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Deuteronomy 24:10 NASB

10 “When you make your neighbor a loan of any kind, you shall not enter his house to take his pledge. 11 You shall stand outside, and the person to whom you are making the loan shall bring the pledge outside to you.

Why is one not allowed to enter the house to collect the pledge?

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  • Are you seeking the spiritual reason behind the legal requirement ? I take it that the practical reason is that the lender should not assert a right to property (the house or contents) other than the pledge backing the loan. (Up-voted +1.) I shall ponder the spiritual reason . . . . . – Nigel J Apr 8 at 7:06
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    @NigelJ,seeking the spiritual reason – collen ndhlovu Apr 8 at 7:54
  • There is a hint that the 'pledge', of the giving of the Holy Spirit (the 'earnest') does not grant us access to the (eventual) dwelling place of the Lord, even though we invest (ourselves) with him. We must wait until all is resolved ere we enter in to the gates of Zion for ever. This is just a hint and this is just an interpretation, so just a comment for you, Mr Ndhlovu, not a proper answer. Regards. – Nigel J Apr 9 at 6:15
  • @NigelJ,Thank you – collen ndhlovu Apr 9 at 6:22
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There were several reasons for this and all revolved around the fact that the borrower was almost always poor and the lender relatively wealthy. The reasons for not entering the borrower's home were several:

  1. The borrower did not need to expose the extent of his poverty by the lender seeing the scarcity of the belongings
  2. Avoid any ridicule which might ensure from the lender who were often displayed a harsh and demeaning attitude
  3. Remove the possibility of the lender seeing something more valuable to forcibly take as a pledge which the borrower cannot spare.
  4. To allow the borrower some control by allowing him to choose what to give as a pledge
  5. To otherwise maximize the dignity of the embarrassed borrower by displaying respect for the borrower's home and personal space and thus avoid the appearance of surly superiority of the lender.

In other words, teat people in need under all circumstances with dignity and respect and avoid any semblance of denigrating or derogatory behavior. This verse is part of a slew of such instructions to treat the needy with compassion and respect such as Zech 7:4-14 - Show mercy and compassion, do not oppress widows, orphans, alien, and poor. See also Ex 23:11, Prov 3:27, 28, 11:24, 25, 14:31, 17:5, 19:17, 21:13, 22:2, 9, 16, 22, 23, 28:3, 8, 27, 29:7, 13, 31:9, 20, Isa 10:1, 2, 58:1-21, Jer 7:3-6, Amos 4:10, Micah 6:8, Matt 23:23, Acts 4:32-35, Gal 2:10, James 1:27.

  • He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Prov 14:31.

Benson comments as follows:

Deuteronomy 24:10-13. Thou shalt not go in — To prevent both the poor man’s reproach, by having his wants exposed, and the creditor’s greediness, which might be occasioned by the sight of something which he desired, and the debtor could not spare.

The pulpit commentary observes this:

If one had to take a pledge from another, he was not to go into the house of the latter and take what he thought fit; he must stand without, and allow the debtor to bring to him what he saw meet to offer. He might stand outside and summon the debtor to produce his pledge, but he was not insolently to enter the house and lay hands on any part of the owner's property. To stand outside and call is still a common mode of seeking access to a person in his own house or apartment among the Arabs, and is regarded as the only respectful mode. There would be thus a mitigation of the severity of the exaction, the tendency of which would be to preserve good feeling between the parties.

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