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25 “If you lend money to any of[a] my people who are needy among you, do not be like a moneylender[b] to him; do not charge[c] him interest.[d] 26 If you do take[e] the garment of your neighbor in pledge, you must return it to him by the time the sun goes down,[f] 27 for it is his only covering—it is his garment for his body.[g] What else can he sleep in?[h] And[i] when he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am gracious.

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  1. Exodus 22:25 tn “any of” has been supplied.
  2. Exodus 22:25 sn The moneylender will be demanding and exacting. In Ps 109:11 and 2 Kgs 4:1 the word is rendered as “extortioner.”
  3. Exodus 22:25 tn Heb “set.”
  4. Exodus 22:25 sn In ancient times money was lent primarily for poverty and not for commercial ventures (H. Gamoran, “The Biblical Law against Loans on Interest,” JNES 30 [1971]: 127-34). The lending to the poor was essentially a charity, and so not to be an opportunity to make money from another person’s misfortune. The word נֶשֶׁךְ (neshekh) may be derived from a verb that means “to bite,” and so the idea of usury or interest was that of putting out one’s money with a bite in it (See S. Stein, “The Laws on Interest in the Old Testament,” JTS 4 [1953]: 161-70; and E. Neufeld, “The Prohibition against Loans at Interest in the Old Testament,” HUCA 26 [1955]: 355-412).
  5. Exodus 22:26 tn The construction again uses the infinitive absolute with the verb in the conditional clause to stress the condition.
  6. Exodus 22:26 tn The clause uses the preposition, the infinitive construct, and the noun that is the subjective genitive—“at the going in of the sun.”
  7. Exodus 22:27 tn Heb “his skin.”
  8. Exodus 22:27 tn Literally the text reads, “In what can he lie down?” The cloak would be used for a covering at night to use when sleeping. The garment, then, was the property that could not be taken and not given back—it was the last possession. The modern idiom of “the shirt off his back” gets at the point being made here.
  9. Exodus 22:27 tn Heb “and it will be.”

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