The Bible and Money, with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Do you want answers from the Bible about making more money and prospering financially? The Bible has a lot to teach us about money.
Today, Rabbi Daniel Lapin is back to discuss Biblical principles. For example, he’ll discuss principles that you can apply to increase your revenue. He also shares how the Bible guides you to prosperity.
So, if you want to deepen your faith, improve your finances, and build your financial life on a solid foundation… tune in now!
Table of contents
Why is Biblical Financial Success a Passion for Rabbi Lapin?
[3:16] “First of all, it’s satisfying because it’s complex. And what I mean by that is, life is complex. Any attempt to solve the problems of life with a slogan or keyword or simple solution is doomed to failure. And people regularly ask me, you know, what is the secret to money?”
In most cases, when people ask this question of Rabbi Lapin, they’re looking for a simple solution. Yet, as he points out, it’s not a simple subject and cannot be reduced to a simple answer. This led the Rabbi to dig deeper and become more interested in the ancient financial wisdom within the Bible.
[5:47] “I’m afraid the Bible is just like that. If you’re going to try to solve this in a simplistic way and find a verse here or a verse there that helps you with finances, you’re going to be doomed. Because anybody who knows his way around the Bible will find a verse that says one thing and then another verse that apparently says the opposite.”
To unlock wisdom from the Bible requires deep study to understand the context. A verse here or there is no good without the knowledge of why it exists in the first place.
The Bible and Money
[6:35] “When you got right down to it, the question I was always asked was, ‘Why are Jews so disproportionately good with money?’ And it turned out to be a very worthwhile field of study that no one had really done.”
Since there was little accessible information on this topic, Rabbi Lapin embraced the subject. Over the course of his work, he’s studied and identified the connections between the holy texts and cultural behaviors. Additionally, he’s studied the history surrounding Judaism, and how that applies to money.
Through his books, he’s helped to make this information more accessible to people in and outside the faith.
Ancient Jewish Wisdom: The Bible and Money
[17:00] “Heaven and Earth are two separate categories of information. One is information that is earthly, it’s materialistic. Another form of information is ephemeral…You can’t touch it… It’s something, again, that Jewish people have always understood, to their credit and to their benefit. Which is that there is a form of knowledge which is earthly. And this you can roughly call science, technology, discovery, and medicine. In all of these things, every successive generation knows more than the one before it… However, when we come to the things that never change, well, on those, we actually seem to know less as time goes by.”
Those things that never change, as they would happen, can be sourced from the Bible just as readily as anywhere else. One of Rabbi Lapin’s examples is the relationship of parent to child, and how teenage children ignore their parent’s wisdom, only for adult children to understand and appreciate their parent’s wisdom. This has never changed, yet the Rabbi asserts there’s more value in studying something like this from ancient texts than modern ones. Because that ancient wisdom gets it right.
[22:30 “The beauty of ancient Jewish wisdom, in my experience, is that it doesn’t try to give you specific answers, it’s not like a horoscope in your morning newspaper… But it does give you the permanent principles and the timeless truths that allow you to analyze current circumstances in the light of your own life.”
Is it Bad to Make Money?
One aspect of ancient Jewish wisdom that can be universally applied today is that you can make more money. And you do this by serving people or providing a service. There’s some argument that money is the root of evil, or that profiting from a service is morally corrupt. However, this doesn’t necessarily track. The intent behind something matters. And if your aim is to provide value to society, it stands to reason you should receive good in return.
In fact, we believe that if you’re only in a field for profit, that profit won’t come to you. After all, you won’t be invested in providing good service. People put their dollars into things they value. If you’re skimping on quality, or cutting corners, or charging too much, you won’t get business. The proof of value exists in whether or not you fulfill a worthwhile service for people. The Bible mentions money frequently, you just have to know how to interpret.
[33:06] “Ancient Jewish wisdom expands [Genesis] and links it to other circumstances in scripture to show that it is a general statement. Which is: God doesn’t want us to be disconnected from one another, and he incentivizes us to be connected with one another. And one of those ways is through money.”
What Ancient Jewish Wisdom Reveals About Humanity
[34:38] “The overall goal of the Good Lord is that people should care for one another. And it doesn’t surprise me that a good and loving God should actually reward me for doing what he wants me to do.”
[35:09] “We all know that money doesn’t make you happy, right? And that’s true. You only have to take a look at what happens to people who win the lottery. It’s really hard to find lottery winners who, five years later, have better lives. Things just go wrong. Getting money doesn’t improve… As far as I’ve been able to find, the only two languages that have a specific word for earn… to earn money, [are] English and Hebrew… [In other languages] it’s all the same word, and it’s a big mistake. Because getting money doesn’t make you happy; winning money doesn’t make you happy. But earning money actually makes you very happy.”
Biblical Wisdom to Increase Revenue
Inflation and the boom/bust cycle are outside of our control. In order to outpace or stop the effects of inflation, really it falls on individuals to make more money and stop spending money. These lessons on money can be unlocked in the Bible.
[46:35] “It’s not a case of tricks. You don’t need me to give you a list of thirty side gigs that anybody can do… Anybody can come up with their list of things they could do to increase their revenue once we help them really believe that it’s possible. My goodness, if you just took the time you spent every week watching videos… and devoted it to making more money, you would.”
It’s not easy to make this change, but it is rewarding. You’ll have to work to make changes by setting aside time and working hard. Yet because it is what God wants for you, according to Rabbi Lapin, God will reward you when you get it right.
Connect with Rabbi Lapin
About Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, author, speaker, and TV host immigrated to the United States from South Africa. He studied mathematics, physics, and economics in Israel and the United Kingdom.
His books include:
- America’s Real War,
- Business Secrets from the Bible,
- and Thou Shall Prosper: The Ten Commandments for Making Money
The above books have been translated into Chinese and Korean.
Rabbi Lapin is a frequent speaker for trade groups, political, and civic organizations, financial conferences, and companies in the US, Europe, and Asia. Often, he guests on radio and television shows. Newsweek magazine included him in its first list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis. His weekly podcast now enjoys over 100,000 downloads as do his weekly columns.
With his wife Susan, he hosts the daily TCT television show Ancient Jewish Wisdom. An enthusiastic boater who has sailed his family across the Pacific in their own boat, the Lapins, who home-schooled their seven children, live in Maryland.
View Our Other Conversations with Rabbi Lapin
- Thou Shall Prosper, with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
- The Holistic You, with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
- Business Secrets from the Bible, with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
- Successful Families, Inheritance, and Family Giving, with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
- Financial Prosperity, with Rabbi Daniel Lapin
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