Devarim 15:6 says "For the Lord, your God, has blessed you, as He spoke to you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you." (Judaica Press translation)

Why isn't borrowing from non-Jews forbidden because of this verse?

  • 1
    Similarly, why isn't being ruled over by non-Jews forbidden and all the residents of Europe and America must declare independence?
    – Double AA
    Feb 12, 2019 at 0:25
  • Maybe it was balanced out by HaShem's command in Shemot 3:22 to borrow plenty of stuff from the Egyptians?
    – Gary
    Feb 12, 2019 at 0:50

1 Answer 1


This is not a command, it is a blessing that will occur as a result of following the halachos of Shmittah which preceded this verse. It is not that you will be forbidden to borrow, but that you will be totally independent and not need to borrow. Indeed, you will be so free and affluent that others who need will come to you for help.

Rav Hirsch translates the pasuk as

If then Hashem, your Hashem hath blessed thee as He promised thee, thou wilt make many nations indebted unto thee, but tho wilt not become indebted, and thou wilt be master over many nations, but over thee they will not be master.

Rav Hirsch in his commentary explains that this is a situation that will arise on its own once Bnai Yisrael keep the Torah and fulfill the mitvos of forgiving debts when the Shemittah year arrives.

When, by the fulfillment of Hashem's Torah you will have made yourself recipients of His Blessing, then, just by this national condition of prosperity which finds its realisation, not in a brilliant powerful state with a stunted standard of life of the inhabitants, but in the well-to-do prosperity of every individual citizen, then you will shine forth high above the other nations. With you national riches and surplus you will help the requirements and deficiencies of other nations, therebye they will lie under an obligation to you and be dependent on you, but you will remain the free and independent nation.

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