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Question:

What do you think it means when the Bible speaks of not
putting one's money out to usury as in Psalms 15:5
"He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against
the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

Answer:

Usury is interest of any nature in the Bible. We use the term to mean unreasonable interest.  It could not be charged by an Israelite to an Israelite. 

Exodus 22:25  If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

They could charge interest to a stranger:
Deuteronomy 23:19  Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:
Deuteronomy 23:20  Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.


Psalm 15:5 would have to be considered in the light of these other Scriptures and would have to do with lending to other Israelites who are poor. 

The Lord criticized a servant who could have invested money and gotten interest who did not do it. 
Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

My personal conviction is that Christians should never charge another poor Christian interest.  I would go further and say that anytime you are making money off of someone who needs the money to meet daily expenses because they are poor you should not charge interest.  How are they going to pay the interest if they didn't have the money to pay  the bill in the first place? 

However, when we are making an investment where the person using the money should get a rate of return that exceeds the interest we are charging them, that is a different story.  Then it is ok to charge interest.

So when you are helping the poor, particularly the Christian poor, do not charge interest.  (You might even want to consider making a gift to the person).  But if you are making an investment in a business that will use the money to make more money than they could have made without it, that is not the usury that is condemned by the Lord.

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