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early 13c., dettur, dettour, from Old French detour, from Latin debitor "a debter," from past participle stem of debere; see debt. The -b- was restored in later French, and in English c.1560-c.1660. The KJV has detter three times, debter three times, debtor twice and debtour once.
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 (Deut. 24:10, 11). (2.) A mill, or millstone, or upper garment, when given as a pledge, could not be kept over night (Ex. 22:26, 27). (3.) A debt could not be exacted during the Sabbatic year (Deut. 15:1-15). For other laws bearing on this relation see Lev. 25:14, 32, 39; Matt. 18:25, 34. (4.) A surety was liable in the same way as the original debtor (Prov. 11:15; 17:18).