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We Lend Our Money to Fellow Believers Without Charging Interest

Psalm 15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

15 O Jehovah, who may be a guest[1] in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy mountain?

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with[2] his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who[3] honors those who fear Jehovah;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest,[4]
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be shaken.

Of course, money loaned out for business purposes is the exception to this principle. David in this Psalm was referring to when we give money to those living or falling into poverty. Exodus 22:25 specifically says, “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.” We also find an account in Nehemiah where he discovered the poor being taken advantage of by others who were using them for ill-gotten gains, and he brought this to a stop. Nehemiah 5:1-13.

As an aside, of interest, is David’s choice of words, for the Hebrew word he used is a derivative of another one that signifies “to bite.” In other words, those greedy usurers were chewing up and devouring the destitute to line their pockets. We should rather live by the principles that Jesus outlined for us at Luke 14:12-14, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” If it is our desire to be a friend of God and to dwell with him, we should never take advantage of those who are struggling financially.

Max Anders writes,

David lists the sixth couplet, focusing upon how the person who brings his tithe to God in worship uses his money. A genuine worshiper is one who lends his money without usury. He is a believer who does not take advantage of the person who must borrow. Taking interest from fellow Israelites was strictly forbidden by the Mosaic Law (Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:36). Strict regulations on borrowing and lending money were instituted by the Lord (Deut. 23:19–20; 24:10–13).—Anders, Max; Lawson, Steven. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms: 11 (p. 81). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.

[1] Lit sojourn

[2] Lit according to

[3] Lit he

[4] I.e. not to the destitute