The Greek word for bank means "table" or "bench" across which the money was paid out or received. The Phoenicians invented the money-lending system, and it was in full operation in the various provinces of the Roman Empire in CHRIST's time. The law of Moses did not allow the Israelites to lend to one another upon interest (Deuteronomy 23:19, etc.). But it did allow them to charge interest upon loans made to Gentiles (Deuteronomy 23:20). JESUS did not here condemn the charging of interest by a bank, for the word translated "usury" is the same as "interest."

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