Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Exodus 22:26

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

If thou - take thy neighbor's raiment to pledge - It seems strange that any pledge should be taken which must be so speedily restored; but it is very likely that the pledge was restored by night only, and that he who pledged it brought it back to his creditor next morning. The opinion of the rabbins is, that whatever a man needed for the support of life, he had the use of it when absolutely necessary, though it was pledged. Thus he had the use of his working tools by day, but he brought them to his creditor in the evening. His hyke, which serves an Arab as a plaid does a Highlander, (See Clarke's note on Exodus 12:34;), was probably the raiment here referred to: it is a sort of coarse blanket, about six yards long, and five or six feet broad, which an Arab always carries with him, and on which he sleeps at night, it being his only substitute for a bed. As the fashions in the east scarcely ever change, it is very likely that the raiment of the Israelites was precisely the same with that of the modern Arabs, who live in the very same desert in which the Hebrews were when this law was given. How necessary it was to restore the hyke to a poor man before the going down of the sun, that he might have something to repose on, will appear evident from the above considerations. At the same time, the returning it daily to the creditor was a continual acknowledgment of the debt, and served instead of a written acknowledgment or bond; as we may rest assured that writing, if practiced at all before the giving of the law, was not common: but it is most likely that it did not exist.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The law regarding pledges is expanded, Deuteronomy 24:6, Deuteronomy 24:10-13.

Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 310-1

The minds of the people, blinded and debased by slavery and heathenism, were not prepared to appreciate fully the far-reaching principles of God's ten precepts. That the obligations of the Decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional precepts were given, illustrating and applying the principles of the Ten Commandments. These laws were called judgments, both because they were framed in infinite wisdom and equity and because the magistrates were to give judgment according to them. Unlike the Ten Commandments, they were delivered privately to Moses, who was to communicate them to the people. PP 310.1

The first of these laws related to servants. In ancient times criminals were sometimes sold into slavery by the judges; in some cases, debtors were sold by their creditors; and poverty even led persons to sell themselves or their children. But a Hebrew could not be sold as a slave for life. His term of service was limited to six years; on the seventh he was to be set at liberty. Manstealing, deliberate murder, and rebellion against parental authority were to be punished with death. The holding of slaves not of Israelitish birth was permitted, but their life and person were strictly guarded. The murderer of a slave was to be punished; an injury inflicted upon one by his master, though no more than the loss of a tooth, entitled him to his freedom. PP 310.2

The Israelites had lately been servants themselves, and now that they were to have servants under them, they were to beware of indulging the spirit of cruelty and exaction from which they had suffered under their Egyptian taskmasters. The memory of their own bitter servitude should enable them to put themselves in the servant's place, leading them to be kind and compassionate, to deal with others as they would wish to be dealt with. PP 310.3

The rights of widows and orphans were especially guarded, and a tender regard for their helpless condition was enjoined. “If thou afflict them in any wise,” the Lord declared, “and they cry at all unto Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” Aliens who united themselves with Israel were to be protected from wrong or oppression. “Thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” PP 310.4

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 188

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures of length, of weight, or of quantity.” “Thou shalt not have in thy bag diverse weights, a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thy house diverse measures, a great and a small.” “Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have.” Leviticus 19:35, A.R.V.; Deuteronomy 25:13, 14, A.R.V.; Leviticus 19:36, A.R.V. MH 188.1

“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth.” Matthew 5:42; Psalm 37:21. MH 188.2

“Give counsel, execute justice; make thy shade as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; betray not the fugitive.” “Let Mine outcasts dwell with thee; ... be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler.” Isaiah 16:3 (A.R.V.), 4. MH 188.3

The plan of life that God gave to Israel was intended as an object lesson for all mankind. If these principles were carried out today, what a different place this world would be! MH 188.4

Within the vast boundaries of nature there is still room for the suffering and needy to find a home. Within her bosom there are resources sufficient to provide them with food. Hidden in the depths of the earth are blessings for all who have courage and will and perseverance to gather her treasures. MH 188.5

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 647-8

God had also instructed through Moses: “If thou lend money to any of My people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer.” “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury.” Exodus 22:25; Deuteronomy 23:19. Again He had said, “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, 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.” “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” Deuteronomy 15:7, 8, 11. PK 647.1

At times following the return of the exiles from Babylon, the wealthy Jews had gone directly contrary to these commands. When the poor were obliged to borrow to pay tribute to the king, the wealthy had lent them money, but had exacted a high rate of interest. By taking mortgages on the lands of the poor, they had gradually reduced the unfortunate debtors to the deepest poverty. Many had been forced to sell their sons and daughters into servitude; and there seemed no hope of improving their condition, no way to redeem either their children or their lands, no prospect before them but ever-increasing distress, with perpetual want and bondage. Yet they were of the same nation, children of the same covenant, as their more favored brethren. PK 647.2

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