Most Relevant Verses
For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hands to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor in your land.
Behold, as wild asses in the desert, [the poor] go forth to their work, seeking diligently for prey and food; the wilderness yields them bread for their children [in roots and herbage]. They reap each one his fodder in a field [that is not his own], and they glean the vintage of the wicked man. They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold.read more.
They are wet with the showers of the mountains and cling to the rock for want of shelter. [The violent men whose wickedness seems unnoticed] pluck the fatherless infants from the breast [to sell or make them slaves], and take [the clothing on] the poor for a pledge, So that the needy go about naked for lack of clothing, and though hungry, they must carry [but not eat from] the sheaves. Among the olive rows [of the wicked, the poor] make oil; they tread [the fresh juice of the grape from] the presses, but suffer thirst.
For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have Me.
Some wandered in the wilderness in a solitary desert track; they found no city for habitation. Hungry and thirsty, they fainted; their lives were near to being extinguished.
When the seven years of plenty were ended in the land of Egypt, The seven years of scarcity and famine began to come, as Joseph had said they would; the famine was in all [the surrounding] lands, but in all of Egypt there was food. But when all the land of Egypt was weakened with hunger, the people [there] cried to Pharaoh for food; and Pharaoh said to [them] all, Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.read more.
When the famine was over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians; for the famine grew extremely distressing in the land of Egypt. And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all [the known] earth.
Then Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea and they went into the Wilderness of Shur; they went three days [thirty-three miles] in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its waters for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah [bitterness]. The people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
And the whole congregation of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, And said to them, Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
All the congregation of the Israelites moved on from the Wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and encamped at Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore, the people contended with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said to them, Why do you find fault with me? Why do you tempt the Lord and try His patience? But the people thirsted there for water, and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?
And the mixed multitude among them [the rabble who followed Israel from Egypt] began to lust greatly [for familiar and dainty food], and the Israelites wept again and said, Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish we ate freely in Egypt and without cost, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. But now our soul (our strength) is dried up; there is nothing at all [in the way of food] to be seen but this manna.
After a while the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land. And the word of the Lord came to him: Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.read more.
So he arose and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her, Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand. And she said, As the Lord your God lives, I have not a loaf baked but only a handful of meal in the jar and a little oil in the bottle. See, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it -- "and die.
Now there arose a great cry of the [poor] people and of their wives [driven to borrowing] against their Jewish brethren [the few who could afford to lend]. For some said, We, our sons and daughters, are many; therefore allow us to take grain, that we may eat and live! If we are not given grain, let us take it! Also some said, We are mortgaging our lands, vineyards, and houses to buy grain because of the scarcity.read more.
Others said, We have borrowed money on our fields and vineyards to pay the [Persian] king's heavy tax. Although our flesh is the same as that of our brethren and our children are as theirs, yet we are forced to sell our children as slaves; some of our daughters have already been thus sold, and we are powerless to redeem them, for others have our lands and vineyards.
For (during) forty days in the wilderness (desert), where He was tempted ( tried, tested exceedingly) by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, He was hungry.
And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.
These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your she-goats have not lost their young, and the rams of your flock have not been eaten by me. I did not bring you [the carcasses of the animals] torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss of it; you required of me [to make good] all that was stolen, whether it occurred by day or by night. This was [my lot]; by day the heat consumed me and by night the cold, and I could not sleep.read more.
I have been twenty years in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks; and you have changed my wages ten times. And if the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Dread [lest he should fall] and Fear [lest he offend] of Isaac, had not been with me, surely you would have sent me away now empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and humiliation and the [wearying] labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.
And the people sent for him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came to Rehoboam, saying, Your father [King Solomon] made our yoke grievous. So now make lighter the grievous service of your father and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve you.
For you recall our hard toil and struggles, brethren. We worked night and day [and plied our trade] in order not to be a burden to any of you [for our support] while we proclaimed the glad tidings (the Gospel) of God to you.
So they set over [the Israelites] taskmasters to afflict and oppress them with [increased] burdens. And [the Israelites] built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.
However, after a long time [nearly forty years] the king of Egypt died; and the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their cry because of slavery ascended to God.
But the number of the bricks which they made before you shall still require of them; you shall not diminish it in the least. For they are idle; that is why they cry, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let heavier work be laid upon the men that they may labor at it and pay no attention to lying words.
Now the wife of a son of the prophets cried to Elisha, Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. But the creditor has come to take my two sons to be his slaves.
Now will I arise, says the Lord, because the poor are oppressed, because of the groans of the needy; I will set him in safety and in the salvation for which he pants.
Have mercy and be gracious unto me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; with grief my eye is weakened, also my inner self and my body. For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and even my bones have wasted away. To all my enemies I have become a reproach, but especially to my neighbors, and a dread to my acquaintances, who flee from me on the street.read more.
I am forgotten like a dead man, and out of mind; like a broken vessel am I. For I have heard the slander of many; terror is on every side! While they schemed together against me, they plotted to take my life.
Publish to the strongholds in Ashdod [Philistia] and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold what great tumults (confusion and disorder) are in her and what oppressions are in the midst of her.
[But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts.
So we labored at the work while half of them held the spears from dawn until the stars came out. At that time also I said to the people, Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that at night they may be a guard to us and a laborer during the day. So none of us -- "I, my kinsmen, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me -- "took off our clothes; each kept his weapon [in his hand for days].
And to Abiathar the priest the king said, Get to Anathoth to your own estate; for you deserve death, but I will not put you to death now, because you bore the ark of the Lord God before my father David and were afflicted in all my father endured.
Three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam, and the army of the Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the Philistines' garrison was in Bethlehem. And David longingly said, Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!read more.
Then the Three [mighty men] broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate and brought it to David. But David would not drink it; he poured it out to the Lord, And said, My God forbid that I should do this thing. Shall I drink the blood of these men who have put their lives in jeopardy? For at the risk of their lives they brought it. So he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.
The fourteenth night had come and we were drifting and being driven about in the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors began to suspect that they were drawing near to some land. So they took soundings and found twenty fathoms, and a little farther on they sounded again and found fifteen fathoms. Then fearing that we might fall off [our course] onto rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and kept wishing for daybreak to come.read more.
And as the sailors were trying to escape [secretly] from the ship and were lowering the small boat into the sea, pretending that they were going to lay out anchors from the bow, Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, Unless these men remain in the ship, you cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut away the ropes that held the small boat, and let it fall and drift away. While they waited until it should become day, Paul entreated them all to take some food, saying, This is the fourteenth day that you have been continually in suspense and on the alert without food, having eaten nothing. So I urge (warn, exhort, encourage, advise) you to take some food [for your safety] -- "it will give you strength; for not a hair is to perish from the head of any one of you. Having said these words, he took bread and, giving thanks to God before them all, he broke it and began to eat. Then they all became more cheerful and were encouraged and took food themselves. All told there were 276 souls of us in the ship. And after they had eaten sufficiently, [they proceeded] to lighten the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea. Now when it was day [and they saw the land], they did not recognize it, but they noticed a bay with a beach on which they [taking counsel] purposed to run the ship ashore if they possibly could. So they cut the cables and severed the anchors and left them in the sea; at the same time unlashing the ropes that held the rudders and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they headed for the beach. But striking a crosscurrent (a place open to two seas) they ran the ship aground. The prow stuck fast and remained immovable, and the stern began to break up under the violent force of the waves. It was the counsel of the soldiers to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim to land and escape; But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, prevented their carrying out their purpose. He commanded those who could swim to throw themselves overboard first and make for the shore, And the rest on heavy boards or pieces of the vessel. And so it was that all escaped safely to land.
Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you], Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you.
Who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, but Who brought you forth water out of the flinty rock,
And the Egyptians treated us very badly and afflicted us and laid upon us hard bondage. And when we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our [cruel] oppression;
But we commend ourselves in every way as [true] servants of God: through great endurance, in tribulation and suffering, in hardships and privations, in sore straits and calamities, In beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless watching, hunger;
For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing), [in] that though He was [so very] rich, yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied).
When they had preached the good news (Gospel) to that town and made disciples of many of the people, they went back to Lystra and Iconium and Antioch, Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
To this hour we have gone both hungry and thirsty; we [ habitually] wear but one undergarment [and shiver in the cold]; we are roughly knocked about and wander around homeless. And we still toil unto weariness [for our living], working hard with our own hands. When men revile us [ wound us with an accursed sting], we bless them. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure it. When we are slandered and defamed, we [try to] answer softly and bring comfort. We have been made and are now the rubbish and filth of the world [the offscouring of all things, the scum of the earth].
For we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about the affliction and oppressing distress which befell us in [the province of] Asia, how we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life [itself]. Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.
Are they [ministering] servants of Christ (the Messiah)? I am talking like one beside himself, [but] I am more, with far more extensive and abundant labors, with far more imprisonments, [beaten] with countless stripes, and frequently [at the point of] death. Five times I received from [the hands of] the Jews forty [lashes all] but one; Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have spent [adrift] on the deep;read more.
Many times on journeys, [exposed to] perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from [my own] nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as believers [but destitute of Christian knowledge and piety]; In toil and hardship, watching often [through sleepless nights], in hunger and thirst, frequently driven to fasting by want, in cold and exposure and lack of clothing. And besides those things that are without, there is the daily [inescapable pressure] of my care and anxiety for all the churches! Who is weak, and I do not feel [his] weakness? Who is made to stumble and fall and have his faith hurt, and I am not on fire [with sorrow or indignation]?
Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].read more.
But it was right and commendable and noble of you to contribute for my needs and to share my difficulties with me.
Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus.
For you did sympathize and suffer along with those who were imprisoned, and you bore cheerfully the plundering of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, in the knowledge and consciousness that you yourselves had a better and lasting possession.
They were stoned to death; they were lured with tempting offers [to renounce their faith]; they were sawn asunder; they were slaughtered by the sword; [while they were alive] they had to go about wrapped in the skins of sheep and goats, utterly destitute, oppressed, cruelly treated -- " [Men] of whom the world was not worthy -- "roaming over the desolate places and the mountains, and [living] in caves and caverns and holes of the earth.
You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline?
I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name's sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.
Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.
And you will be hated by all for My name's sake, but he who perseveres and endures to the end will be saved [ from spiritual disease and death in the world to come].
And you will be hated and detested by everybody for My name's sake, but he who patiently perseveres and endures to the end will be saved ( made a partaker of the salvation by Christ, and delivered from spiritual death).
Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.
You know how we call those blessed (happy) who were steadfast [who endured]. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord's [purpose and how He richly blessed him in the] end, inasmuch as the Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.