What is a…
A pledge is something delivered as security for the payment of a debt or fulfillment of a promise. It is subject to forfeiture if one fails to pay or fulfill the promise.
Limitations are prescribed by the law about the taking of a pledge from the borrower. A mill, or millstone, or upper garment, when given as a pledge, could not be kept over night (Exodus 22:26-27).
The outer garment in which a man slept at night, if taken in pledge, was to be returned before sunset (Exodus 22:26-27; Deuteronomy 24:12-13).
A widow’s garment (Deut. 24:17) and a millstone (Deut. 24:6) could not be taken.
Millstones could not be pledged (Deut. 24:6), because they were vitally essential in virtually every family.
A creditor could not enter the house to reclaim a pledge, but must remain outside till the borrower brought it (Deut. 24:10-11).
Reuben pledged his life and the life of his sons when Jacob was unwilling to let Benjamin go down into Egypt.
Article Version: March 26, 2019