Why would the Bible say more about Lending than Borrowing?

Individuals can own & control the most important & most profitable business in the world…again.

Austin L Garner
11 min readAug 27, 2021
Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

Luke 19:23 — “Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?”

A Bank, or Banking, as known in ancient Israel was a table, bench, or counter on which ancient moneychangers (bankers) displayed their products. Also, the shop or building in which financial transactions were conducted. The word “bank,” as known for a banking institution, was not part of their vocabulary but was the same word for dinner table.

Trapeza (greek) — a table on which food is placed, an eating place; the table in the temple at Jerusalem on which the consecrated loaves were placed; equivalent to the food placed upon the table; to set a table; put food before one; a banquet, feast; the table or stand of a money changer, where he sits, exchanging different kinds of money for a fee, and paying back with interest loans or deposits

Even though “bank” wasn’t part of their language, the banking concept has always been in place. Banking happens even without a centralized currency. Sometimes people would lend agricultural produce in exchange for other valuable goods or services and charge a fee.

Leviticus 25:37— You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.

Banking is the movement of money/value individually, locally, nationally, and globally. Banks are the facilitators of that movement. Bankers are representatives of the bank who put the bank capital to work earning profit. Banking is the most important business in the world, and the most profitable. Therefore, God put specific parameters on banking throughout scripture. God established the banking and financial regulations in the Mosaic Law before Israel was even established as a country. However, because there were people, there was a need to transact and transfer value; therefore, banking has always existed. God’s intention for banking and lending was to advance human flourishing, like everything else.

Borrowing vs. Lending in the Bible


· Deut. 28:15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you: …43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.

· Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;

· Neh. 5:4 Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards.

· 1Sam. 22:2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.

· Job 24:9 The fatherless child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.

· Prov. 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

· Matt. 18:25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

· Rom. 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Borrowing Summary

Being in a position to have to borrow from someone else was a consequence of being disobedient to God. Not necessarily that God takes away resources for not obeying (though he could), but that whatever resources are available can be managed properly to produce a benefit of some kind; which God instructs us to do. The consequences may be self-inflicted.

Borrowing and not repaying is a symptom of wickedness, not wickedness itself; the wickedness is already there.

Debt can become a way for a lender to enslave a borrower. By having debt, we make decisions around it. Sometimes, it can put us in a desperate situation that needs to be handled by desperate solutions that we may not have normally chosen. We may own the property, but debt puts the control of our property in the hands of someone else until it is repaid according to the terms of the lender. Financial “slavery” is when the control of our financial wellbeing is in the hands of someone else.

It extends much further than just debt. If this “bondage” was eliminated, over time, and we as individuals were in control of our wealth, we could more fully commit to loving and caring for others the way we want to and are commanded to do.


· Ex. 22:25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.

· Lev. 25:37 You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.

· Deut. 15:2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you.

· Deut. 15:6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.

· Deut. 15:8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.

· Deut. 24:6 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.

· Deut. 24:10 When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, do not go into their house to get what is offered to you as a pledge. 11 Stay outside and let the neighbor to whom you are making the loan bring the pledge out to you.

· Deut. 28:12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.

· Psalm 37:26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.

· Psalm 112:5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.

· Prov. 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.

· Ezek. 18:7 He does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. 8 He does not lend to them at interest or take a profit from them. He withholds his hand from doing wrong and judges fairly between two parties.

· Ezek. 18:16 He does not oppress anyone or require a pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked.

· Ezek. 33:15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil — that person will surely live; they will not die.

· Neh. 5:10 I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest!

· Matt. 5:42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

· Luke 6:34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Lending Summary

The Lending Function, according to God’s law, was to be individually controlled by people obedient to Him. We can lend to take advantage of profitable business deals, but we are also to lend fairly to help others in need, not taking advantage of them. This was especially true within the communities of God’s people. A symptom for living obediently was the ability to lend to others. This was a sign of God’s blessings and provision, but also wise stewardship by the managers (us).

Who better to be leading people and nations than followers of God who truly care for the wellbeing of others?

He wants us to faithfully carry out our roles as rulers in this world for others to see God’s glorious hand at work. This responsibility is to be carried out appropriately with love and compassion for the wellbeing of others.

The whole purpose of God’s blessings is for His people to bless others, nurturing them to share God’s love, giving glory to Him. God lets us know that we don’t just give to help others; we lend to help them and He will repay us (perhaps not monetarily) for our faithfulness to Him.

Controlling the ability to lend, lending to uplift others, and fair administration of resources are associated with living righteously and obediently to God.

Our financial activities are to ‘Give Life’ not hinder or destroy it. Perhaps a significant portion should be to invest currently for profit, but also to invest eternally for greater profits to come.

Banking (not necessarily a brick-and-mortar entity) is a necessary financial service, but charging excessive fees or interest corrupts the ability to serve others in their need by taking advantage of them for profits. This creates an idol out of money rather than utilizing money as a tool to serve others.

The official banking system was first established in Israel after the Exile in Babylon. Previously people generally buried their treasures and valuables (Josh 7:21; Matt 13:44; Luke 19:20) and lent individually. During the Exile, the Jews learned the trading and banking business from the Babylonians, and some reached the highest levels in Babylonian trade and commerce.

Does this mean the commercial banking system is a pagan idea? I don’t know for sure, I’m just being facetious.

Palaces and temples were also depositories of wealth, which could have been why other wealthy nations brought their treasures to King Solomon, and other Kings throughout history. It may have been a form of “international banking” in an attempt for rulers to “diversify” wealth and create alliances. They were using their “worldly wealth to make friends” (see Luke 16:9), it just may not have been for eternal purposes.

However, God specifically commanded Kings not to amass too much gold that could lead them to deny God (This should apply to ALL Followers of Christ).

Deuteronomy 17:17 — …And he (the king) must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.

Deuteronomy 8:17–18 — Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth…

During the Roman empire in New Testament times the bank became prominent. The banker’s benches or shops stood beside other businesses. Their establishments became normalized in society.

Most bankers got into the banking business through money changing which was necessary in any city which used coins from other countries. In Israel, much foreign currency was changed into the “shekel” for the temple tax. People who needed to convert their currencies into other currencies would do so with a money changer for a fee/profit. Then the bankers would lend and invest those profits with interest.

In essence, Bankers (often called usurers) profited from other people’s transactions (money exchange), then lent the profits to gain more profit (interest) from other people’s borrowing transactions, without really investing their own capital (infinite returns).

Jesus didn’t seem to be against banking profits, but he did condemn taking advantage of others in their desire to worship God.

Matthew 21:12–13 — And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

Money changing is less common to daily living in 2021, at least in the United States, but banking is mostly the same. Most individuals use banks as a storage for their income and to pay their expenses. The bank earns revenue based on other’s deposits, not their own capital, by lending and investing, earning infinite returns.

Side-note: Banks currently don’t actually lend out deposits, rather money is credited to borrowers based on the total amount of deposits at a much greater amount than deposits held. This is called Fractional Reserve Banking. For example: if I deposit $1,000, the bank may be able to lend out $10,000. I would still have full access to my $1,000, but there will be another $10,000 available for someone else to use. “Where did that money come from?”, you ask. This is what some people refer to as “printing money”. When the number of currency units (dollars) circulating in an economy increase faster than the goods and services of the economy, inflation is created. Inflation is the decreasing power of the currency over time.

For the most part though, banking has been controlled historically by individuals, with or without a centralized currency. Today it is very expensive and difficult for anyone to start and maintain a commercialized banking institution; but it is not expensive or difficult to start a small, simple, privatized banking system.

How could we possibly take over the banking/lending function so we can decide when and how to lend (including to ourselves and our loved ones)?

How could we possibly be free from financial “slavery”, and to teach and help others to do the same?

How could we limit the destructive power of inflation on our wealth?

It is challenging, if not impossible, with our current financial paradigm; but it is certainly possible and much easier than most people realize. It only requires a little time to become educated and aware, as well as some discipline and time to implement.

How much time and effort did it take for you to get where you are today?

Everything worth doing will require some effort. The hardest part to believe is that it has been available for people to utilize for hundreds of years, but it has been hidden in plain sight by financial distractions/noise. Some have used it and have been able to secure incredible outcomes. Many more need to be made aware.

It is amazing what people can do when they discover the truth and then implement it into their lives. It can produce Heavenly results.


How can individuals take control of the most important and most profitable business in the world?

How can we as individuals have control over our own capital to use how and when we want?

How can we actively participate in the deployment of our resources in our communities?

How can we partner with other like-minded people to pool our resources to maximize the impact in our communities?


By individuals owning the bank, being the banker, and teaching others how to control the banking function for themselves. When individuals have control over the banking function (deposits, withdrawals, lending, & repayment) they get to decide how to deploy their resources. A community of like-minded individuals can pool their resources more effectively and hold each other accountable to proper stewardship of resources.

I encourage anyone to discover for themselves the power of the Infinite Banking Concept as discovered, implemented, and taught for many decades by R. Nelson Nash. He eventually wrote a book titled Becoming your Own Banker: Unlock the Infinite Banking Concept. This 92-page book may be the most valuable book about personal, and community, finances other than the Bible. His second book is a great addition, titled Building your Wearhouse of Wealth. These capabilities have been available for people to utilize for centuries. It was created by like-minded people contracting together for mutual benefits. Nelson’s work is true to God’s wisdom, as laid out in scripture, for individuals to control the banking function and multiply God’s blessings to invest in His people.



Austin L Garner

Founder of Disciple Wealth Strategies (DiscipleWealthStrategies.com). Teaching God's Solution to the World's Financial Problems.