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det, det'-er: It is difficult nowadays to think of debt without associating with it the idea of interest, and even usury. Certain it is that this idea is associated with the Old Testament idea of the word, at least in the later period of Old Testament history. This is true of the New Testament entire. The Hebrew word (neshi) always carries with it the idea of "biting interest" (compare 2 Kings 4:7). The Greek words daneion (Matthew 18:27), and opheile (Matthew 18:32), may point only to the fact of indebtedness; the idea of interest, however, is clearly taught in the New Testament (compare Matthew 25:27).

Quite extensive legislation is provided in the Old Testament governing the matter of debt and debtors. Indebtedness and loaning had not, however, the commercial aspect among the Jews so characteristic of the nations surrounding Palestine. Indeed the Mosaic legislation was seemingly intended to guard against just such commercialism. It was looked upon as a misfortune to be in debt; it indicated poverty brought on probably by blighted harvests; consequently those in debt were to be looked upon with pity and dealt with in leniency. There must be no oppression of the poor under such circumstances (Exodus 22:25 Deuteronomy 23:19, 20 Ezekiel 18:18). Even where a pledge is given and received, certain restrictions are thrown around it, e.g. the creditor must not take a mill, nor a necessary garment, nor a widow's ox, etc., in pledge (Exodus 22:25-27 Deuteronomy 24:6, 10-13 Job 22:6 Amos 2:8). And further, the pledge is to be restored in some instances "before the sun goeth down" (Exodus 22:26, 27), and in all cases full redemption in the seventh and jubilee years (Nehemiah 10:31, etc.). The Jews were strictly exhorted to take no interest at all from their own nation (Exodus 22:25 Deuteronomy 23:19, 20). Strangers, however, might be charged interest (ibid.). A devout Jew would not lend money to another Jew on interest.

It would seem that as Israel came into contact with the surrounding nations, debt became increasingly a commercial matter. The Mosaic laws regarding clemency toward the poor who were compelled for the time being to become debtors were utterly disregarded, and the poor were oppressed by the rich. An illustration of the severity with which debtors came to be dealt with is to be found in 2 Kings 4:1-7, in which, because of the inability of a widow to pay a small debt contracted by her dead husband, the woman complains to the prophet that the creditors have come to sell her two children in order that the debt might be paid. Strangely the prophet, while helping the widow by miraculously multiplying the oil in order that the debt might be paid, says nothing by way of condemnation of such conduct on the part of the creditors. Are we to understand by this that commercialism had already so powerful a grip upon Israel that even to a prophet the practice had come to seem proper, or at least expected? The debtor himself or his family might be sold for debt, or the debtor might become a slave for a certain length of time until the debt was paid (Leviticus 25:39, 47 Isaiah 50:1). So oppressive had the commercial system in Israel become that the debtor cursed the creditor and the creditor the debtor (Jeremiah 15:10). Sometimes debtors were outlawed, as in the case of the men who came to David in the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:2). That the matter of borrowing and lending had assumed very grievous proportions is evident from the very sharp warnings concerning the matter in the Book of Proverbs (Proverbs 6:1; Proverbs 11:15; Proverbs 20:16, etc.).

The teaching of the New Testament on this subject is confined very largely to the parables of our Lord. Some think that the expression, "Owe no man anything" (Romans 13:8), is an absolute warning against indebtedness. Quite a noticeable advance in the matter of debts and debtors is noticed as we enter the time of the New Testament. We read of bankers, exchangers, moneychangers, interest, investments, usury (Matthew 25:16-27 John 2:13-17). The taking of interest does not seem to be explicitly condemned in the New Testament. The person of the debtor, as well as his family and lands, could be seized for non-payment of debt (Matthew 18:21-26). Indeed, the debtor was often cast into prison and tormented because of non-payment (Matthew 18:30, 34). That compassion and leniency should be exercised toward those in debt is the clear teaching of Christ in the parables of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:23-35) and the Two Debtors (Luke 7:41-43).

Figurative: Debt and debtor are used in a moral sense also as indicating the obligation of a righteous life which we owe to God. To fall short in righteous living is to become a debtor. For this reason we pray, "Forgive us our debts" (Matthew 6:12). Those who are ministered to in spiritual things are said to be debtors to those who minister to them (Romans 15:27). To make a vow to God is to put one's self in debt in a moral sense (Matthew 23:16-18; the Revised Version, margin "bound by his oath"). In a deeply spiritual sense the apostle Paul professed to be in debt to all men in that he owed them the opportunity to do them good (Romans 1:14).

The parables of Jesus as above named are rich with comforting truth. How beautiful is the willingness of God, the great and Divine Creditor, to release us from our indebtedness! Just so ought we to be imitators of the Father in heaven who is merciful.

William Evans

5533. chreopheiletes -- a debtor
... a debtor. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: chreopheiletes Phonetic
Spelling: (khreh-o-fi-let'-ace) Short Definition: a debtor Definition: a ...
// - 6k

3781. opheiletes -- a debtor
... a debtor. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: opheiletes Phonetic Spelling:
(of-i-let'-ace) Short Definition: a debtor, sinner Definition: (a) a ...
// - 7k

586. apodekatoo -- to pay a tenth of
... give, pay, or take a tithe. From apo and dekatoo; to tithe (as debtor or creditor) --
(give, pay, take) tithe. see GREEK apo. see GREEK dekatoo. ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
2326. chob -- debt
... debt. Transliteration: chob Phonetic Spelling: (khobe) Short Definition: debtor.
Word Origin from chub Definition debt NASB Word Usage debtor (1). debtor. ...
/hebrew/2326.htm - 5k

5065. nagas -- to press, drive, oppress, exact
... A primitive root; to drive (an animal, a workman, a debtor, an army); by implication,
to tax, harass, tyrannize -- distress, driver, exact(-or), oppress(-or ...
/hebrew/5065.htm - 6k

5377. nasha -- to lend on interest, be a creditor
... Word Origin a prim. root Definition to lend on interest, be a creditor NASB Word
Usage debt (1), debtor (1), deceive (1), exacting (1), made (2). ...
/hebrew/5377.htm - 6k


The Christian --A Debtor
... The Christian"A Debtor. ... "What!" says some one, "I, debtor to the poor?" Yes, my lady,
thou art a debtor to the poorest man that ever walked the earth. ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 2 1856/the christiana debtor.htm

The Happy Debtor.
... V. DEDICATION and SURRENDER Hymn 67 The happy debtor. John Newton 8,6,8,6. The happy
debtor. Ten thousand talents once I owed,. And nothing had to pay; ...
// hymns/hymn 67 the happy debtor.htm

I am Greatly God's Debtor, Because He Granted Me So Much Grace...
... Section 38. I am greatly God's debtor, because he granted me so much
grace� 38. I am greatly God's debtor, because he granted ...
/.../patrick/the confession of st patrick/section 38 i am greatly.htm

The Poor Debtor.
... WORDS FOR THE WISE. THE POOR DEBTOR. "THERE ... singular. "No man should ever take
interest on money due from an unfortunate debtor.". "Indeed! ...
// for the wise/the poor debtor.htm

Long Time, My Venerable Fellow-Bishop Paulinus, have I Been Thy ...
... 1. Long time, my venerable fellow-bishop Paulinus, have I been thy Holiness's
debtor for an� 1. Long time, my venerable fellow ...
/.../augustine/on care to be had for the dead /1 long time my venerable.htm

... He said, "I am debtor both to Greeks and barbarians""to all men.[34] Now that word,
"debtor," commonly means two things: that you have received something of ...
// talks with world winners/debts.htm

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xvii. 21, "How Oft Shall My ...
... debt." Then that man free from his debt, but a bondslave of iniquity, after he had
gone out from the presence of his lord, found in his turn a debtor of his own ...
/.../sermons on selected lessons of the new testament/sermon xxxiii on the words.htm

Whether a Man Can Merit Anything from God
... 3. Again, whoever merits anything from another makes that other his debtor, since
he who owes a reward ought to render it to him who merits it. ...
/.../ and grace/article one whether a man 2.htm

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. 21,"Go, Sell that Thou Hast ...
... Thou art willing to lend to a poor man, who whenever he may repay thee will do it
with grief; but lend now to a debtor who is well able to pay, and who even ...
/.../sermons on selected lessons of the new testament/sermon xxxvi on the words.htm

Forgiven and Unforgiving
... There are three sections in it: the king and his debtor; the forgiven debtor and
his debtor; and the forgiven debtor unforgiven because unforgiving. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture b/forgiven and unforgiving.htm

Smith's Bible Dictionary


ATS Bible Dictionary

One under obligations, whether pecuniary or moral, Matthew 23:16 Romans 1:14 Galatians 5:3. If the house, cattle, or goods of a Hebrew would not meet his debts, his land might be appropriated for this purpose until the year of Jubilee, or his person might be reduced into servitude till he had paid his debt by his labor, or till the year of Jubilee, which terminated Hebrew bondage in all cases, Le 25:29-41 2 Kings 4:1 Nehemiah 5:3-5.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Various regulations as to the relation between debtor and creditor are laid down in the Scriptures.

(1.) The debtor was to deliver up as a pledge to the creditor what he could most easily dispense with (Deuteronomy 24:10, 11).

(2.) A mill, or millstone, or upper garment, when given as a pledge, could not be kept over night (Exodus 22:26, 27).

(3.) A debt could not be exacted during the Sabbatic year (Deuteronomy 15:1-15).

For other laws bearing on this relation see Leviticus 25:14, 32, 39; Matthew 18:25, 34.

(4.) A surety was liable in the same way as the original debtor (Proverbs 11:15; 17:18).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) One who owes a debt; one who is indebted; -- correlative to creditor.
Debtor (7 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Various regulations as to the relation between debtor
and creditor are laid down in the Scriptures. ... DEBT; DEBTOR. ...
/d/debtor.htm - 16k

Loan (9 Occurrences)
... The Hebrew debtor could not be retained in bondage longer than the seventh year,
or at farthest the year of jubilee (Exodus 21:2; Leviticus 25:39, 42), but ...
/l/loan.htm - 16k

Debt (48 Occurrences)
... DEBT; DEBTOR. det, det'-er: It is difficult nowadays to think of debt without
associating with it the idea of interest, and even usury. ...
/d/debt.htm - 28k

Lend (21 Occurrences)
... 11; 28:12, 44, borrowing and lending are taken for granted as existing in Israel,
but the creditor is required to release his Hebrew brother as debtor in the ...
/l/lend.htm - 18k

Creditor (8 Occurrences)
... 1. (n.) One who credits, believes, or trusts. 2. (n.) One who gives credit in business
matters; hence, one to whom money is due; -- correlative to debtor. Int. ...
/c/creditor.htm - 11k

Extent (15 Occurrences)
... 4. (n.) A peculiar species of execution upon debts due to the crown, under which
the lands and goods of the debtor may be seized to secure payment. ...
/e/extent.htm - 11k

Debit (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) A debt; an entry on the debtor (Dr.) side of an
account; -- mostly used adjectively; as, the debit side of an account. ...
/d/debit.htm - 7k

Bilhan (3 Occurrences)
... in the usage of the times, was an acknowledgment of the taking over or receiving
of goods or money that had to be written and signed by the debtor himself. ...
/b/bilhan.htm - 10k

Slavery (31 Occurrences)
... It is probable that a debtor, reduced to extremity, could offer himself in payment
of his debt (Leviticus 25:39), though this was forbidden in the Torath ...
/s/slavery.htm - 36k

Slave (148 Occurrences)
... It is probable that a debtor, reduced to extremity, could offer himself in payment
of his debt (Leviticus 25:39), though this was forbidden in the Torath ...
/s/slave.htm - 54k

Bible Concordance
Debtor (7 Occurrences)

Matthew 18:24 And having begun to reckon, one debtor of ten thousand talents was brought to him.

Matthew 23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

Matthew 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, he is a debtor.

Romans 1:14 I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish.

Galatians 5:3 Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Isaiah 24:2 It will be as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the creditor, so with the debtor; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest.

Ezekiel 18:7 and has not wronged any, but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has taken nothing by robbery, has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment;



Debtor: Laws Concerning

Debtor: Unclassified Scriptures Relating To

Related Terms

Loan (9 Occurrences)

Debt (48 Occurrences)

Lend (21 Occurrences)

Creditor (8 Occurrences)

Extent (15 Occurrences)

Debit (1 Occurrence)

Bilhan (3 Occurrences)

Slavery (31 Occurrences)

Slave (148 Occurrences)

Pledge (55 Occurrences)

Greeks (22 Occurrences)

Debtors (8 Occurrences)

Code (6 Occurrences)

Non-greeks (1 Occurrence)

Unwise (16 Occurrences)

Unintelligent (5 Occurrences)

Joint (12 Occurrences)

Lets (31 Occurrences)

Guilty (131 Occurrences)

Giver (21 Occurrences)

Wronged (22 Occurrences)

Foreigners (76 Occurrences)

Foolish (259 Occurrences)

Fugitive (12 Occurrences)

Term (4 Occurrences)

Tormentor (1 Occurrence)

Thoughtless (17 Occurrences)

Receiveth (48 Occurrences)

Receives (43 Occurrences)

Returns (27 Occurrences)

Restores (10 Occurrences)

Extension (2 Occurrences)

Exercised (20 Occurrences)

Discharge (30 Occurrences)

Discuss (8 Occurrences)

Delegation (5 Occurrences)

Myriad (12 Occurrences)

Principal (28 Occurrences)

Provides (18 Occurrences)

Barbarians (3 Occurrences)

Buyer (7 Occurrences)

Seller (4 Occurrences)

Seize (91 Occurrences)

Mistress (20 Occurrences)

Circumcised (58 Occurrences)

Grecians (4 Occurrences)

Robbery (18 Occurrences)

Taker (26 Occurrences)

Commits (39 Occurrences)


Adoption (5 Occurrences)

Covers (50 Occurrences)

Salvation (386 Occurrences)

Sojourner (81 Occurrences)

Oppress (57 Occurrences)

Interest (35 Occurrences)

Stripped (62 Occurrences)

Testify (110 Occurrences)

One's (59 Occurrences)

Stranger (152 Occurrences)

Spoiled (69 Occurrences)

Yea (867 Occurrences)

Naked (56 Occurrences)

Oppressed (81 Occurrences)

Maid (57 Occurrences)

Restored (77 Occurrences)

Wise (422 Occurrences)

Bound (175 Occurrences)

Violence (98 Occurrences)

Yes (511 Occurrences)

Nought (104 Occurrences)

Circumcision (98 Occurrences)

Plunder (118 Occurrences)

Hungry (56 Occurrences)

Monthly (11 Occurrences)

Sodomite (1 Occurrence)

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