Watchman Willie Martin Archive

The economic fact influences the temper and quality of our lives is profound. Even in ordinary times it exercises a dictatorship over us comparable to any other authority we recognize. Not the government itself, with all its wide-reaching control of our actions, nor even our conventional religious belief, has the dominance over our lives and thought equal to that of our economic condition. It determines our personal and social status from infancy to old age.

“He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.” (Proverbs 28:8)

The economic condition of the family into which we are born often determines what our physical development shall be. It determines our educational opportunities and the class of people we shall walk with through life. Our marriage is affected by it and by it the advantages of our children are limited or enlarged. It dictates at what hour we shall rise in the morning, or perhaps that the morning sun shall light our returning from a night of work. It commands how ever precious day shall be spent; to what tasks we shall give our hands and mind; how ever hour shall be devoted; at what time we shall be released at night; in what frame of body and soul; to what kind of home we shall come.

“The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

There is nothing with which we can compare this mastery of multitudes by the economic fact. We have never seen a whole city moved by the name and glory of Yahshua, but we have seen a whole nation moved by the blast of the 7 o’clock shop whistle. Compare the dominion of Yahshua with the domination of the present economic fact and, in doing so, reflect that the dominance of the economic fact by Yahshua may be our most pressing economic necessity and our most imminent economic possibility.

Most of the social sins which plague us today, and most of the crime that afflicts us, have economic sources, for crime is a gig, adventurous business, conducted for quick and large profits. But there is no need to go into that, although it would further emphasize how completely we are under the influence of economics in everything that pertains to our life in this world order.

Has this phase of living, which is today the foremost burden on human minds, been overlooked in the Bible? Even if we do not specifically know the answer to this question, most of us would assume that a Book which speaks so authoratively and healingly in regard to every other human condition must have something to say on economic matters also. Since from the Bible we have those principles on which our free government of laws is built; since form the Bible we have the revelation on which our religion is built; since from the Bible we have that bent toward reason, reflection and research on which literature, philosophy and science are built, what is more reasonable than to expect that in this Universal Book we may find some guidance on economic principles as well? The wonder is not that principles of economics are to be found in the Bible, but that anyone could conceive of any Book worthy of that name omitting them.

Of course, these matters are in the Bible because they were first in the lives of the people to whose origin, history, development and destiny the greater part of the Bible is devoted.

The following excerpt is quoted from its Introduction to The Covenant People by W.J. Cameron:

“This book tells the story of the origin of the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Celtic peoples, whose forefathers gathered at Mount Sinai and there were organized into a kingdom. The account of God’s dealings with that kingdom; which was to become the Kingdom of God upon the earth, comprises the theme that threads its way throughout the entire Scriptures. It began as a rivulet in the day of Moses, swelling into a mighty stream as it coursed through centuries of history. Following a period of decline, it became a many-branched river flowing into modern times under the names which make no display of the continuation of its Divinely-appointed purpose. Nevertheless, the destiny of the nations which are to be the nucleus of the Kingdom of God upon the earth is still divinely- controlled and, under righteous rulers administering the affairs of state, the prophecy of Daniel will come to pass. Daniel 7:21)

“When we, the people of the United States of America, accept the fact of our origin, responsibility and destiny as the Israel of God in the world today, the way out of our present predicament will be according to the directions given through the Prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 54:14) National righteousness, however, is a way of life based upon obedience to the commandments, statutes and judgments of the Law of the Lord.”

The economic principles of the Law of the Lord were not written tin the Scriptures without being first demonstrated in life. Thus, we read in the First Psalm:

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he mediate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)

This does not picture a man with his face buried in the pages of a Bible (there were no Bibles then) but it pictures a man contemplating the marvelous wisdom, harmony and power observable in the working of the Divine laws of economics in his nation.

This man saw how buying and selling and tithing, and all the so-called material activities of men, as carried on under the Divine laws of economics, ministered to the moral consciousness and physical welfare of the people. This is one aspect of wonder that we have missed. Philosophers have marveled as they viewed the stellar universe above us and the moral universe of mankind. The Bible, however, contemplated our having another evaluation of the Divine nature in the interactions of human society. One of the Psalmists observed:

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.” (Psalm 37:25)

This is a text which, down through the centuries, has been regarded as a sort of insurance that the righteous family would never be reduced to dependence and need. Thousands of sermons on the unfailing Providence of God have been preached from this passage, yet the years of the great economic Depression of 1929 in the United States gave it a strange setting. Men who had lived industrious, quiet and helpful lives lost their employment, their homes, their independence. They saw their families reduced to stark need and they quoted this verse, not in bitterness, not in repudiation of their faith, but in puzzled grief. How can the Psalmist’s words be reconciled with things as they are?

The Psalmist was speaking the exact truth concerning the condition of his people. He was reporting the true state of things in his nation. There was economic security then; there was no economic humiliation. WHY COULD HE SAY THAT THEN, AND WHY CANNOT WE SAY IT NOW? The answer is clear. The Psalmist and his people were living, in a substantial measure at least, under the Economic Law of the Lord and obedience to His commandments, statutes and judgments rendered need and beggary impossible. True, its sway was breaking even as he wrote; you will se this if you observe the economic notes of the remainder of Psalm 37, but is was still sufficiently operative to enable the Psalmist to say what we cannot say, that the right-living family is guaranteed, BY IT VERY RIGHTEOUSNESS, a sound security from economic need.

It is not the Providence of God that is in question because of our modern economic uncertainty. Divine Providence gave us the method of creating economic security. The matter in question is what became of the system that produced the social condition so vividly described by the Psalmist writer? We read in the book of the Prophet Micah:

“But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” (Micah 4:4)

This is a dreadful picture of individual economic security. Micah prophesied this of the future, but, oddly enough, he used precisely the words which, 235 years before, had described an actual existing condition:

“And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon.” (1 Kings 4:25)

That condition of well-being had once existed in his own nation but had been lost; Micah prophesied, in the name of the Lord of Hosts, that it shall be restored.

For argument’s sake let us say we knew that 235 years ago (that would be a little over 100 years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed on our shores) this country had enjoyed a perfect economic life, the fruit of a system of law as then observed, in which economic life, the fruit of a system of laws then observed, n which economic security had been achieved by our forefathers. If it were prophesied that such happy conditions would return again as the result of our recovery and observance of the same laws, would it not be logical to conclude that it would deeply concern us to learn all that is to be known about that prosperity and the laws which produced it? Yet there is no spirit of inquiry, even in days like these, on the part of our national leaders; none whatsoever, although this in itself may be a mark of identity, for through the Prophet Hosea it was declared:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee...As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame...For they shall eat, and not have enough...because they have left off to take heed to the Lord.” (Hosea 4:6-10)

This subject could be pursued in the New Testament also, but in order to conserve space, only one reference will be made here. It is the familiar observation of Yahshua:

“The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)

We look about us today and see that the economics of God for the creatures are still operating in good order and it is just as true that many of the sons of men have not where to lay their heads. We inquire into this poverty of Yahshua and, to our astonishment, we find that it was all so needless. The constitution of His nation guaranteed Him and every man and family of His nation a homestead, a freehold that never could be alienated. His nation had possessed an economic system in which God provided for the sons of men as completely as for the foxes and the birds.

What became of it, that Yahshua was compelled to be a homeless Pilgrim? It had been lost and the people who once had it lost their national independence when they lost their economic system. No one can follow the teachings of Yahshua as they relate to “the kingdom of heaven” without being aware that He was referring to a restoration of that which had been lost. The very term, “kingdom of heaven,” referred to a social condition on earth: “Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth.”

As we now go on to outline the Law of the Lord, we are not speaking of an ideal system that existed in some good man’s pious desire; we are not speaking of some reformer’s dream. We are speaking of an economic system that was once in practical operation among ordinary people. Its laws are found in the Bible, as well as the history of its development and disappearance. More than that, we are speaking of a body of law that should still be administered today, for it was not in any sense localized in Palestine.

True, it was given at Mount Sinai and its promulgator was Moses. Nevertheless, Moses was given the basic law directly from the hand of God; indeed, by the very finger of God:

“And he (Yahweh) gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” (Exodus 31:18)

Undoubtedly, Moses was instrumental in the development of the Law of the Lord, particularly in the articulation of its judgments according to national experience in the light of spiritual values. That he outlined the main framework of the system admits of no doubt whatever. Its main points can be found operating in the time of the Judges, in the time of the undivided Kingdom, in the time of the prophets, in the time covered by the Apocrypha, and in the time of our Lord’s ministry preceding the destruction of Jerusalem. For that matter, the only elements that support our present economic system and prevent its utter collapse are those elements we still preserve from the economic system of the Bible which is so amply described in principle and practice.

                                 Scope of the Law

The Economic Law of the Lord, before it did anything else, gave every family its own bit of PRIVATE PROPERTY. Every man in the nation had his private freehold, which could n to be bought or sold or taken away from him. The National Landlord was Yahweh who said:

“The land shall not be sold forever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers (guests_) and sojourners with me.” (Leviticus 25:23)

Yahweh ordained that the land should continue to be the property of its original holders and their descendants, enlarged as the family increased, to the remotest posterity. Thus, a child born into the nation of Israel was already provided for. His birth certificate was a title deed to his estate. Under our system, estates are inherited by reason of someone’s death; under God’s law an estate was inherited by reason of birth. Truly, that may be the difference between the two systems; the difference between life and death? In Israel children were an addition to the wealth of the land, no a drain on its poverty.

The family allotment of land remained with that family forever. It could not be sold; it could not be lost on a montage; it could not be seized. It was a perpetual possession. No generation could waste the patrimony of its descendants or weigh them down with debt.

The guarantee of individual independence was at the very basis of God’s economic law. Men were not compelled to spend most of their lives and half lose their souls to obtain a foothold on the earth. They were able to live as sons of God should live. This is why Israel, under God’s economic law, was able to bless the world with Psalms and prophecies and spiritual light unrivaled by any nation or by any other period of history. Israel’s soul was free from subservience to the kitchen side of life as long as the people lived by this law. They had perfect economic liberty, without which their political liberty would not have been worth much.

                           Divine System of Taxation

The Bible system of economics begins, therefore, with the man on his land; secured to him for a lifetime and to his children after him. What does he give in return for it? As a price for the land nothing. It has no price. It has no assessed valuation. How is it taxed, then? IT IS NOT TAXED. But are there no taxes? Yes, but neither the man nor the land pays them; God pays them. This idea may seem strange, but who, other than God, every pays anything, or creates anything with which to pay?

Let us examine the Divine system of taxation, which many are coming to believe has the most scientific basis and produces better human results than any other system thus far known in this tax-burdened world. In the Bible, taxes are called tithes and offerings. They were not based on the value of property, but on the produce of property; THE NATURAL INCREASE OF THE LAND. Even that hardly describes it for there was no tax at all on the produce consumed by a family’s living. Only the surplus over and above a livelihood was taxed, and that in slight degree.

A property tax is a form of piecemeal confiscation. What does a workingman’s cottage produce that it should be taxed? Put it on the tax roll for a sufficient number of years and it is eaten up. Bible taxes are not like that; they were not laid on property, nor on the means of living; they were laid on the annual INCREASE, and rose or fell accordingly.

Every man paid his own tax, not the combined and accumulated taxes of everyone along the line of trade which eventually fall in one lump upon the shoulders of “the ultimate consumer.” Two tax evils were absent: 1). There was no way to evade one’s own tax except by committing a sin before God; 2). There was no way of being compelled to pay anyone else’s tax.

The tithe supported all public activities; much more than our taxes do. Government, religious worship, all public services, such as legal matters, medicine, education and public welfare, all were supported by the tithe. (Also, as this was the case, government could not get so big that it interfered with the peoples freedom)

In addition, the law required the formation of a fund in the taxpayer’s own hands t6o be used for travel, recreation and culture for himself and family. God’s system of taxation actually left part of the taxes in the taxpayer’s hands for vacation trips and attendance upon national and seasonal festivals by himself and family, and for the aid of those temporarily distressed. There never has been anything on earth to match this system, in its recognition of the rights of the taxpayer. How foolhardy it is to continue to ignore the gracious invitation of the Lord, for He said:

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me...For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

                         Increase No Interest (Usury)

Nos, as to MONEY; in Bible economics not much is heard of it, except for certain prohibitions concerning it. That is the difference between a civilization where the profit of living is cash and a civilization where the profit of living is life. Where there can be no economic collapse; where no man can be cheated out of his property; where there is no profit to be made out of debt; where money is not regarded as wealth, money naturally drops into its proper place. Today we make automobiles, and raise wheat, and sell our labor, in order to buy money. The buying and selling of money is the whole 0f modern business. In a natural society we buy and sell commodities of use; money is just the counter across which the exchange passes.

The principal money law in Divine economics is the law against interest. I simply state the fact: it would require a book to give the reasons underlying this law. It may, however, impress this financially-wise generation to know how large a part is played by the Interest Business and the Debt Business is national and International finance. In Israel, because of this law concerning interest, there was no incentive to invent means to lure people into debt because there could be no profit in debt.

The law prohibits the creation and refunding of long term debts, but it is also the strong source of CREDIT. Do you know of any law that commands that credit SHALL be given? The Divine law LEGISLATES CREDIT just as it legislates taxes (tithes). Credit: not as a burdensome debt, not as an advantage taken of our pressing need; but credit, as a lift, a help, a true favor. THE CREATION OF CREDIT WITHOUT THE MULTIPLICATION OF DEBT is a masterpiece of economic legislation.

Another strange point is that the law that absolutely prohibits interest, or that which is called usury, purports to come from the same Divine power which practices INCREASE all the time! We make dead money artificially yield a paltry 3 or 4 or 5 percent; not that money yields it, THE BORROWER DOES. However, have you ever considered what the Divine law of increase actually entails? Yahshua once touched upon it. Speaking of God’s interest was ‘thirtyfold, some sixty, some an hundredfold.” That is not 30, 60 or 100 percent, but 3,000, 6,000 and 10,000 per cent! We reject the natural, living system of 10,000 percent and substitute our artificial and dead system of 5 per cent interest. But men are already talking about a commodity economy as distinct from a money economy, and to this extent they are approaching the economic principles of the Bible.

                                  Law of the Cycle

In this brief introduction to Divine economic laws and pri9nciples, probably most of the attention of modern students will be given to that section which treats of the Law of the Cycle. For the people of today, the term “business or economic cycle” is ominous with the suggestion of hard times; in the Bible conception of the cycle, however, hard times are neither an accompaniment of it nor a necessity.

Everyone has heard of the cycle of hard times. The regularity with which panic and depression appear has long puzzled economists. They have studied the problem from many angles and eventually they confidently announced that the “supposed cycle” in business had been conquered, that our new financial devices had it whipped! But just when we seemed most certain of this, a double cycle appeared and all our expert wisdom became as so much smoke.

One of the wonderful phases of the Economic Law of the Bible is that it announces THE LAW OF THE CYCLE. Throughout the history and experience of the nations of Israel this fact of the cycle is continuously recognized. There is no explanation of the cycle; only plain regulations prescribing what Israel must do about it. From this we may draw the suggestion that perhaps we can know the meaning of the cycle only by making the experiment of entering it as Israel entered it. Experience is always the first step to knowledge.

The cycle remains a puzzle to our scientists because they approach it with the idea of abolishing it; the Bible’s method is to tell us that the cycle exists and that it is as much a part of the natural order as day and night. The Bible provides knowledge so that we may recognize it; we are taught how to enter into it and reap its benefits. There appear to be mighty individual and social benefits inherent in the cycle which our generations have never enjoyed.

We recognize the Law of the Cycle everywhere except in economics. There is the cycle of day and night; the night repairs the ravages of the day. How willingly we obey the round of work and rest; how rewarding we find our obedience to be! This is the physical cycle.

There is the cycle of the week; the seven-day cycle. We obey that too; partially. Stand off and watch this miracle of Sunday in Christendom; as you see it dominate industry, finance, government, commerce, you will realize the presence of a great mystery. There is no apparent reason why we should close up shop, suspend legislatures, bank our foundry furnaces and throw the country into idleness one day in seven. It is not forced upon us as night and day are; there is no astronomical sign that designates the arrival of Sunday. But it is a mark of Israel, either in ancient lands or under the modern name of Anglo-Saxon, Germanic. Indeed, it was to be a sign between Israel and her God. (Exodus 31:14-17) Wherever the people of God may be, they will be found observing the rest day. Day and night; the natural cycle for the body. The Sabbath; the moral cycle for the soul.

Further, in the Biblical compendium of the Divine law there is a third cycle; the economic cycle. That law is: six YEARS shalt thou labor and do all they work, but IN THE SEVENTH YEAR thy land shall rest. Israel lived under this law for a thousand years. The sixth year was the Saturday night of the period, with all debts paid or, if they could not be paid, canceled. Debt was not to be carried over and piled up as the case is with us. Israel’s books were to be balanced. A Sabbatical Year was to be enjoyed by land and people. The seven-year cycle was to end and begin with a free people, free of debt, fresh of outlook, renewed and eager for another six years of work. It was the Divine decree.

Israel had her big business men, of course, who invented many expedients to dodge this law. But a natural law does not depend upon our consent or recognition. Regardless of big business in Israel, as with us today, the cycle returned as regularly as the seasons. Israel could not have served the world as she did, religiously, morally or philosophically, without this knowledge of how to make the cycle serve.

Sometimes Israel thought that, if she would forget the cycle, the cycle would forget to come; but it always came. When Israel obeyed it, it came as a pleasant year of individual freedom and social recreation. When Israel ignored it, it became a thing of economic difficulty. For this is the fact THE CYCLE FULFILLS ITSELF. We may avail ourselves of it, or we may set ourselves to disregard it. Yet our attitude neither hastens nor hinders it; the cycle arrives.

It comes to us today, as it did to Israel 2000 years ago. This is the whole reason and history of hard times. Examine the charts of the statistical economists for the last hundred years and you will see the chart lines dip approximately every seven years, with a deeper dip every fifty years.

The fifty-year cycle , or the cycle of the seven Sabbatical Years, is the Jubilee Year of Israel; a time of restitution of the social and economic balance. Not confiscation, mind you, not a leveling up and leveling down, but RESTORATION. As the seventh year was the Year of Individual Release, the fiftieth Year was the Year of Corporate Release. This was not nay form of Socialism or Communism, but God’s justice in a setting of the freest and most helpful individualism.

The great Law of the Jubilee is cast in letters of iron on the Independence Bell of the United States at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to the inhabitants thereof.” If yo read where this is found in the Bible, you will see that economic liberty is meant; the general economic liberty of the Jubilee Year. (Leviticus 25:8-13) The pit is that our ignorance makes the Jubilee Year a time of distress.

We have no social knowledge of how to avail ourselves of the cycles; we have to be kicked into them and then kicked out again. Everything we talk about in modern times; the moratorium, controlled production, writing down of debts, we are doing in reverse order to our hurt, when we might have utilized their positive character for our benefit, as our forebears in Israel did under their economic laws.

                            The Law and the Gospel

There are some of the laws. We cannot avoid the thought that if these laws are God-ordained, if they truly represent basic economic principles, then they are quite independent of our observance or neglect. They are not like laws on the statute books of the Untied States which die simply because men cease to pay any attention to them. Divine-natural laws work whether we forget them or not. If they cannot be done THROUGH us, they will be done TO us. They are in force; they operate; they are self-executing.

Some people say: “But all these laws were done away with by the New Testament.” If this were so, it is a pity their operation was not suspended also! If they were done away with, why do we meet the severe penalty at the very point where we transgress them? Of course, such a statement can only be based on lack of knowledge. How does the Gospel of Jesus Christ do away with any of the basic laws of God written into the very constitution of things? Where in the Gospels or Epistles is anything of the kind intimated? The attitude of our Savior on the question of obedience to the law was unmistakable; He specifically upheld “the Law and the Prophets.” These are His words:


The Gospel in men’s hearts disposes them toward all the good ends sought by the Economic Law of God. Our Christian good will is often aroused and eager to do something for the welfare of suffering humanity, but it is nullified because it does not know what to do. There is no remedial path to proceed upon, for good will needs a method and a true method needs good will. These correspond to the Law and the Gospel as you find them in the Bible, the Economic Law of the Lord being the method and the Gospel representing the good will that predisposes us to do the right thing in the right way. Where there is a will there is a way; we have the ill in the Gospel and the way in the Law of the Lord.

                          Covenant Promises Fulfilled

Wealth is a part of the covenant of God for Israel:

“Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that given thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

This is national wealth. The National Covenant that the Lo0rd God Yahweh made with our forefathers at Mount Sinai cannot be fulfilled without providing national wealth. Incidentally, in this respect it has been lavishly fulfilled. It is one of the commonest sayings on the streets that ‘in this richest of countries, how strange it is that individuals should suffer need.”

National wealth has, indeed, been realized. The cotenant concerning that has been amply honored. But when it comes to the use of this national wealth by citizens, as their private property and right, we find that hindered; stopped short, by our disregard of the other side of that same covenant. We are dishonoring the law by which individual prosperity comes, even while God seems to be honoring the covenant by which national prosperity comes. There is no mystery about the paradox of immense national wealth and widespread individual poverty; just the enigma of our own ignorance and disobedience.

If national wealth depended on our obedience, if it ere not in lands and waters and ores and forests and fruitful seasons and cattle and population, which are the gifts of God, our national wealth would be on a par with our individual poverty. That is the meaning of the disparity of wealth and want which we see around us today. There is great social wealth because its source is in the Divine provision; there is great individual want because we do not desire the Divine economic laws to reign over us!

If there were no seedtime and harvest, there would be no Wall Street or United States Treasury. All technical source works, all books of political economy, all systems of credits and exchange have no existence apart from what God is doing in soil and sun and shower. We cannot change the seasons. We cannot prohibit the wheat from ripening. THERE IS ONE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS THAT IS FREE FORM OUR MEDDLING.

That is not to say we have given up hope of meddling with it. We would sometimes change or abolish the seasons by Act of Congress if we could. We would sometimes grant extraordinary powers to decree a year without a harvest if we could. When the presence of the golden wealth of wheat and the silver wealth of cotton interferes with our price system, do we not decree that these shall be destroyed; this livi9ng, multiplying wealth, in order that dead money may still rule? Do you not remember the stories of the old folks when they told of the thousands of gallons of milk poured out on the ground to keep the price up? But God is merciful; the wheat still grows, the grass greens in the spring, the sheep lamb in the field, the trees put forth their fruit, the cows calve in the pastures, and the wealthy showers descend, because they are all a part of God’s natural economic system, not of man’s artificial and self-destructive one.

It is clear, from the pont of view of the bible, that the distributive side of the economic process was just a stray ordered to function faultlessly as the Divine and creative side. To God’s Israel people was left the smallest and easiest part of the job, with specific directions concerning how to do it; actually with Avare human incentive to do it. Just as truly as the Ten Commandments comprise the basic principles of a successful individual and social life, so the Economic Law of the Lord comprises the essential; in fact, the inevitable and unavoidable, principles of a successful national economic life.

It is no Utopia of the far-flung future that we find in the Bible. It is a way of life that was to be witnessed to by Yahweh’s Israel people, whose laws were to be administered as the law of the land. It is the burden of many a prophet in the Scriptures to foretell that so helpful a system, having once existed, will emerge again in much greater power. (Taken, in part, from a study entitled “Economics of the Bible,” by W.J. Cameron)

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)

 Incorrigible and quite nearly pathological Jewish involve‑

ment in world finances is a renown and rather conspicuous

fact. Since time immemorial, they have been involved in

the practice of usurious money lending and other lucrative

forms of procuring wealth through insubstantial practices.

By the word "insubstantial", I am referring to the concept of

proliferating vast sums of money without a corresponding

service to society upon which that money can be based.

Whereas most European merchants based the concept of

money on corresponding goods, such as precious metals,

natural resources and multitudinous quantities of other

wares; Jews have developed their practices to be based

largely on speculation and abstract economics.

 Of course, this is not to say that Jews have limited their

economic dealings exclusively to money lending, usury and

banking.  Though they managed to monopolize the practice

of usury, chiefly on account of the fact that it was forbidden

to all Christians during medieval times, the pursuit of other

profitable trades abounded.  The Jewish mentality is that of

lubricious market and economical gumption, fueled by acute

ethno‑centrism.  Thus, any opportunity where prospective

lucre could be made has been immediately seized.

 Various pro‑Semitic sources obstinately preach, that Jews

were pushed into demeaning practices (such as usury) on

account of being denied land ownership in Europe.  Such

claims open up an inquisitive can of worms, delving into

the provenance of European "anti‑Semitism" (as reactionary

outrage to Jewish policies has been dubbed).  I wish to present

several facts concerning Jewish activities in Medieval Europe,

which can shed considerable light on reasons for European

anti‑Jewish sentiment, and various laws restricting Jewish

activities, followed by full‑fledged expulsions.  Keep in mind

that such an inquiry warrants the writing of a multi‑page book.

There exist hundreds of documentable cases concerning provocative

and deleterious Jewish economic practices during the Middle


 Any claims that Jews were not allowed to own land merely on

account of religious intolerance should not be taken seriously.

Quite to the contrary: Jews owned prodigious acreage in

Medieval Spain, France, Germany and other European countries.

In fact, they began hoarding and purchasing land in such great

quantities that European lawmakers were forced to reconsider

their initial insouciance towards such dealings.  For example,

according to rumors in Medieval Spain, Jews owned a third

of all the land around Barcelona.  Such rapacious and insatiable

dealings quickly resulted in the development of laws restricting

Jewish land ownership and, eventually, expulsion.  Though Jews

cultivated their land to a certain extent, they preferred to grow

crops requiring minimum supervision (such as vineyards),

which enabled them to pursue their middle‑man commercial


 In the Jewish Heritage Online Magazine, an interesting article

is present to corroborate Jewish land ownership in old Europe.

The article (


> "By the 15th century few Jews still owned vineyards and

produced their own wine, but trade in wine and liquor was

becoming a major Jewish occupation in Germany and the

Slavic countries. The competition from Jews was often

serious enough to cause local guilds to complain about it.

[A microcosm of anti‑Jewish resentment in Europe‑PJK]

At times, this commerce was developed in COMBINATION

WITH MONEY LENDING. [Emphasis added by myself‑PJK]

............As Jews moved from the more advanced Mediterranean

countries into newer areas of settlement in the Middle Ages

(especially Spain, France and Germany) they could employ

more refined techniques in the cultivation of old crops and

introduce new crops, to their own and society's advantage.

Jews were often attracted to agriculture because of the

opportunities opened here for their pioneering efforts...

While rabbinic sources mention Jews raising grain, most

Jewish farmers seem to have devoted themselves to viticulture,

the cultivation of ! orchards or dairy and truck farming, all

of which required a larger initial investment of capital and

labor, but later yielded higher returns on limited areas.

 For Jews, viticulture appeared doubly attractive, as grapes

could be cultivated in the immediate vicinity, or even within

the confines of many medieval towns. After the initial plantings,

vineyards and orchards require more intelligent supervision

than constant labor. Hence, even scholars like Rashi could

grow grapes for a living, while devoting their main attention

to research and teaching. Rashi's grandson Jacob Tam, though

a prosperous moneylender and possibly tax farmer, also engaged

in the cultivation and the production of wine. This practical

experience taught him to be less stringent with respect to the

laws of "wine of libation." On one occasion he justified his

liberal interpretation by saying: "Wherever a considerable

financial loss is involved the Torah always evinces concern

for Israel's money. Should I not evince such concern, and

refuse to decide that the matter is permitted?"" [end quote]

 The putrid and highly duplicitous economic dealings of Jews

become clearly eminent in the above passage.  To most effective

point out the speciousness of claiming that Jews were never

allowed to own land, I resort to the following quote (from the

same source):

 "Jews emigrating from Muslim lands easily transplanted the

same methods especially to countries of comparable climatic

conditions such as northern Spain, Provence and parts of Italy.

The nascent states of Leon and Castile, Aragon and Catalonia,

as well as those of neighboring Provence therefore welcomed

and fostered Jewish land‑ownership, and even the Church raised

few objections. Many 10th‑12th churches and monasteries are

even recorded as collaborating with Jews in developing newly

recovered lands."

Reference Materials