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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Usury, an unlawful contract for the loan of money, to be returned again with exorbitant increase. By the laws of Moses the Israelites were forbidden to take usury from their brethren upon the loan of money, victuals, or anything else, not, it has been observed by Michaelis, as if he absolutely and in all cases condemned the practice, for he expressly permitted interest to be taken from strangers, and from the Canaanites, but only out of favor to the poorer classes. After the return of the Jews from captivity, they were required by Nehemiah to 'leave off this usury,' and to restore to their brethren what they had exacted from them—'their lands, their vineyards, their olive-yards, and their houses; also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil' (). Our Savior denounced all extortion, and promulgated a new law of love and forbearance:—'Give to every man that asketh of thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.' 'Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again' (; ).





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Usury'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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