The ancient Temple system of lendiing

Thousands of years ago, some societies had a system where tithes would be paid to a Temple. The Temple would collect that money, and the Temple would make loans. Periodically, the Temple would declare all debts forgiven. There would be a big party and everybody starts over.

This system worked pretty well. Zeke gets a loan from the Temple, and every 7 years or so his debt would be erased. Since we know that in a physical money system new money is hard to come by, so it is impossible for everyone to pay interest on their loans successfully, erasing debt made it possible for society to work.

These Jubilee years were doubtless a lot of fun. Imagine what kind of party would happen in the USA if we decided to forgive everyone’s loans.

But the Jubilee system also helped keep the Temple in power. There were always secular lenders, and they had to follow the law of Jubilee too.  But only the Temple had its coffers replenished regularly. The secular lenders had their legs cut off instead. That helped keep them from becoming too big and challenging the Temple.

Systems like the Temple system also occurred in history with kings. But the period  between Jubilees would generally be longer, perhaps the lifetime of a king.

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