LOAF Oaf), (Heb. 1:;;, kik-kawr', circle; Gr. &pros, ar'tos ; occasionally :1:.)1?, lekh'ent, bread), a biscuit, or round or oval cake, the usual form of bread among the orientals (Exod. xxix:23; Judg. viii:5; I Sam. x:3; Chron. xvi:3; Matt. xtv:i7; Mark vi:38, etc.). (See BREAD.) (15'ana'mi), (Heb. '77-1) lo-am' mee, not my people), a name of symbolical signifi cance, given by Hosea (ix); ii:23) to his second son to indicate that Israel had been rejected by Jeho vah, in allusion to the Babylonian Captivity (B. C. 725).
LOAN (Ion), the Mosaic laws which relate to the subject of borrowing, lending, and repaying, are in substance as follows: ' (1) Interest. If an Israelite became poor, what he desired to borrow was to be freely lent to him, and no interest, either of money or produce, could be exacted from him; interest might be taken of a foreigner, but not of an Israelite by another Israelite (Exod. xxii:25; Dent. xxiii no, 20; Lev. xxv:35-38). At the end of every seven years a remission of debts was ordained; every creditor was to remit what he had lent: of a foreigner the loan might be ex acted, but not of a brother. If an Israelite wished to borrow, he was not to be refused because the year of remission was at hand (Dent. xv :1-11).
(2) Pledges. Pledges might be taken, but not as such the mill or the upper millstone, for that would be to take a man's life in pledge. If the pledge was raiment, it was to be given back before sunset, as being needful for a covering at night. The widow's garment could not be taken in pledge (Exod. xxii :26, 27; Dent. xxiv 6, 17).
(3) Biblical Point of View. These laws re lating to loans may wear a strange and somewhat repulsive aspect to the mere modern reader, and cannot be understood, either in their bearing or their sanctions, unless considered from the Bibli cal point of view. The land of Canaan (as the entire world) belonged to its Creator, but was given of God to the descendants of Abraham un der certain conditions, of which this liberality to the needy was one. The power of getting loans therefore was a part of the poor man's inheri tance. It was a lien on the land (the source of all property with agricultural people), which was as valid as the tenure of any given portion by the tribe or family to whose lot it had fallen. This is the light in which the Mosaic polity represents the matter, and in this light, so long as that polity retained its force, would it, as a matter of course, be regarded by the owners of property. Thus the execution of this particular law was secured by the entire force with which the con stitution itself was recommended and sustained.
But as human selfishness might in time endanger this particular set of laws, so Moses applied spe cial support to the possibly weak part. Hence the emphasis with which he enjoins the duty of lend ing to the needy. Of this emphasis the very es sence is the sanction supplied by that special providence which lay at the very basis of the Mosaic commonwealth; so that lending to the destitute came to be enforced with all the power derivable from the express will of God.
That the system of law regarding loans was carried into effect there is no reason to doubt. It formed an essential part of the general con stitution, and therefore came recommended with the entire sanction which that system had on its own behalf ; nor were there any predominant antagonistic principles at work which would pre vent this from proceeding step by step, in its proper place and time, with the residue of the Mosaic legislation. Nor do the passages of Scrip ture (Job xxii :6; xxiv :3; Matt. xviii :28; Prov. xxviii :8 ; Ezek. xviii :8 ; Ps. xv :5 ; cix ) which give us reason to think that usury was practiced and the poor debtor oppressed, show anything but those breaches to which laws are always liable, especially in a period when morals grow corrupt and institutions in consequence decline.
(4) Justice of the Law. While, however, the benign tendencyof the laws in question isadmitted, may it not be questioned whether they were strict ly just? Such a doubt' could arise only in a mind which viewed the subject from the position of our actual society. A modern might plead that he had a right to do what he pleased with his own ; that his property of every kind—land, food, money—was his own: and that he was justified to turn all and each part to account for his own benefit. Apart from religions considera tions this position is impregnable. But such a view of property finds no support' in the Mosaic institutions. In them property has a divine origin, and its use is intrusted to man on certain condi tions, which conditions are as valid as is the tenure of property itself. In one sense indeed, the entire land—all property—was a great loan, a loan lent of God to the people of Israel, who might well therefore acquiesce in any arrange ment which required a portion—a small portion— of this loan to be under certain circumstances accessible to the destitute. This view receives confirmation from the fact that interest might be taken of persons who were not Hebrews and therefore lay beyond the sphere embraced by this special arrangement.