That the poor existed among the Hebrews we have abundant evidence (Ex 23:11; De 15:11), but there is no mention of beggars properly so called in the Old Testament. The poor were provided for by the law of Moses (Le 19:10; De 12:12; 14:29). It is predicted of the seed of the wicked that they shall be beggars (Ps 37:25; 109:10).
In the New Testament we find not seldom mention made of beggars (Mr 10:46; Lu 16:20-21; Ac 3:2), yet there is no mention of such a class as vagrant beggars, so numerous in the East. "Beggarly," in Ga 4:9, means worthless.
but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
'Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.
"And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.
"The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
"For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.'
I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.
Let his children wander about and beg; And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes.
Then they came to Jericho And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.
"And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
And a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?