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The Blue Letter Bible

Dictionaries :: Debtor

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


Various regulations as to the relation between debtor and creditor are laid down in the Scriptures.

(1.) The debtor was to deliver up as a pledge to the creditor what he could most easily dispense with (Deu 24:10,11).

(2.) A mill, or millstone, or upper garment, when given as a pledge, could not be kept over night (Exd 22:26,27).

(3.) A debt could not be exacted during the Sabbatic year (Deu 15:1-15).

For other laws bearing on this relation see Lev 25:14, 32, 39; Mat 18:25, 34.

(4.) A surety was liable in the same way as the original debtor (Pro 11:15; 17:18).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g3781 Greek: opheiletes


"one who owes anything to another," primarily in regard to money; in Mat 18:24, "who owed" (lit., "one was brought, a debtor to him of ten thousand talents"). The slave could own property, and so become a "debtor" to his master, who might seize him for payment.

It is used metaphorically,

(a) of a person who is under an obligation, Rom 1:14, of Paul, in the matter of preaching the Gospel; in Rom 8:12, of believers, to mortify the deeds of the body; in Rom 15:27, of Gentile believers, to assist afflicted Jewish believers; in Gal 5:3, of those who would be justified by circumcision, to do the whole Law:

(b) of those who have not yet made amends to those whom they have injured, Mat 6:12, "our debtors;" of some whose disaster was liable to be regarded as a due punishment, Luk 13:4 (RV, "offenders;" AV, sinners;" marg., "debtors").

2 Strong's Number: g5533 Greek: chreopheiletes


lit., "a debt-ower" (chreos, "a loan, a debt," and No. 1), is found in Luk 7:41, of the two "debtors" mentioned in the Lord's parable addressed to Simon the Pharisee, and in Luk 16:5, of the "debtors" in the parable of the unrighteous steward. This parable indicates a system of credit in the matter of agriculture. In the Sept., Job 31:37, "having taken nothing from the debtor;" Pro 29:13, "when the creditor and the debtor meet together." The word is more expressive than No. 1.

Note: In Mat 23:16 opheilo, "to owe" (see DEBT), is translated "he is a debtor." The RV marg., keeping the verbal form, has "bound by his oath" (AV, marg., "bound"). In the 18th verse the AV, "he is guilty," means that he is under obligation to make amends for his misdeeds.

Smith's Bible Dictionary



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