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Leviticus 25

Leviticus 25:35-38

35. And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him; yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner: that he may live with thee.

35. Si attenuatus fuerit frater tuus, et vacillaverit manus ejus apud te, fulcies illum (vel, apprehendes ut sustineas): peregrinum et advenam: et vivet tecum.

36. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.

36. Non accipies usuram ab eo et augmentum: sed timebis Deum tuum: vivetque frater apud te.

37. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.

37. Pecuniam tuam non dabis ei ad usuram, nec cum augmento dabis escam tuam.

38. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.

38. Ego Jehova Deus vester qui eduxi vos de terra AEgypti, ut darem vobis terram Chanann, ac essem vobis in Deum.

Deuteronomy 23

Deuteronomy 23:19, 20

19. Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury.

19. Non foenerabis fratri tuo foenus pecuniae, foenus cibi, foenus cujuscunque rei in qua foenus exercetur.

20. Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury, but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend. upon usury; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

20. Extraneo foenerabis, ac fratri tuo non foenerabis: ut benedicat tibi Jehova Deus tuus in omni applicatione manus tuae super terram ad quam ingrederis, ut possideas eam.


From these passages we learn that it is not enough to refrain from taking the goods of another, unless we also constantly exercise humanity and mercy in the relief of the poor. Heathen authors also saw this, although not with sufficient clearness, (when they declared 109109     Added from Fr. “Atque ita placet Stoicis, quae in terris gignuntur ad usum hominum omnia creari, homines autem hominum causa esse generatos, ut ipsi inter se aliis alii prodesse possent.” — Cic. de Off. 1:7. ) that, since all men are born for the sake of each other, human society is not properly maintained, except by an interchange of good offices. Wherefore, that we may not defraud our neighbors, and so be accounted thieves in God’s sight, let us learn, according to our several means, to be kind to those who need our help; for liberality is a part of righteousness, so that he must be deservedly held to be unrighteous who does not relieve the necessities of his brethren when he can. This is the tendency of Solomon’s exhortation, that

“we should drink waters out of our own cistern, 110110     It will be seen that these verses are abbreviated, and slightly paraphrased by C. His exposition of them, which is not the ordinary one, agrees with that of Junins in Poole’s Syn. and that our fountains should be dispersed abroad amongst our neighbors,” (Proverbs 5:15, 16;)

for, after he has enjoined us each to be contented with what is our own, without seeking to enrich ourselves by the loss of others, he adds that those who have abundance do not enjoy their possessions as they ought, unless they communicate them to the poor for the relief of their poverty. For this is the reason, as Solomon tells us elsewhere, why “the rich and the poor meet together; and the Lord is the maker of them all.” (Proverbs 22:2.)

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