'Poor' in the Bible
Lo, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such as I had never seen for ugliness in all the land of Egypt;
“If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest.
nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.
The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves.
“But if he is poor and his means are insufficient, then he is to take one male lamb for a guilt offering as a wave offering to make atonement for him, and one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, and a log of oil,
‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.
‘If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold.
‘Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you.
‘If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service.
‘Now if the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger’s family,
However, there will be no poor among you, since the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess,
“If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;
Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the Lord against you, and it will be a sin in you.
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.’
If he is a poor man, you shall not sleep with his pledge.
“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns.
You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the Lord and it become sin in you.
Then he said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.
“The Lord makes poor and rich;He brings low, He also exalts.
“He raises the poor from the dust,He lifts the needy from the ash heapTo make them sit with nobles,And inherit a seat of honor;For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,And He set the world on them.
So Saul’s servants spoke these words to David. But David said, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and lightly esteemed?”
Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said,“There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor.
“But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lambWhich he bought and nourished;And it grew up together with him and his children.It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom,And was like a daughter to him.
“Now a traveler came to the rich man,And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd,To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him;Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
“But He saves from the sword of their mouth,And the poor from the hand of the mighty.
“His sons favor the poor,And his hands give back his wealth.
“For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor;He has seized a house which he has not built.
“They push the needy aside from the road;The poor of the land are made to hide themselves altogether.
“Others snatch the orphan from the breast,And against the poor they take a pledge.
“They cause the poor to go about naked without clothing,And they take away the sheaves from the hungry.
“The murderer arises at dawn;He kills the poor and the needy,And at night he is as a thief.
Because I delivered the poor who cried for help,And the orphan who had no helper.
“If I have kept the poor from their desire,Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
Who shows no partiality to princesNor regards the rich above the poor,For they all are the work of His hands?
So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him,And that He might hear the cry of the afflicted—
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard himAnd saved him out of all his troubles.
Both low and high,Rich and poor together.
Your creatures settled in it;You provided in Your goodness for the poor, O God.
He will have compassion on the poor and needy,And the lives of the needy he will save.
He has given freely to the poor,His righteousness endures forever;His horn will be exalted in honor.
He raises the poor from the dustAnd lifts the needy from the ash heap,
I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflictedAnd justice for the poor.
Poor is he who works with a negligent hand,But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
The rich man’s wealth is his fortress,The ruin of the poor is their poverty.
There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing;Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.
The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,But the poor hears no rebuke.
Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor,But it is swept away by injustice.
The poor is hated even by his neighbor,But those who love the rich are many.
He who despises his neighbor sins,But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker,But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.
He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker;He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.
The poor man utters supplications,But the rich man answers roughly.
Better is a poor man who walks in his integrityThan he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.
Wealth adds many friends,But a poor man is separated from his friend.
All the brothers of a poor man hate him;How much more do his friends abandon him!He pursues them with words, but they are gone.
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord,And He will repay him for his good deed.
What is desirable in a man is his kindness,And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.
He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poorWill also cry himself and not be answered.
He who loves pleasure will become a poor man;He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
The rich and the poor have a common bond,The Lord is the maker of them all.
The rich rules over the poor,And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
He who is generous will be blessed,For he gives some of his food to the poor.
He who oppresses the poor to make more for himselfOr who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
Do not rob the poor because he is poor,Or crush the afflicted at the gate;
A poor man who oppresses the lowlyIs like a driving rain which leaves no food.
Better is the poor who walks in his integrityThan he who is crooked though he be rich.
He who increases his wealth by interest and usuryGathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.
The rich man is wise in his own eyes,But the poor who has understanding sees through him.
Like a roaring lion and a rushing bearIs a wicked ruler over a poor people.
He who gives to the poor will never want,But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor,The wicked does not understand such concern.
The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:The Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
If a king judges the poor with truth,His throne will be established forever.
She extends her hand to the poor,And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction.
For he has come out of prison to become king, even though he was born poor in his kingdom.
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.
For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living?
But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man.
So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded.
The Lord enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people,“It is you who have devoured the vineyard;The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
“What do you mean by crushing My peopleAnd grinding the face of the poor?”Declares the Lord God of hosts.
So as to deprive the needy of justiceAnd rob the poor of My people of their rights,So that widows may be their spoilAnd that they may plunder the orphans.
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungryAnd bring the homeless poor into the house;When you see the naked, to cover him;And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
“Also on your skirts is foundThe lifeblood of the innocent poor;You did not find them breaking in.But in spite of all these things,
Then I said, “They are only the poor,They are foolish;For they do not know the way of the LordOr the ordinance of their God.
‘They are fat, they are sleek,They also excel in deeds of wickedness;They do not plead the cause,The cause of the orphan, that they may prosper;And they do not defend the rights of the poor.
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.
oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits abomination,
he keeps his hand from the poor, does not take interest or increase, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father’s iniquity, he will surely live.
The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice.
Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria,Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,Who say to your husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!”
Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poorAnd exact a tribute of grain from them,Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone,Yet you will not live in them;You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.
For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great,You who distress the righteous and accept bribesAnd turn aside the poor in the gate.
and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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