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If we took the first part of Psalm 15:5a which states "He does Not put out his money at interest" to be understood by and in itself then in my opinion, we would be taking said fragment verse out of context.

Psalm 15:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 5 He does Not put out his money [a]at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

Psalm 15:5 English Standard Version (ESV) 5 who does Not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.

Psalm 15:5 New King James Version (NKJV) 5 He who does Not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.

Psalm 15:5 King James Version (KJV) 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.

If we took the first part of Psalm 15:5a which states "He does Not put out his money at interest" to be understood by and in itself then in my opinion, we would be taking said fragment verse out of context. The reason being is that we have other verses in the bible like:

Exodus 22:25 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 25 “If you lend money to My people, to the poor [a]among you, you are not to [b]act as a creditor to him; you shall not [c]charge him interest.

Leviticus 25:35-37 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
35 ‘Now in case a [d]countryman of yours becomes poor and his [e]means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Do not take [f]usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your [g]countryman may live with you. 37 You shall not give him your silver at interest, nor your food for gain.

However, would it be reasonable/acceptable to associate the fragment verse "He does Not put out his money at interest" with "against the innocent"? I'm assuming this because both are in the same sentence. Would said association be correct?

Psalm 15:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
5 He does Not put out his money [a]at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

Update: I was just wondering what the WLC Hebrew actually says:

תהילים 15:5 כַּסְפּ֤וֹ׀ לֹא־נָתַ֣ן בְּנֶשֶׁךְ֮ וְשֹׁ֥חַד עַל־נָקִ֗י לֹ֥א לָ֫קָ֥ח עֹֽשֵׂה־אֵ֑לֶּה לֹ֖א יִמּ֣וֹט לְעוֹלָֽם׃

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This is how NIV shows the poetic structure:

Line 1: who lends money to the poor without interest;
Line 2:  who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Line 3: Whoever does these things
Line 4:    will never be shaken.

The first two lines form a synonymous parallelism. The 2nd line repeats the same idea in the 1st line. You can rearrange the order of the words to see the parallelism more clearly:

who lends money   without interest     to the poor
who does not accept     a bribe        against the innocent

Lines 3 and 4 adds to the idea in Lines 1 and 2 and is called a synthetic parallelism. The structure and the meanings are relatively clear.

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  • However, some other translations(i.e. KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV,etc.) do Not use the term/word 'poor'. Also, just thinking out loud in front of everyone, what does the WLC Hebrew translation say? – crazyTech Sep 7 '20 at 15:13
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(Psalm 15:5) Associate the fragment verse “He does Not put out his money at interest” with “against the innocent”?

Psalm 15:5 (NASB)

5 He does not put out his money [a]at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

5a " He does Not put out his money [a]at interest."

Money lent for business purposes can rightly be repaid with interest. But here David meant ‘giving out money’ to the destitute. The Mosaic Law specified: “If you should lend money to my people, to the afflicted alongside you, you must not become like a usurer to him. You must not lay interest upon him.”

Exodus 22:25 (NASB)

25 “If you lend money to My people, to the poor [a]among you, you are not to [b]act as a creditor to him; you shall not [c]charge him interest."

Leviticus 25:35-36 (NASB)

Of Poor Countrymen

35 ‘Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you.

5b Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent."

A bribe has a corrupting influence. The Israelites were commanded:

Deuteronomy 16:19 (NASB)

19 "You shall not distort justice; you shall not [a]be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous."

5c "He who does these things will never be shaken."

David referring to the tenth fold things in the psalm, and he who has faith and practises these things, his faith will not be shaken.

Psalm 15 (NASB)

Description of a Citizen of Zion.

A Psalm of David.

15 O Lord, who may [a]abide in Your tent?

Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, (1)

And speaks truth in his heart (2)

3 He does not slander [b]with his tongue, (3)

Nor does evil to his neighbor, (4)

Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; (5)

4 In [c]whose eyes a reprobate is despised, (6)

But [d]who honors those who fear the Lord; (7)

He swears to his own hurt and does not change; (8)

5 He does not put out his money [e]at interest, (9)

Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. (10)

He who does these things will never be shaken.

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5 who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved. (ESV)

The author lists a number of behaviors that a righteous man avoids in this psalm. Two separate items are

  1. lending money and taking interest, which is usury
  2. taking a bribe against the innocent

You quoted passages that banned usury, and they mentioned only the poor in particular. Usury was banned completely, without restriction.

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  • I understand Exodus 22:25 & Leviticus 25:35-37 because they emphasize compassion for the poor, but, if a bible reader interprets Psalm 15:5a which states "He does Not put out his money at interest" to be understood by and in itself then I would see it quite problematic because said reader would have to consider the job of being a banker who lends money with interest as being wrong/wicked. Doesn't it? – crazyTech Apr 8 '20 at 11:46
  • crazyTech David was referring to money given out to the poor, money given for businesses was repaid with interest. – Ozzie Ozzie Apr 8 '20 at 17:22
  • @ozzie-nicolas however, the Psalm 15 author does Not explicitly state that he was referring to the poor. – crazyTech Apr 8 '20 at 18:13

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