The Lord will open to you his good treasury the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow (Deuteronomy 28:12 RSV).

For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. (Deuteronomy 15:6)

My question is specifically for the part of both scriptures where it says that the Israelites will lend to many nations but will not borrow. My question is when did Israel have all of this wealth and resources to be able to lend to other nations? I know that major blessings came to Israel during the days of Solomon but I can't find a particular scripture that outlines Solomon or some other king of Israel having nations borrowing money from them or lending to the nations.

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    One would need to, first, look into the history of Israel as to whether that nation obeyed all that God required, in covenant. The covenant depended on Israel keeping the conditions of the covenant in order to be worthy of the blessings of said covenant.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


Both of the prophecies in the OP are conditional, so strictly speaking, they would be fulfilled only if the conditions are met. Duet. 28 begins:

If you obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.

The promise of Deut. 15:6 is immediately preceded by another conditional sentence:

There will be no poor among you (for the Lord will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance to possess), if only you will obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment which I command you this day...

Here, the promise that "there will be no poor among you" is the basis for being able to lend without borrowing. But, just a few verses later, the text instructs Israelites to be generous toward the poor because:

for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land. (15:10-11)

Conclusion: Because these prophecies are conditional, their realization is dependent on human response to God's will. Therefore we need not expect that the prophecies would be positively fulfilled. Indeed, it is clear from Deut. 15:11 that the author does not expect the promise of 15:6 to be realized.

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