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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 15:4

 

 

"However, there will be no poor among you, since the LORD will surely bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess,

Adam Clarke Commentary

There shall be no poor - That is, comparatively; see Deuteronomy 15:11.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

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"F3אפס כי "veruntamen", Munster. , 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 endF4"To the end that there be not", Ainsworth; so the margin of the Bible. 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 beggedF5Opera, par. 2. Ep. 49. p. 204. , 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.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

b Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it:

(b) For if your debtor is rich, he may be forced to pay.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/deuteronomy-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Save when there shall be no poor man among you — Apparently a qualifying clause added to limit the application of the foregoing statement [Deuteronomy 15:3 ]; so that “the brother” to be released pointed to a poor borrower, whereas it is implied that if he were rich, the restoration of the loan might be demanded even during that year. But the words may properly be rendered (as on the Margin) to the end, in order that there may be no poor among you - that is, that none be reduced to inconvenient straits and poverty by unseasonable exaction of debts at a time when there was no labor and no produce, and that all may enjoy comfort and prosperity, which will be the case through the special blessing of God on the land, provided they are obedient.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/deuteronomy-15.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Only that there shall be no poor with thee .” יהיה is jussive, like the foregoing imperfects. The meaning in this connection is, “Thou needest not to remit a debt to foreigners in the seventh year; thou hast only to take care that there is no poor man with or among thee, that thou dost not cause or increase their poverty, by oppressing the brethren who have borrowed of thee.” Understood in this way, the sentence is not at all at variance with Deuteronomy 15:11, where it is stated that the poor would never cease out of the land. The following clause, “for Jehovah will bless thee,” etc., gives a reason for the main thought, that they were not to press the Israelitish debtor. The creditor, therefore, had no need to fear that he would suffer want, if he refrained from exacting his debt from his brother in the seventh year.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/deuteronomy-15.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:

Save when there shall be no poor — The words may be rendered thus, as in the margin of our Bibles, To the end that there be no poor among you. And so they contain a reason of this law, namely, that none be impoverished and ruined by a rigid exaction of debts.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/deuteronomy-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 15:4 Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it:

Ver. 4. Save when there shall be no poor.] Here, as in sundry other places of the new translation, the margin is better than the text, as giving a good reason of the former law, To the end that there be no poor amongst you, that is, extreme poor by your exactions. Of a cruel creditor it is said, [Psalms 10:9] that "he lieth in wait to catch the poor; he doth catch the poor when he draws him into his net," that is, into bonds, debts, mortgages, as Chrysostom expounds it.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

When there shall be no poor: so the words are an exception to the foregoing clause, which they restrain to the poor, and imply that if his brother was rich, he might exact his debt of him in that year. And indeed this law seems to be chiefly, if not wholly, designed and given in favour to the poor and to the borrower, as is manifest from Deuteronomy 15:6-11. But the words are and may be rendered thus, as in the margin of our Bibles, To the end that there be no poor among you. And so they contain a reason of this law, to wit, that none be impoverished and ruined by a rigid and unseasonable exaction of debts. They may also be translated thus, Nevertheless of a truth, or assuredly, (as the particle chi is oft used,) there shall be no poor along you; and the sense may be this, Though I impose this law upon you, which may seem hard and grievous, yet the truth is, supposing your performance of the conditions of God’s covenant, you shall not have any great occasion to exercise your charity and kindness in this matter, for God will greatly bless you, &c., so as you shall be in a capacity of lending, and few or none of you will have need to borrow, and thereby to expose his brethren to the inconvenience and burden of this law. Thus the connexion is plain and easy, both with the foregoing and following words.

Object. It is said, the poor should never cease, Deuteronomy 15:11.

Answ. That also is true, and affirmed by God, because he foresaw they would not perform their duty, and therefore would bereave themselves of the promised blessing.

The Lord shall greatly bless thee; and therefore this will be no great inconvenience nor burden to thee.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4. Save when there shall be no poor among you — The literal rendering of the passage is, Except that there shall yet be with thee a poor man. The meaning seems simply to be, “Thou must release the debt for the year except when there be no poor person concerned, a contingency which may happen, for the Lord shall greatly bless thee.” — Speaker’s Commentary.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-15.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Deuteronomy 15:4. Save when there shall be no poor — The words may be rendered thus, as in the margin of our Bibles: To the end that there be no poor among you. And so they contain a reason of this law; namely, that none be empoverished and ruined by a rigid exaction of debts. For the Lord shall greatly bless thee — If in this and other things you be obedient, God will so abundantly bless you that you shall be well able to forbear the requiring of your debts on the sabbatic year.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

There shall be no poor, &c. It is not to be understood as a promise, that there should be no poor in Israel, as appears from ver. 11, where we learn that God's people would never be at a loss to find objects for their charity: but it is an ordinance that all should do their best endeavours to prevent any of their brethren from suffering the hardships of poverty and want. (Challoner) --- Beggar, is not expressed, though it be implied in Hebrew or the Septuagint, which connect this with the preceding verse, (Haydock) "because (or save when) there shall be no poor among you;" as if the rich could not derive the benefit from the remission of debts. (Vatable) --- God had made abundant provision for the poor. He might have prevented any from falling into distress. (Calmet) --- But he suffered this sometimes to take place, to try the dispositions both of the rich and of the poor. (Haydock) --- If they had faithfully complied with his laws, he would not have permitted them to fall into the last degree of misery. (Calmet) --- He allows no public begging, which all well regulated nations discountenance. (Menochius) --- The Jews carefully relieve their brethren. They gather alms, and one of the judges distributes what may be sufficient for the ensuing week. (Leo, p. i. c. 14.) --- Those who refused to give according to their abilities, were formerly ordered by the Sanhedrim to be scourged, till they had complied with their duty; and sometimes, things were taken forcibly from their houses. (Maimonides) --- They relieve the distressed in proportion to their former condition. (Selden, Jur. vi. 6.)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Save when. This rendering not in any ancient version. Authorized Version margin has "that there be no poor", &c. Revised Version = howbeit. Compare Deuteronomy 15:11, shall never cease: i.e. or die from your neglect; which would be the case if these laws were not carried out.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/deuteronomy-15.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:

Save when there shall be no poor among you - apparently a qualifying clause added to limit the application of the foregoing statement; so that borrower; whereas it is implied that if he were rich, the restoration of the loan might be demanded even during that year. But the words may properly be rendered (as on margin) to the end, in order that there may be no poor among you - i:e., that none be reduced to inconvenient straits and poverty by unseasonable exaction of debts, at a time when there was no labour and no produce, and that all may enjoy comfort and prosperity, which will be the case through the special blessing of God on the land, provided they are obedient.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/deuteronomy-15.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Save when there shall be no poor (man) among you.—This clause is the source of a very interesting passage in the Acts of the Apostles, Deuteronomy 4:34, “Great grace was upon them all, for neither was there among them any (one) that lacked” The words at the beginning of the verse in Hebrew, “save when” may also be rendered (as in the Margin) “to the end that,” or “to such an extent that there shall be no poor man among you.” Those who can well afford to pay need not be excused from their obligations.

For the Lord thy God shall greatly bless thee.—So in Acts 4:33, “Great grace was upon them all.” The blessing need not be equal and universal prosperity, if those who have the good things of this world will always remember the poor to such an extent that no member of the community shall be left in want.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:
Save, etc
or, To the end that there be no poor among you. Houbigant follows this marginal reading, to which he joins the end of the third verse, considering it as explanatory of the law; as if he had said, "Thou shalt not exact the debt that is due from thy brother, but thy hand shall release him, for this reason, that there may be no poor among you through your severity." He justly contends that the phrase ephes kee, can here only mean, "to the end that," being equivalent to the French afin que.
greatly bless
14:29; 28:1-8,11; Proverbs 11:24,25; 14:21; 28:27; Isaiah 58:10,11

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-15.html.

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