Easton's Bible Dictionary: M. G. Easton, M.A., D.D.
The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially important.
- They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev. 19:9,10; Dt. 24:19, 21).
- In the sabbatical year they were to have their share of the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:6).
- In the year of jubilee they recovered their property (Lev. 25:25-30).
- Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25-27; Dt. 24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Dt. 15:7-11).
- In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was to go free (Dt. 15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-54).
- Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Dt. 14:28,29, 26:12,13).
- They shared in the feasts (Dt. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10).
- Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev. 19:13).
In the New Testament (Lk. 3:11, 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 2:10; Jas. 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 (Lk. 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 Th. 4:11; 2 Th. 3:7-13; Eph. 4:28). This word is used figuratively in Mt. 5:3; Lk. 6:20; 2 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 3:17.
Original from The Bible Foundation - bf.org. They claim public domain status for their original text.