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Deuteronomy 15:4

Deuteronomy 15:4

Save when there shall be no poor among you
Then such a law could not take place, there would be no debts to be released; for this was never designed to screen rich persons from the payment of their just debts, or whoever were in a capacity of so doing, only such as were really poor, and unable to pay; and it supposes that this might sometimes be the case, that there were none poor in Israel, or needed the benefit of such a law; and, according to the Targum of Jonathan, it is suggested there would be none, if they were observant of the commands of God: and some take it for a promise, rendering the words "nevertheless" F3, notwithstanding such a law,

there shall be no poor among you;
but then it must be understood conditionally: others interpret this as the end to be answered by this law, "to the end F4 there may be no poor among you"; by observing this law, all debts being released once in seven years, it would prevent persons falling into distress and poverty, to such a degree as to be in want, and become beggars; and Julian the emperor observes, that none of the Jews begged F5, which he attributes to the care that was taken of their poor:

for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy
God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it;
which is either a reason why there would be no poor, should they observe the commandments of the Lord; or a reason why they should release the debts of the poor because they were so greatly blessed with a fruitful land, which brought them such an increase, as enabled them to free their poor debtors, when in circumstances unable to pay them.


FOOTNOTES:

F3 (yk opa) "veruntamen", Munster.
F4 "To the end that there be not", Ainsworth; so the margin of the Bible.
F5 Opera, par. 2. Ep. 49. p. 204.
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