Deuteronomy 24:6

6 Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a person’s livelihood as security.

Deuteronomy 24:6 in Other Translations

KJV
6 No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge.
ESV
6 "No one shall take a mill or an upper millstone in pledge, for that would be taking a life in pledge.
NLT
6 “It is wrong to take a set of millstones, or even just the upper millstone, as security for a loan, for the owner uses it to make a living.
MSG
6 Don't seize a handmill or an upper millstone as collateral for a loan. You'd be seizing someone's very life.
CSB
6 "Do not take a pair of millstones or an upper millstone as security for a debt, because that is like taking a life as security.

Deuteronomy 24:6 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 24:6

No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge,
&c.] The first word being of the dual number takes in both stones, wherefore Vatablus renders the words,

``ye shall not take for a pledge both the millstones, nor indeed the uppermost;''

which is the least; so far should they be from taking both, that they were not allowed to take the uppermost, which was the shortest, meanest, and lightest; and indeed if anyone of them was taken, the other became useless, so that neither was to be taken:

for he taketh [a man's] life to pledge;
or with which his life is supported, and the life of his family; for if he has corn to supply them with, yet if his mill or millstones are pawned, he cannot grind his corn, and so he and his family must starve: and in those times and countries they did, as the Arabs do to this day, as Dr. Shaw F4 relates,

``most families grind their wheat and barley at home, having two portable millstones for that purpose; the uppermost whereof is turned round by a small handle of wood or iron, that is placed in the rim;''

and these millstones being portable, might be the more easily taken for pledges, which is here forbidden, for the above reason; and this takes in any other thing whatever, on which a man's living depends, or by which he gets his bread F5.


FOOTNOTES:

F4 Travels, p. 231. Edit. 2.
F5 Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 9. sect. 13.

Deuteronomy 24:6 In-Context

4 then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD. Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
5 If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.
6 Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a person’s livelihood as security.
7 If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.
8 In cases of defiling skin diseases, be very careful to do exactly as the Levitical priests instruct you. You must follow carefully what I have commanded them.

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