Lending money on interest Proverbs 6:1-5

When the Mosaic law was instituted, commerce had not been taken up by the Israelites, and the lending of money on interest for its employment in trade was a thing unknown. The only occasion for loans would be to supply the immediate necessities of the borrower, and the exaction of interest under such circumstances would be productive of great hardship, involving the loss of land, and even of personal freedom, as the insolvent debtor and his family became the slaves of the creditor (Neh_5:1-5). To prevent these evils, the lending of money on interest to any poor Israelite was strictly forbidden (Lev_25:1-55.); the people were enjoined to be liberal, and to lend for nothing in such cases. But at the time of Solomon, when the commerce of the Israelites was enormously developed, and communications were opened with Spain and Egypt, and possibly with India and Ceylon, while caravans penetrated beyond the Euphrates, then the lending of money on interest for employment in trade most probably became frequent, and suretyship also--the pledging of a man’s own credit to enable his friend to procure a loan. (Ellicott’s Commentary.)