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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 15:11

 

 

"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.'

Adam Clarke Commentary

For the poor shall never cease out of the land - To this passage our Lord appears to allude Mark 14:7; : For ye have the poor with you always. God leaves these in mercy among men to exercise the feelings of compassion, tenderness, mercy, etc. And without occasions afforded to exercise these, man would soon become a Stoic or a brute.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the poor shall never cease out of the land,.... There would be always such objects to exercise their charity and beneficence towards, John 12:8, which is no contradiction to Deuteronomy 15:4 for had they been obedient to the laws of God, they would have been so blessed that there would have been none; so the Targums; but he foresaw that they would not keep his commands, and so this would be the case, and which he foretells that they might expect it, and do their duty to them, as here directed:

therefore I command thee, saying, thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother; not give sparingly, but largely, in proportion to the necessities of the poor, and according to the abilities of the lender or giver; and this must be done to a brother, one that is near in the bonds of consanguinity, and to him a man must give or lend first, as Aben Ezra observes, and then "to thy poor"; the poor of thy family, as the same writer:

and to thy needy in the land; that are in very distressed circumstances, though not related, and particularly such as are in the same place where a man dwells; for, as the same writer remarks, the poor of thy land are to be preferred to the poor of another place,


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

c For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt d open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

(c) To try your charity, (Matthew 26:11).

(d) You shall be liberal.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/deuteronomy-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

For the poor shall never cease out of the land — Although every Israelite on the conquest of Canaan became the owner of property, yet in the providence of God who foresaw the event, it was permitted, partly as a punishment of disobedience and partly for the exercise of benevolent and charitable feelings, that “the poor should never cease out of the land.”


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/deuteronomy-15.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

For the poor will never cease in the land, even the land that is richly blessed, because poverty is not only the penalty of sin, but is ordained by God for punishment and discipline.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/deuteronomy-15.html. 1854-1889.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Reader! look around thee, and behold this day how GOD'S word is verified. Blessed JESUS! give me grace to keep in view thine unequalled poverty, and to consider the path of honest humble poverty as dignified by thy bright example. 2 Corinthians 8:9.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

The poor shall never cease — God by his providence will so order it, partly for the punishment of your disobedience, and partly for the trial and exercise of your obedience to him and charity to your brother.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/deuteronomy-15.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11.For the poor shall never cease out of the land. The notion (147) of those is far fetched who suppose that there would be always poor men among them, because they would not keep the law, and consequently the land would be barren on account of their unrighteousness. I admit that this is true; but God does not here ascribe it to their sins that there would always be some beggars among them, but only reminds them that there would never be wanting matter for their generosity, because He would prove what was in their hearts by setting the poor before them. For, (as I have observed above,) this is why the rich and poor meet together, and the Lord is maker of them all; because otherwise the duties of charity would not be observed unless they put them into exercise by assisting each other. Wherefore God, to stir up the inactivity of the rich, declares that lie prescribes nothing but what continual necessity will require.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/deuteronomy-15.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THY POOR BROTHER

‘If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother.’

Deuteronomy 15:7-8; Deuteronomy 15:11

I. ‘God has made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell upon the face of the whole earth.’—This is the announcement of a grand fact, which has never yet been successfully disproved. This relates man to man everywhere, makes all the world a neighbourhood, and founds upon universal affinity a universal claim. This general law, however, must be divided into minor modifications, or it will be practically useless. Hence all private affections are recognised and hallowed, and are indeed the sources from which all public virtues spring. We are bound to love our neighbour as ourselves, and if in a contracted Hebrew spirit you are inclined to press the inquiry, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ there comes a full pressure of utterance to authenticate and enforce the answer, Man.

II. The last clause of the text is as true to-day as in the time of its original utterance.—The poor shall never cease out of the land; in every age and in every clime there are distinctions of society in the world. Society could not cohere as a union of equals; there must be gradation and dependence. In the text benevolence to the poor is positively enjoined, and enjoined because of their abiding existence as a class of the community. Once recognise the relationship, and the claim will inevitably follow; the sense of service rendered and obligation created thereby will make that claim more sacred; and Religion, attaching her holiest sanction, lifts the recognition of the claim into a duty which may not be violated without sin.

III. ‘Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it unto Me.’—This is our Divinely furnished argument. ‘She hath done what she could.’ This is to be the measure of our giving.

Illustration

(1) ‘Freely we have received, let us freely give. The Hebrews were taught to live a generous, bountiful life, giving to him that asked, not turning away from him that borrowed, not exacting money which had been lent. They were not only to give because of the Divine law, but without compunction and reluctance, prompted by the spirit of love. “Thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest.” The open hand was to be sign of an open heart, and right behind this free bestowment of benefaction there lay the perpetual memory that God would bless them and give to them. Giving is also pre-eminently the Christian’s duty. We are meant to be channels, and not receptacles; God’s stewards, entrusted with wealth and talent and spiritual gift that we may pass them on.’

(2) ‘It is well for me that the poor never cease out of the land.

Let me imagine a world where all are strong and independent, requiring nothing and asking nothing. There is no sickness. There is no sorrow. Penury is absolutely unknown. There are no weaknesses and no fears. It is a thrice-blessed world, I am inclined to say. Ah, but let me stay a moment. There are many desirable qualities, many heavenly graces, which can have no dwelling-place at all within its borders.

What room can be found for the grace of tenderness, where everyone is “serene and resolute and still and calm and self-possessed”? What room can be found for the grace of trust, where everyone is rich and increased with goods and has need of nothing? What room can be found for the grace of gratitude, where none requires to give praise for blessing received and enjoyed? What room can be found for the grace of endurance, where happiness and comfort and unbroken prosperity and unruffled peace prevail from January to December?

My soul would grow hard when there was nothing but flowers and fruits, and silver and gold, and gladness and joy!’


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

Ver. 11. For the poor.] {See Trapp on "Matthew 26:11"} Aged and impotent poor, whose misery moves compassion without an orator; called here our poor, as well as our brethren.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 11. For the poor shall never cease out of the land i.e. There shall be always some indigent persons among you who shall stand in need of your charitable relief. The Jerusalem Targum understands this, as if there should have been no poor among them, had they been obedient to God's precepts. Though God, by his providence, could easily supply the necessities of all, he nevertheless permits the perpetual continuance of the poor; and that for divers reasons worthy of his wisdom: among others, to put to proof the humanity and compassion of the rich. So our Saviour says, ye have the poor with you always; and whensoever ye will, ye may do them good. Mark 14:7. See Grotius's Commentary on Matthew 26:11. Houbigant, in defence of his interpretation, observes, that these words are by no means contradictory to those in the 4th verse: for it is not there said, that there should be no poor in Israel; but it is commanded, that brother should not reduce brother to poverty.

REFLECTIONS.—We have here, 1. An order for the release of insolvent debtors on the sabbatical year. Note; (1.) The Gospel preaches to us poor debtors this acceptable year of the Lord, even the free pardon of all our sins through the blood of Jesus. (2.) God teaches us not to be severe exactors upon our brethren, but to forgive them as we hope to be forgiven. (3.) They who can take God's security for payment of what, for his sake, they remit to the indigent, will find him a responsible bondsman. 2. He cautions them against making this a plea for uncharitableness; that the year of release approached, and they should be in danger of losing what they lent: such a wicked thought God rebukes, enjoining them to open both their heart and hand to their brother's necessities, and according to their ability to lend, hoping for nothing again; and this not grudgingly, or of necessity, but with cheerfulness, assured that God will not suffer them to be losers by their kindness; and lest, if they refused, the cry of the needy should come up against them, and their sin be had in remembrance before God. Note; (1.) God knows and remarks every evil thought of our hearts, and therefore we should watch against and suppress the first risings of them within us. (2.) It is a dreadful thing to have the cry of the poor against us; for God hears, and will avenge them speedily. (3.) It is not so much the gift, as the temper of the giver, that God regards. (4.) The best and most useful charity, probably, is, to assist the industrious poor with a small loan, by the help of which they may be put in a way of comfortably providing for themselves and families. (5.) Though we lose what we thus lend, we shall find ourselves gainers at last.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The poor shall never cease out of the land; God by his providence will so order it, partly for the punishment of your disobedience, and partly for the trial and exercise of your obedience to me, and charity to your brother, both which are best discovered by your performance of costly duties.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11. The poor shall never cease out of the land — Our Lord says, “Ye have the poor with you always.” Mark 14:7. Here Moses lays down rules which the people were to observe in the case of Hebrew slaves. The earlier legislation is recorded in Exodus 21:2-6.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-15.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Deuteronomy 15:11. The poor shall never cease — God, by his providence, will so order it, partly for the punishment of your disobedience, and partly for the trial and exercise of your obedience to him, and charity to your brother.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Needy. Hebrew expresses the order to be observed in giving alms, "open thy hand wide (give with profusion) to thy brother, (or relations,) to thy needy, (in extreme want,) and to thy poor in the land," whoever they may be. (Calmet) --- To exercise the charity of his people, God suffered some to be poor. (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

never cease. See note on Deuteronomy 15:4.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/deuteronomy-15.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) For the poor shall never cease.—There is no contradiction between this verse and Deuteronomy 15:4 above. There will always be some men falling into poverty; but it is our business to see that they do not remain in want. The poor will never cease, except by the provision made for them by their brethren. God will never make all men absolutely equal in this world.

Thy brother, thy poor, and thy needy.-According to Rashi, the word translated “needy” is stronger than the word for “poor.” The “poor” are in humble circumstances; the “needy” are actually in want. In commenting on this verse, Rashi asks a similar question to that of the lawyer in Luke 10:29, “Who is this brother? Thy poor man.” He might have added that “thy poor” and “thy needy” are expressions teaching the truth that we are “members one of another.” We may not pass by our poorer brethren, and say we have nothing to do with them. Jehovah calls them ours—“thy poor man,” and “thy needy man.” The words are both in the singular number in the Hebrew. We cannot shake off the relationship or the responsibility in any one case.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/deuteronomy-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
the poor
Although Moses, by the statutes relative to the division of the land, and inheritance, and the inalienable nature of it, had studied to prevent any Israelite from being born poor, yet he exhorts them to the exercise of the tenderest compassion and most benevolent actions; and not to refuse assistance to the decayed Israelite, though the sabbatical year drew nigh.
Proverbs 22:2; Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8
Thou shalt
8; Matthew 5:42; Luke 12:33; Acts 2:45; 4:32-35; 11:28-30; 2 Corinthians 8:2-9; 1 John 3:16-18

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 15:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-15.html.

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