Deuteronomy 24:17

Hebrew Bible

15 You must pay his wage that very day before the sun sets, for he is poor and his life depends on it. Otherwise he will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin. 16 Fathers must not be put to death for what their children do, nor children for what their fathers do; each must be put to death for his own sin. 17 You must not pervert justice due a resident foreigner or an orphan, or take a widow’s garment as security for a loan. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do all this. 19 Whenever you reap your harvest in your field and leave some unraked grain there, you must not return to get it; it should go to the resident foreigner, orphan, and widow so that the Lord your God may bless all the work you do.

Amos 2:8

Hebrew Bible

6 This is what the Lord says: “Because Israel has committed three covenant transgressions—make that four—I will not revoke my decree of judgment. They sold the innocent for silver, the needy for a pair of sandals. 7 They trample on the dirt-covered heads of the poor; they push the destitute away. A man and his father go to the same girl; in this way they show disrespect for my moral purity. 8 They stretch out on clothing seized as collateral; they do so right beside every altar! They drink wine bought with the fines they have levied; they do so right in the temple of their God! 9 For Israel’s sake I destroyed the Amorites. They were as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks, but I destroyed the fruit on their branches and their roots in the ground. 10 I brought you up from the land of Egypt; I led you through the wilderness for 40 years so you could take the Amorites’ land as your own.

 Notes and References

"... It is evident that poverty affects all aspects of human existence. So it is easy to understand that poor people lack everything: sufficient food, adequate clothing, and a shelter worthy of human beings. However, garments are also often mentioned in a more specific context, namely, that of debts ... In the parallelism, exacting pledges is explained as taking away clothes. There are a significant number of biblical texts that associate garments with the question of pledges in the context of the ancient credit system. The Torah forbids taking a widow’s garment in pledge (Deuteronomy 24:17). It also commands that one restore a neighbor’s cloak taken in pawn before sunset, since it is used as a cover during the night (Exodus 22:25-26; Deuteronomy 24:12-13). In Deuteronomy 24:12, the cloak is simply called a “garment.” People who are called “naked” in other texts may simply have lost their “cloak,” a seamless cover used especially for protection from the cold Palestinian nights. Critical prophets also mention garments in the context of pledges. Amos 2:8 accuses wealthy Israelites of “laying themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge.” Less clear is Micah 2:8, where the “house of Jacob” is accused of “stripping the robe from the peaceful.” ..."

Kessler, Rainer "'When You See the Naked, Cover Them!': The Clothing of the Poor as an Act of Righteousness" in Berner, Christoph (ed.) Clothing and Nudity in the Hebrew Bible: A Handbook (pp. 331-352) T&T Clark, 2019

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