Lacking in material goods. In certain contexts, encountered primarily in Proverbs, poverty is the consequence of moral lassitude, especially laziness (Prov 13:18; Prov 20:13). In its primary biblical sense, however, poverty is understood not as a consequence of personal failings, but as a result of social factors, particularly injustice (Prov 13:23). Thus, the responsibility of redressing the plight of the poor is fundamental to biblical faith, since the God of Israel is a God who hears the cries of the poor (Ps 12:5). In the law attention is given to social structures that affect the poor (Exod 23:11; Lev 19:9-10; Deut 15:2; Deut 23:24-25). There is to be open-handed sharing with the poor (Deut 15:11; Luke 12:33). The Bible also maintains that the ideal ruler is to be one who assumes responsibility for delivering the poor and crushing oppressors (Ps 72:4). It is part of the messianic expectation (Isa 11:4) fulfilled in Jesus (Luke 1:52-53; Luke 4:18-21). The hope for “good news proclaimed to the poor” (Luke 4:18; Luke 7:22) was ancient (Ps 68:10-11; Isa 29:18-19; Isa 35:4-6). The Beatitude concerning the poor in Luke emphasizes God’s siding with the poor against the wealthy (Luke 6:20, Luke 6:24). A major concern of Paul was to make a collection for the poor in Jerusalem (Rom 15:26; 2Cor 8-9). His purpose was that there be “fair balance” (2Cor 8:13-15).

Prov 13:18

18Poverty and disgrace are for the one who ignores instruction,
but one who heeds reproof is honored.

Prov 20:13

13Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.

Prov 13:23

23The field of the poor may yield much food,
but it is swept away through injustice.

Ps 12:5

5“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
I will now rise up,” says the Lord;
“I will place them in the safety for which they long.”

Exod 23:11

11but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat. You shall do ... View more

Lev 19:9-10

9When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest.10You shall not strip your ... View more

Deut 15:2

2And this is the manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of ... View more

Deut 23:24-25

24If you go into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in a container.25If you go into your ... View more

Deut 15:11

11Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”

Luke 12:33

33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth ... View more

Ps 72:4

4May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.

Isa 11:4

4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with ... View more

Luke 1:52-53

52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;53he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

Luke 4:18-21

18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery ... View more

Luke 4:18

18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery ... View more

Luke 7:22

22And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, th ... View more

Ps 68:10-11

10your flock found a dwelling in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
11The Lord gives the command;
great is the company of those who bore t ... View more

Isa 29:18-19

18On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a scroll,
and out of their gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind shall see.19The meek shall obtain fresh joy i ... View more

Isa 35:4-6

4Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and sav ... View more

Luke 6:20

Blessings and Woes
20Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 6:24

24“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.

Rom 15:26

26for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.

2Cor 8-9

Encouragement to Be Generous
1We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia;2for during a ... View more

2Cor 8:13-15

13I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between14your present abundance and their nee ... View more

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