From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [1]

"Take his garment (saith the wise man) that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman." ( Proverbs 20:16) This was indeed done in the person of the strangers' best and truest friend, when the Lord Jesus came from his heavenly home to be a Surety for more than strangers, yea, enemies to God by wicked works. Nevertheless, in the common circumstances of human life between man and man, the tender mercies of God over Israel, commanded that they should be very cautious how they took pledges and retained them. The law of pledges seems to have been, that in cases where the word or assurance of the borrower might be doubted, some valuable article should be left with the lender by way of assuring payment. But it is really blessed to observe how tenderly the Lord himself interposed, that usury and unkindness might not creep in among his people. "No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge, for he taketh a man's life to pledge." ( Deuteronomy 24:6) By these the man grinds his daily bread, and therefore he will starve if the implements for providing his food be taken from him. And in a spiritual sense how much higher the argument runs! Take not away the means and ordinances of worship, by the use of which, under the blessing of God, the bread of life is administered to him.

So again: The Lord prohibited the lender from entering the borrower's house to take his pledge. ( Deuteronomy 24:10) Every man's house is his castle; to enter it therefore is a violation of all right, and especially to enter it in order to oppress. And the law of pledges went farther. If a poor man through necessity had compelled him to pawn his garment, the law enjoined that the lender should not sleep with his pledge. "In any case, saith the Lord, thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee." And as an additional motive to the exercise of this mercy, the Lord declared that such regard to a poor brother the Lord would consider as done to himself. "It shall be, (said the Lord,) righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God." ( Deuteronomy 24:10-13) Precious Jesus! I would say as I read those sweet Scriptures of mercy, I have pledged to thee all I have, and all I am; and do I not see in this blessed command of thine thy gracious tenderness of heart to give me all my justly forfeited pledges, that the sun may not go down and I be found naked, but sleep secure in thy garment of salvation, that my soul may bless thee! This is indeed the Lord's righteousness, which is upon all, and unto all, that believe. Oh, that the usurers of the present day would read those Scriptures, and be no longer so, but like Job, "drive not away the ass of the father less, and taken of the widow's ox for pledge!" ( Job 24:3)

King James Dictionary [2]

Pledge n. L. plico.

1. Something put in pawn that which is deposited with another as security for the repayment of money borrowed, or for the performance of some agreement or obligation a pawn. A borrows ten pounds of B, and deposits his watch as a pledge that the money shall be repaid and by repayment of the money, A redeems the pledge. 2. Any thing given or considered as a security for the performance of an act. Thus a man gives a word or makes a promise to another, which is received as a pledge for fulfillment. The mutual affection of husband and wife is a pledge for the faithful performance of the marriage covenant. Mutual interest is the best pledge for the performance of treaties. 3. A surety a hostage. 4. In law, a gage or security real or personal, given for the repayment of money. It is of two kinds vadium vivum, a living pledge, as when a man borrows money and grants an estate to be held by the pledgee, till the rents and profits shall refund the money, in which case the land or pledge is said to be living or it is vadium mortuum, a dead pledge, called a mortgage. See Mortgage. 5. In law, bail surety given for the prosecution of a suit, or for the appearance of a defendant, or for restoring goods taken in distress and replevied. The distress itself is also called a pledge, and the glove formerly thrown down by a champion in trial by battel, was a pledge by which the champion stipulated to encounter his antagonist in that trial. 6. A warrant to secure a person from injury in drinking.

To put in pledge, to pawn.

To hold in pledge, to keep as security.


1. To deposit in pawn to deposit or leave in possession of a person something which is to secure the repayment of money borrowed, or the performance of some act. This word is applied chiefly to the depositing of goods or personal property. When real estate is given as security we usually apply the word mortgage. 2. To give as a warrant or security as, to pledge one's word or honor to pledge one's veracity. 3. To secure by a pledge.

I accept her,

And here to pledge my vow I give my hand. Unusual.

4. To invite to drink by accepting the cup or health after another. Or to warrant or be surety for a person that he shall receive no harm while drinking, or from the draught a practice which originated among our ancestors in their rude state, and which was intended to secure the person from being stabbed while drinking, or from being poisoned by the liquor. In the first case, a by-stander pledges the person drinking in the latter, the person drinking pledges his guest by drinking first, and then handing the cup to his guest. The latter practice is frequent among the common people in America to this day the owner of the liquor taking the cup says to his friend, I pledge you, and drinks, then hands the cup to his guest a remarkable instance of the power of habit, as the reason of the custom has long since ceased.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( n.) Anything given or considered as a security for the performance of an act; a guarantee; as, mutual interest is the best pledge for the performance of treaties.

(2): ( n.) The transfer of possession of personal property from a debtor to a creditor as security for a debt or engagement; also, the contract created between the debtor and creditor by a thing being so delivered or deposited, forming a species of bailment; also, that which is so delivered or deposited; something put in pawn.

(3): ( n.) A person who undertook, or became responsible, for another; a bail; a surety; a hostage.

(4): ( n.) A sentiment to which assent is given by drinking one's health; a toast; a health.

(5): ( n.) A hypothecation without transfer of possession.

(6): ( n.) A promise or agreement by which one binds one's self to do, or to refrain from doing, something; especially, a solemn promise in writing to refrain from using intoxicating liquors or the like; as, to sign the pledge; the mayor had made no pledges.

(7): ( n.) To deposit, as a chattel, in pledge or pawn; to leave in possession of another as security; as, to pledge one's watch.

(8): ( n.) To give or pass as a security; to guarantee; to engage; to plight; as, to pledge one's word and honor.

(9): ( n.) To secure performance of, as by a pledge.

(10): ( n.) To bind or engage by promise or declaration; to engage solemnly; as, to pledge one's self.

(11): ( n.) To invite another to drink, by drinking of the cup first, and then handing it to him, as a pledge of good will; hence, to drink the health of; to toast.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

PLEDGE . The taking of a pledge for the re-payment of a loan was sanctioned by the Law, but a humanitarian provision was introduced to the effect that, when this pledge consisted of the large square outer garment or cioak called simlah , it must be returned before nightfali, since this garment often formed the only covering of the poor at night (  Exodus 22:26 f.,   Deuteronomy 24:12 f.; cf.   Amos 2:8 ,   Job 22:6;   Job 24:9 ,   Ezekiel 18:7;   Ezekiel 18:12;   Ezekiel 18:16;   Ezekiel 33:15 ). It was forbidden also to take the mill or the upper millstone as a pledge (  Deuteronomy 24:6 ). In   Isaiah 36:8 the reference is to a pledge to be forfeited if a wager is lost (cf. RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ). In I S17:18 ‘take their pledge’ probably means ‘bring back a token of their welfare’ (Driver).

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

The Jewish law protected the poor who were obliged to give security for a loan or the fulfillment of a contract. If a man pawned his robe, the usual covering of the cool nights, it must be returned on the same day,  Exodus 22:26-27 . The creditor could not enter a house and take what he pleased; and the millstone being a necessary of life, could not be taken,  Deuteronomy 24:6,10,11 . Compare  Job 22:6   24:3,7 . Idolaters sometimes disregarded these prohibitions,  Amos 2:6-8 . See Loans Pledges are necessary from the vicious, who cannot be trusted,  Proverbs 20:16 .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

The taking of articles as security for loans, etc. was very early practised, and restrictions were given in the law that no unfair advantage should be taken thereby.  Exodus 22:26;  Deuteronomy 24:10-17;  Job 22:6;  Job 24:3,9;  Amos 2:8 . In  2 Kings 18:23 and   Isaiah 36:8 the sense is 'to make an engagement or treaty.'

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 Exodus 22:26 Deuteronomy 24:12-13 Deuteronomy 24:6 Deuteronomy 24:10 Deuteronomy 22:6 Deuteronomy 24:3 Deuteronomy 24:9 Deuteronomy 2:8

Smith's Bible Dictionary [8]

Pledge. See Loan .

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [9]

plej (verbs חבל , ḥābhal (10 times), ערב , ‛ārabh (  2 Kings 18:23 =   Isaiah 36:8 ); nouns חבל , ḥăbhāl ( Ezekiel 18:12 ,  Ezekiel 18:16;  Ezekiel 33:15 ), חבלה , ḥăbḥōlāh ( Ezekiel 18:7 ), ערבּה , ‛ărubbāh ), ( 1 Samuel 17:18 ), ערבון , ‛ērābhōn ( Genesis 38:17 ,  Genesis 38:18 ,  Genesis 38:20 ); also עבט , ‛ăbhōṭ ( Deuteronomy 24:10-13 ) and (the Revised Version (British and American) only) עבטיט , ‛abhṭı̄ṭ ( Habakkuk 2:6 )): All these words have about the same meaning. (1) The "pledge" is, as in modern English, security given for future payment ( Genesis 38:17-24 ) or conduct ( Habakkuk 2:6 , where the conquered nations have given guaranties of their subserviency to the Chaldeans; the King James Version's "thick clay" here rests on a misreading of the Hebrew). In  2 Kings 18:23 (=   Isaiah 36:8 ) the "pledge" is a wager (so the Revised Version margin). Rabshakeh mockingly dares Hezekiah to stake a "pledge" that he can produce 2,000 men for the defense of Jerusalem, although the mighty Assyrian host has that number of horses alone. The general point of the obscure passage  Proverbs 20:16 (=   Proverbs 27:13 ) is that he who guarantees strangers needs a guaranty himself.  1 Samuel 17:18 is uncertain and the text may be corrupt. If not, the "pledge" is some (prearranged?) token of the welfare of David's brethren. (2) Most of the occurrences of "pledge," however, deal with the debts of the very poor, who had no property that they could spare even temporarily. Consequently, the exaction of a pledge from such persons worked genuine hardship, and to take a pledge at all was a cruel act (  Job 24:3 ), although of course the dishonesty of withholding a pledge ( Ezekiel 18:7;  Ezekiel 33:15 ) was worse. Lowest in the scale was the creditor who took the garment the borrower was wearing ( Amos 2:8;  Job 22:6;  Job 24:9 margin), and special legislation controlled this practice. A garment (the outer "cloak" - see Dress - not worn while doing manual labor) so taken must be restored at night ( Exodus 22:26;  Deuteronomy 24:12 ,  Deuteronomy 24:13 ), for it was the usual covering of the sleeper. (Apparently, though, the creditor regained custody of it in the daytime until the debt was paid.) A widow's clothing, however, was entirely exempt ( Deuteronomy 24:17 ), as was the handmill used for bread-making ( Deuteronomy 24:6 ). The lender had no right of entry into the borrower's house to obtain the pledge ( Deuteronomy 24:10 ,  Deuteronomy 24:11 ), but it is not said that he could not dictate what he would accept; indeed, the contrary is inconceivable. (3) the American Standard Revised Version gives "pledge" for the King James Version and the English Revised Version "faith" in  1 Timothy 5:12 . See also Earnest .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

(usually some form of חָבִל , Chabda, To Bind as by a chattel mortgage; occasionally forms of עָבִט , abdt, to exchange, and עָרִב , Ardb, To Give Security; Talmud, מַשְׁכּוֹן ), in a legal sense, an assurance given as security by a debtor to his creditor, which is alluded to in the Mosaic books in several instances. Thus

1. The creditor was not permitted to go to the house of his debtor to take his pledge, but must receive it before the door ( Deuteronomy 24:10 sq.). The reason of this requirement and its merciful object are obvious.

2. The articles which were forbidden to be taken in pledge were,

(a) the Raiment or outer garment ( Exodus 22:26 sq.;  Deuteronomy 24:10 sq., but see below), because this served the poor also as a covering by night for the bed;

(b) the Hand Mill (q.v.;  Exodus 24:6. Comp. Mishna, Baba Mez. 9, 13). But notwithstanding these merciful provisions of the law, hard- hearted creditors were found among the Israelites who oppressed their debtors by taking pledges ( Proverbs 20:16;  Proverbs 27:13;  Ezekiel 18:12;  Ezekiel 33:15;  Habakkuk 2:6; comp.  Job 22:6;  Job 24:3). See Delitzsch, Ad Loc., and especially Michaelis, Aos. Recht, 3, 61 sq. The custom of giving pledges prevailed extensively in the ages succeeding the exile, from the fact that by the decisions of the scribes all Jews were prohibited from making any payments on the Sabbath; hence he who would make a purchase on that day left some pledge with the seller (see Mishna, Shab. 23, 1), as his outer garment, to be redeemed by payment the next day. The taking of pledges is still further restricted by the Talmud (Baba Mez. 9, 13). A pledging of land, mortgaging, appears first in the Talmud (Mishna, Shebiith, 10, 6). However, the legal transfer of land under the Mosaic economy was properly but a pledging; for it could at any time be redeemed, and in the year of Jubilee it returned without repayment to the original owner. Pawning of personal property for debt, however, was a very ancient custom ( Genesis 38:17 sq.). Personal guarantees of faith. pledges, or hostages, are mentioned ( 2 Kings 14:14, בְּנֵי תִּעִרֻרוֹת ). The general abhorrence of the usurer, and of his taking pledges, among the Arabs of the present day, is often mentioned by travelers. Mohammed entirely forbids all lending on interest, and the Mosaic precepts (comp.  Exodus 22:25-27) are generally so understood in the East. Yet nothing is more common there than exorbitant usury, and the taking of pledges (Thomson, Land And Book, 1, 499 sq.). (See Loan).

PLEDGE is something given in hand as a security for the fulfillment of a contract or the performance of a promise. When a man of veracity pledges his word, his affirmation becomes an assurance that he will fulfill what he has promised. But as the word of every man is not equally valid in matters of importance, it becomes necessary that a valuable article of some kind should be deposited as a bond for fulfillment on his part. In the Protestant Episcopal Church Catechism a sacrament is defined as ";an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us; ordained by Christ himself, as a Ineans whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof;" in which the pledge is the token that we receive the grace.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]