he did, he was bound to what follows:

thou shalt deliver it to him by that the sun goeth down; the reason of which appears in the next verse, with respect to his bed clothes, should that be the pledge: but Jarchi interprets it, not of his nocturnal clothes, but of his apparel in the daytime, and paraphrases it thus,"all the day thou shalt restore it to him until the setting of the sun; and when the sun is set, thou shalt return and take it until the morning of the morrow comes; the Scripture speaks of the covering of the day, of which there is no need at night;''but rather night clothes are meant by what follows.

If thou at all take thy neighbor's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:
26. garment] mantle (Heb. salmâh), the large rectangular piece of cloth described in the note on Exodus 12:34; perhaps the only article that a poor man would have to offer as a pledge, as well as his only covering by night (v. 27). The mantle might be retained by the debtor, in order that he might sleep in it himself: see Deuteronomy 24:12. A garment was a common pledge: see not only Amos 2:8, Job 22:6, already quoted, but also Proverbs 20:16 = Proverbs 27:13. The poor still sleep in Palestine in their ordinary clothes (L. and B. i. 54, 99, iii. 89); cf. Shaw, Travels in Barbary and the Levant (1738), p. 290 (cited by Kn.).

26, 27. A garment taken in pledge to be returned before sun-down. Cf. Ḥamm. § 241. Comp. Deuteronomy 24:6; Deuteronomy 24:10-13, where other limitations are placed on the arbitrary power of the creditor. Loans on interest are forbidden, in Dt. (Deuteronomy 23:19 f.) not less than here (v. 25): but loans on the security of a pledge are permitted, under certain provisos checking harsh or arbitrary action on the part of the creditor; he is not, for instance, to enter the house of the debtor to choose his own pledge, or to take in pledge an article necessary to life, such as the domestic hand-mill. For pledges given on a large scale as security for a loan, see Nehemiah 5:3 (where houses and vineyards were, as we should say in such a case, mortgaged), 5 (children). Allusions to abuses in the exaction or retention of pledges are contained in Amos 2:8, Ezekiel 18:12; Ezekiel 18:16 (contrast v. 7), Exodus 33:15, Job 22:6; Job 24:3; Job 24:9.

Verse 26. - If thou take at all thy neighbour's raiment to pledge. Lending upon pledge, the business of our modern pawnbrokers, was not forbidden by the Jewish law; only certain articles of primary necessity were forbidden to be taken, as the handmill for grinding flour, or either of its mill-stones (Deuteronomy 24:6). Borrowing upon pledge was practised largely in the time of Nehemiah, and led to very ill results. See Nehemiah ch. 5. Thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down. The reason is given in the next verse. As it could not have been worth while to take the pledge at all, if it was immediately to have been given back for good, we must suppose a practice of depositing the garment during the day, and being allowed to have it out at night. Exodus 22:26If a man should lend to one of the poor of his own people, he was not to oppress him by demanding interest; and if he gave his upper garment as a pledge, he was to give it him back towards sunset, because it was his only covering; as the poorer classes in the East use the upper garment, consisting of a large square piece of cloth, to sleep in. "It is his clothing for his skin:" i.e., it serves for a covering to his body. "Wherein shall he lie?" i.e., in what shall be wrap himself to sleep? (cf. Deuteronomy 24:6, Deuteronomy 24:10-13). - With Exodus 22:28. God directs Himself at once to the hearts of the Israelites, and attacks the sins of selfishness and covetousness, against which the precepts in Exodus 22:21-27 were directed in their deepest root, for the purpose of opposing all inward resistance to the promotion of His commands.
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