Deuteronomy 24:10-15

כִּי תַשֶּׁה בְרֵעֲךָ מַשַּׁאת מְאוּמָה לֹא תָבֹא אֶל בֵּיתוֹ לַעֲבֹט עֲבֹטוֹ: בַּחוּץ תַּעֲמֹד וְהָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה נֹשֶׁה בוֹ יוֹצִיא אֵלֶיךָ אֶת הַעֲבוֹט הַחוּצָה: וְאִם אִישׁ עָנִי הוּא לֹא תִשְׁכַּב בַּעֲבֹטוֹ: הָשֵׁב תָּשִׁיב לוֹ אֶת הַעֲבוֹט כְּבֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְשָׁכַב בְּשַׂלְמָתוֹ וּבֵרֲכֶךָּ וּלְךָ תִּהְיֶה צְדָקָה לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ: לֹא תַעֲשֹׁק שָׂכִיר עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן מֵאַחֶיךָ אוֹ מִגֵּרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּאַרְצְךָ בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ: בְּיוֹמוֹ תִתֵּן שְׂכָרוֹ וְלֹא תָבוֹא עָלָיו הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ כִּי עָנִי הוּא וְאֵלָיו הוּא נֹשֵׂא אֶת נַפְשׁוֹ וְלֹא יִקְרָא עָלֶיךָ אֶל ה' וְהָיָה בְךָ חֵטְא:

When you make a loan of any sort to your countryman, you must not enter the person's house to seize the pledge. You must remain outside, while the person to whom you made the loan brings the pledge out to you. If the person is needy, you shall not go to sleep in the pledge; you must return the pledge to the person at sundown, that s/he may sleep in his/her cloth and bless you; and it will be to your merit before Adonai your God. You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer, whether a fellow countryman or a stranger in one of the communities of your land. You must pay the persons wages on the same day, before the sun sets, for s/he is needy and urgently depends on it; else s/he will cry to Adonai against you and you will incur guilt. [JPS translation edited for gender-neutrality]


Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. This text addresses the issue of a pledge, or an item that the borrower transfers to the lender until the borrower can repay the loan as collateral. Under what grounds is the pledge seized?

2. How do these laws protect the lender? How do they protect the borrower?

3. Do we adequately protect both parties in loans today?

Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)