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Easton's Bible Dictionary


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The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially important.
  • They had the right of gleaning the fields (Leviticus 19:9,10 ; Deuteronomy 24:19,21 ).

  • In the sabbatical year they were to have their share of the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Exodus 23:11 ; Leviticus 25:6 ).

  • In the year of jubilee they recovered their property (Leviticus 25:25-30 ).

  • Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Exodus 22:25-27 ; Deuteronomy 24:10-13 ). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deuteronomy 15:7-11 ).

  • In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was to go free (Deuteronomy 15:12-15 ; Leviticus 25:39-42,47-54 ).

  • Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28,29 ; 26:12,13 ).

  • They shared in the feasts (Deuteronomy 16:11,14 ; Nehemiah 8:10 ).

  • Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Leviticus 19:13 ).

    In the New Testament (Luke 3:11 ; 14:13 ; Acts 6:1 ; Galatians 2:10 ; James 2:15,16 ) we have similar injunctions given with reference to the poor. Begging was not common under the Old Testament, while it was so in the New Testament times (Luke 16:20,21 , etc.). But begging in the case of those who are able to work is forbidden, and all such are enjoined to "work with their own hands" as a Christian duty (1 Thessalonians 4:11 ; 2 th 3:7-13 ; Ephesians 4:28 ). This word is used figuratively in Matthew 5:3 ; Luke 6:20 ; 2 co 8:9 ; Revelation 3:17 .

  • Copyright Statement
    These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Poor'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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