And if the man be poor, etc. - Did not this law preclude pledging entirely, especially in case of the abjectly poor? For who would take a pledge in the morning which he knew, if not redeemed, he must restore at night? However, he might resume his claim in the morning, and have the pledge daily returned, and thus keep up his property in it till the debt was discharged; see the note on Exodus 22:26. The Jews in several cases did act contrary to this rule, and we find them cuttingly reproved for it by the Prophet Amos, Amos 2:8.
None need fear that their liberality would bring them to want. Obedience to God's commandments would surely result in prosperity. “For this thing,” God said, “the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.” “Thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.” Deuteronomy 15:10, 6. MH 187.1Read in context »
Jesus bade His disciples, instead of resisting the demands of those in authority, to do even more than was required of them. And, so far as possible, they should discharge every obligation, even if it were beyond what the law of the land required. The law, as given through Moses, enjoined a very tender regard for the poor. When a poor man gave his garment as a pledge, or as security for a debt, the creditor was not permitted to enter the dwelling to obtain it; he must wait in the street for the pledge to be brought to him. And whatever the circumstances the pledge must be returned to its owner at nightfall. Deuteronomy 24:10-13. In the days of Christ these merciful provisions were little regarded; but Jesus taught His disciples to submit to the decision of the court, even though this should demand more than the law of Moses authorized. Though it should demand a part of their raiment, they were to yield. More than this, they were to give to the creditor his due, if necessary surrendering even more than the court gave him authority to seize. “If any man would go to law with thee,” He said, “and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” R.V. And if the couriers require you to go a mile with them, go two miles. MB 72.1
Jesus added, “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” The same lesson had been taught through Moses: “Thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: but thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.” Deuteronomy 15:7, 8. This scripture makes plain the meaning of the Saviour's words. Christ does not teach us to give indiscriminately to all who ask for charity; but He says, “Thou shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need;” and this is to be a gift, rather than a loan; for we are to “lend, hoping for nothing again.”. MB 72.2Read in context »