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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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Lenaus, Johann Canutus
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Lenet, Philibert Bernard
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(represented by several Heb. words which in other forms likewise signify to borrow, e.g. לָוָה , lavah'; גָשָׁה; = עָבִט ,abat'; Gr. . δανείζω, χράω ). Among the Israelites, in the time of Moses, it must have been very common to lend on pledge, in the strict sense, according to the meaning of the word in natural law, which allows the creditor, in case of non-payment, to appropriate the pledge to his own behoof, without any authoritative interference of a magistrate, and to keep it just as rightfully as if it had been bought with the sum which has been lent for it, and which remains unpaid. But while pledges are under no judicial regulation, much extortion and villainy may be practiced, when the poor man who wishes to borrow is in straits, and must of course submit to all the terms of the opulent lender. It will not be imputed to Moses as a fault that his statutes contain not those legal refinements, which probably were not then invented, and which even yet may be said rather to be on record in our statute-books than to be in our practice. They would have been dangerous to his people, and peculiarly oppressive to the poor. He let pledge remain in its proper sense, pledge, and thus facilitated the obtaining of loans, satisfying himself with making laws against some of the chief abuses of pledging (Michaelis, Mos. Recht.). See PLEDGE. These laws may be found in Exodus 22:25; Deuteronomy 24:6; Deuteronomy 24:10-13. By the analogy of these laws, other sorts of pledges equally, if not more indispensable, such as the utensils necessary for agriculture, or the ox and ass used for the plow, must certainly, and with equal, and even greater reason, have been restored. The law in Deuteronomy 24:12-13, is expressed in such general terms, that we cannot but see that the pledge under which the debtor must sleep is merely given as an example, and conclude, of course, that, in general, from the needy no pledge was to be exacted, the want of which might expose him to an inconvenience or hardship, more especially when we find the lawgiver here declaring that God would regard the restoration of such pledges as almsgiving, or righteousness. So it was in fact, and at the same time it was attended with no loss whatever to the creditor; for he had it in his power, at last, by the aid of summary justice, to lay hold of the whole property of the debtor, and if he had none, of his person; and in the event of non- payment, to take him for a hired servant. The law gave him sufficient security; but with this single difference, that he durst not make good payment at his own hand, but must prosecute (Leviticus 25:39-55; Nehemiah 5:5). See DEBT. In the book of Job, the character of a lender upon pledge is thus depicted: "He extorts pledges without having lent, and makes his debtors go naked" (Job 22:6; Job 24:7); "He takes the widow's ox for a pledge" (Job 24:3); "He takes the infant of the needy for a pledge" (Job 24:9-11). On this subject our Savior exhorted his disciples to the most liberal and forbearing course towards all whom they could aid or who were indebted to them (Luke 6:30-35). (See LOAN); (See USURY).

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Lend'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​l/lend.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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