LIBERTY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DIVINITY
What is usury in Nehemiah 5?
Submitted to Dr. Daniel S. Steffen, in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the completion of the course
2015 RTCH 500-B01
Introduction to Seminary Studies
James E. Thomas
October 1, 2015
Introduction to Usury in Nehemiah 5
Usury was a practice of charging interest on money that was loan to God's people. God forbade usury and, Nehemiah hastily took care of the dilemma by uniting the people to do what was right. In Nehemiah 5:14-19, Nehemiah is blessed for rebuilding the wall and is made governor. He does not use his position for his personal gain. He says, in verse nineteen ...view middle of the document...
Usury in Christianity was derived heavily from the usury in Judaism.
Preliminary possible answers
Usury in the book of Nehemiah was the charging of interest that was a practice, which came from the pagan nation of Zerubbabel as well as the Canaanite and the people of Egypt . This was a practice that was prohibited in the book of Leviticus. It was the exorbitant interest that was harsh and unloving conduct that they had towards their brethren.
From Exodus 22:24, where it is said, "If thou lend money to the poor, thou shalt not be to him moneylender, shall not lay upon him usury," it is evident that is one who lends money on usury, or carries on the business of a money-lender. Nehemiah requires, first that those who held the lands of their poorer brethren in pledge should restore them their property without delay.
Reliable evidence to support reason:
1."We are not to take advantage of their poverty for our benefit. This is the politics of biblical justice and leadership for the common good". 1
2. " It was these financial dealings and demands for repayment that Nehemiah focused on as the major issue in the crisis." 2
3. Scriptural treatment of usury as a political act, one that treats the poor within or the foreigners without as an enemy.3
4. "It is important to keep in mind that the charging of interest was a common practice in the commercial Mesopotamian civilization of early Biblical times." 4
1. Charlie Summers, "‘We are not to take advantage of their poverty for our benefit.’" Interpretation 65, no. 2 (April 2011): 184-185.
2. Carl D. Gross (1997) a claim on” instead of “to lend”. Is there any interest in Nehemiah 5?, Scandinavian Journal of the OldTestament: An International Journal of Nordic Theology, 11:2, 270-278
3. Bretherton, Luke. Source: Modern Theology, 27 no 3 Jul 2011, p 366-394. Language: English;
Publication Type: Article
4.Sutherland, John R. Source: Crux, 18 no 1 Mar 1982, p 9-14. Abstract
What is Usury in Nehemiah 5 ?
To begin thesis the question is as what is Usury in Nehemiah 5. This thesis aim is to give a clear understanding of just exactly what usury was and how it came about. The word usury is derived from both the Medieval Latin word usury, meaning "interest" or "excessive interest", and from the Latin word usury, which simply means "interest". At that point in time, the definition of usury meant the charging of interest on loans. Usury in Judaism has its roots in several Biblical passages in which the taking of interest is either forbidden, discouraged, or
scorned. The Hebrew word for interest is neshekh, which means "a bite" and is believed to refer to the exaction of interest from the point of view of the debtor. In Exodus and Leviticus text of the Bible, neshekh applies only to lending to the poor and destitute. While in Deuteronomy, the
prohibition of it is extended to include all money lending, excluding only business dealings with foreigners. Usury in...