Proverbs 28:8

ESV Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
NIV Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.
NASB One who increases his wealth by interest of any kind, Collects it for one who is gracious to the poor.
CSB Whoever increases his wealth through excessive interest collects it for one who is kind to the poor.
NLT Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor.
KJV He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

What does Proverbs 28:8 mean?

This teaching speaks against charging exorbitant interest on loans: the practice of "usury." Under the law of Moses, the Israelites were forbidden to charge their fellow countrymen with usury on money, food, or anything else (Leviticus 25:36–37). Loans were intended to assist the poor, not to exploit them so the lender can become rich. The warning echoes the Bible's sentiment that earthly wealth is temporary (Proverbs 23:4–5; James 4:13–14; Luke 12:16–21). A greedy person can hoard wealth, but that wealth does not follow them to the afterlife. Hopefully, their heir will be more generous (Proverbs 13:22).

Ill-gotten gain through usury will ultimately pass into the hands of the person who is generous to the poor. Justice will overcome injustice. In Jesus' day, tax collectors, sometimes called "publicans," were notorious offenders of this proverb's lesson. They collected taxes for the Romans who occupied Israel around the time of the Gospels. The Romans allowed the collectors to add additional charges, as payment to the collectors. Many abused this privilege to line their own pockets. Their reputation was so horrendous that being a tax collector was as offensive as being a prostitute. Zacchaeus, a tax collector, became a follower of Jesus. To compensate victims of his prior sins, he was willing to give half of his wealth to the poor, and to give back four times what he had taken unfairly (Luke 19:8).
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