"He who increases his wealth by interest and usury gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor"
he who increases his wealth by interest and usury
It is instructive that there is, in this verse, a separation between interest and usury. The word for interest is the physical word bite when used in a literal sense. It refers to snakes and animals that bite. When used in the financial realm, it is translated interest.
The biblical prescription for wealth-building is diligence, wisdom, and hard work – not charging people usurious interest.
The word usury is the word multiply or abundant increase. It would suggest that this type of interest or cost of helping a friend is a strong multiplier or even excessive multiplier of your own money. It has come down, in western culture, to be interest rates above 20 percent, which interestingly enough is what most credit card companies charge.
There is a subtle prod in this proverb which would be that one should grow their wealth through the actual production of goods and services that benefit mankind and not through just through interest and usury.
Wealth heaped up in the wrong way will eventually be distributed to those who are in need. You are amassing a fortune for a person who will be concerned for those you are not concerned for. This fortune will not stay with you.
There is the hint or idea that the person who is searching after wealth through interest and usury is so risky and get-rich-quick oriented that this type of person will not stop doing this and will eventually lose all they have heaped up to someone or something who has a more righteous perspective on wealth, poverty, affliction, and injustice.