Updated: Jun 29
The Biblical authors do not shy away from addressing issues that are personal or scandalous as seen in Deuteronomy 23, that covers prostitution and personal hygiene along with other things. The chapter ends with two behavioral appeals that appear counterintuitive to the business community.
The first appeal is to lend money without charging interest to a brother, but a foreigner, usually were people doing a business transaction as they journeyed through the region, can be charged interest. Today, interest payments are big business strategies. In 2018, over $104 billion was charged as interests and fees in the United States.* Moses’ appeal is not to stop business, but it is to stop exploitation. He does not want us to lend money with interest to someone who is in need.
The second appeal is to let anyone, not just the poor, entering a grain field to eat freely but they are not to gather the grain in a basket for later consumption. On the first glance it looks like strangers can walk into anyone's field and eat their crop, bankrupting the owner. But the generosity of the owner, the person holding the wealth, will be honored by God. This sacrificial behavior is the difference between those who follow religious norms and those who live by faith, trusting God.