LAW 501-001 – Foundations of Law I

Contract


The source of contract is God.

Contract law is not the creature of society b/c it existed before society.

The obligation/right of contract comes from LONANG.

It is an unalienable right bestowed upon us by God.

Accordingly, while the state may enforce contracts, it may not impair them.

  • Numbers 30:2
    If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
  • Matthew 5:37
    But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

God fulfills His promises, and as creatures made in His image, we should do the same.

  • Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
  • Numbers 23:19
    God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

The Bible implies that contracts should be honored even when induced by fraud.

  • Israel honored their treaty with the Gibeonites in Joshua 9.
  • Jacob married Leah when deceived into it in Genesis 29.

Leviticus 6 and Numbers 5 also say that defrauders must pay restitution plus a fifth.

The Bible does not condone contracts to accomplish unlawful purposes.

  • 1 Samuel 25:1–35
    • David repented of his oath to kill Nabal.
Bankruptcy

The Mosaic Law had a seven year release period. Deuteronomy 15.

This is, like, sort of similar to modern bankruptcy.

Psalm 37:21

The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
Unconscionability

Unconscionability is when "in light of general commercial background . . . the clauses are so one-sided as to be unconscionable under the circumstances at the time of the making of the contract"

Some courts have said, “shocks the conscience.”

Esau sold his birthright and was not able to nullify it. Genesis 25; Hebrews 12.

The Bible commands people not to oppress the poor.

  • Proverbs 14:31
    He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
  • Proverbs 22:22
    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

Jesus cast out the moneychangers for price gouging temple-goers.

  • Matthew 21:12–13
    And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
    13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

The Bible says not to make contracts that would be unconscionable or unfulfilled.

  • Ecclesiastes 5:5
    Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
  • Luke 6:34–35
    And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
    35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
  • Proverbs 14:31
    He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
  • Proverbs 22:22
    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: