In biblcal usage charging interest on a loan distinguishes friendly or family lending from commercial loans, which (whether the interest is small or large) were termed usury. Modern usage understands usury as charging excessive interest. In a monetary economy interest is necessary to protect the property of the lender, however in a subsistence economy charging interest means the debtor can perhaps never repay the loan! (See poverty.)
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
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