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.

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Article Version: March 26, 2019