Poverty
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The quality or state of being poor or indigent; want or scarcity of means of subsistence; indigence; need.

2. (n.) Any deficiency of elements or resources that are needed or desired, or that constitute richness; as, poverty of soil; poverty of the blood; poverty of ideas.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
POVERTY

pov'-er-ti:

1. Old Testament References:

This word, found but once in the Old Testament (Genesis 45:11) outside of the Book of Proverbs in which it occurs 11 times (6:11; 10:15; 11:24 the King James Version; 13:18; 20:13; 23:21; 24:34:00; 28:19, 22 the King James Version; 30:08:00; 31:7), is a translation of yiwaresh, "to be poor," "to come to poverty" (Genesis 45:11). Four different Hebrew words are used in the 11 references in Prov, all bearing the idea of being in need of the necessities of life, although a distinction is made between being in want and being in extreme want. Proverbs 18:23 well illustrates the general meaning of "poverty" as found in this book: "The poor (rush, "to be impoverished," "destitute") useth entreaties; but the rich answereth roughly."

2. New Testament References

"Poverty" occurs 3 times in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 8:2, 9 Revelation 2:9) and is the translation of ptocheia, "to be reduced to a state of beggary or pauperism."

The teaching of the Bible on this subject would, however, be incomplete unless all the references to the "poor" were considered in this connection. Indeed the word for "poverty" has its root in the word for "poor" (ptochos; `ani, or dal).

See POOR.

3. Two Degrees of Poverty:

At least two degrees of poverty are recognized. The Old Testament does not distinguish between them as clearly as does the New Testament. The New Testament, for example, by its use of two words for "poor" sets forth this distinction. In 2 Corinthians 9:9, "he hath given to the poor," the word used is penes, which does not indicate extreme poverty, but simply a condition of living from hand to mouth, a bare and scant livelihood, such as that made by the widow who cast her two mites into the treasury (Luke 21:2); while in such passages as 2 Corinthians 6:10: "As poor, yet making many rich," and Luke 6:20: "Blessed are ye poor" (ptochoi, a condition is indicated of abject beggary, pauperism, such as that in which we find Lazarus who was laid at the gate of the rich man's palace, begging even the crumbs which fell from the table of the rich man (Luke 16:20, 21). It was into this latter condition that Christ voluntarily entered for our sakes: "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor (a mendicant, a beggar), that ye through his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). Between 30 and 40 times in the New Testament this latter word is used.

4. Causes of Poverty:

The causes of poverty are failure of harvest and poor crops (Nehemiah 5:1-3); devastation caused by enemies sweeping through the land; the oppression of the people by their own rulers (Isaiah 5:8); excessive interest, usury (Nehemiah 5:1-5); persecution because of the faith (2 Corinthians 6; 2 Corinthians 8). Widows and orphans by reason of their desolate condition were in a special sense subject to poverty. Gluttony brings poverty (Proverbs 23:21), as does indolence (Proverbs 28:19).

God commanded His people to care for the poor. The exhortations to relieve poverty are numerous, especially in the Pentateuch. Those in poverty must be treated with kindness (Deuteronomy 15:7-11); must be allowed to glean in the vineyards (Leviticus 19:10); to reap the harvest (Leviticus 23:22; compare Ruth 2:14-16); must not be neglected (Proverbs 28:27); nor dealt with harshly (Amos 8:4-6); must be treated as equal before God (Proverbs 22:2); are to share in our hospitality (Luke 14:13, 21). Indeed, the truth or falsity of a man's religion is to be tested, in some sense at least, by his relation to those in need (James 1:27). The year of Jubilee was intended to be of great benefit to the poor by restoring to them any possessions which they, by reason of their poverty, had been compelled to deed over to their creditors (Leviticus 25:25-54 Deuteronomy 15:12-15). God required certain tithes from His people which were to be devoted to the helping of the poor and needy (Deuteronomy 14:28; Deuteronomy 26:12, 13). So in the New Testament the apostles lay special emphasis upon remembering the poor in the matter of offerings. Paul, especially, inculcated this duty upon the churches which he had rounded (Romans 15:26 Galatians 2:10). The attitude of the early Christian church toward its poor is amply illustrated in that first attempt at communism in Acts 2; Acts 4. James, in his Epistle, stingingly reminds his readers of the fact that they had grossly neglected the important matter of caring for the poor (chapter 2). Indeed, so strong is he in his plea for the care of the poor that he claims that the man who willfully neglects the needy thereby proves that the love of God has no place in his heart, and that he has consequently no real faith in God (2:14-26). Christians are exhorted to abound in the grace of hospitality, which, of course, is nothing less than kindness to those in need (Romans 12:13 1 Timothy 6:18 1 John 3:17).

See POOR.

The happiest mother and the noblest and holiest son that ever lived were among the poor. Jesus was born of poor parents, and had not where to lay His head (Matthew 8:20), no money with which to pay tribute (Matthew 17:27), no home to call His own (John 7:53; compare John 8:1), and was buried in a borrowed grave (Matthew 27:57-61).

Figurative: Of course there is also a spiritual poverty indicated by the use of this word-a poverty in spiritual things: "Blessed are the poor in spirit." By this is meant, Blessed are they who feel that they have no self-righteousness, no worth of their own to present to Christ as a ground of their salvation, who feel their utter bankruptcy of spirit, who say "Nothing in my hand I bring." It is to this state of spirit that Christ refers in Revelation 3:17: "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked."

William Evans

Greek
4432. ptocheia -- beggary, ie destitution
... ie destitution. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: ptocheia Phonetic
Spelling: (pto-khi'-ah) Short Definition: beggary, poverty Definition: beggary ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4432.htm - 6k

5304. husteresis -- need, want
... need, want. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: husteresis Phonetic
Spelling: (hoos-ter'-ay-sis) Short Definition: poverty, want Definition: poverty ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5304.htm - 6k

5303. husterema -- that which is lacking, need
... Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: husterema Phonetic Spelling:
(hoos-ter'-ay-mah) Short Definition: that which is lacking, poverty Definition: ( ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5303.htm - 7k

4433. ptocheuo -- to be a beggar, be destitute
... to be a beggar, be destitute. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: ptocheuo Phonetic
Spelling: (pto-khyoo'-o) Short Definition: I am in poverty Definition: I ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4433.htm - 7k

Strong's Hebrew
7389. resh -- poverty
... 7388b, 7389. resh or resh or rish. 7390 . poverty. Transliteration: resh or
resh or rish Phonetic Spelling: (raysh) Short Definition: poverty. ...
/hebrew/7389.htm - 6k

4270. machsor -- a need, thing needed, poverty
... machsor or machsor. 4271 . a need, thing needed, poverty. Transliteration: machsor
or machsor Phonetic Spelling: (makh-sore') Short Definition: want. ...
/hebrew/4270.htm - 6k

2639. cheser -- want, poverty
... 2638, 2639. cheser. 2640 . want, poverty. Transliteration: cheser Phonetic
Spelling: (kheh'-ler) Short Definition: want. ... poverty, want. ...
/hebrew/2639.htm - 6k

4544. miskenuth -- poverty, scarcity
... 4543, 4544. miskenuth. 4545 . poverty, scarcity. Transliteration: miskenuth
Phonetic Spelling: (mis-kay-nooth') Short Definition: scarcity. ...
/hebrew/4544.htm - 6k

6040a. oni -- affliction, poverty
... 6040, 6040a. oni. 6040b . affliction, poverty. Transliteration: oni Short
Definition: affliction. Word Origin from anah Definition ...
/hebrew/6040a.htm - 5k

6040. oniy -- affliction, poverty
... 6039, 6040. oniy. 6040a . affliction, poverty. Transliteration: oniy Phonetic
Spelling: (on-ee') Short Definition: misery. depression, Misery ...
/hebrew/6040.htm - 5k

3423. yarash -- to take possession of, inherit, dispossess
... root Definition to take possession of, inherit, dispossess NASB Word Usage assuredly
dispossess (1), become poor (1), cast (1), come to poverty (1), comes into ...
/hebrew/3423.htm - 7k

2640. choser -- want, lack
... Word Origin from chaser Definition want, lack NASB Word Usage lack (3). in want
of. From chacer; poverty -- in want of. see HEBREW chacer. 2639, 2640. ...
/hebrew/2640.htm - 6k

Library

Of Poverty
... LIVING, AS TRANSLATED BY RICHARD MISYN IN 1434 FROM DE EMENDATIONE VITAE' BY RICHARD
ROLLE OF HAMPOLE: AND NOW DONE INTO MODERN ENGLISH CHAPTER III OF POVERTY. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/rolle/the fire of love/chapter iii of poverty.htm

Christianity in Poverty and Lowliness, and on the Sick Bed.
... CHRISTIANITY IN POVERTY AND LOWLINESS, AND ON THE SICK BED. THE working of
Christianity is not less seen in small than in great things. ...
/.../neander/light in the dark places/christianity in poverty and lowliness.htm

Whether Poverty of Spirit is the Beatitude which Corresponds to ...
... Article Twelve Whether Poverty of Spirit is the Beatitude which Corresponds
to the Gift of Fear. Whether Poverty of Spirit is the ...
/.../aquinas/nature and grace/article twelve whether poverty of.htm

Whether Poverty of Spirit is the Beatitude Corresponding to the ...
... OF THE GIFT OF FEAR (TWELVE ARTICLES) Whether poverty of spirit is the
beatitude corresponding to the gift of fear? Objection 1: It ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether poverty of spirit is.htm

Whether Poverty is Required for Religious Perfection?
... OF THOSE THINGS IN WHICH THE RELIGIOUS STATE PROPERLY CONSISTS (TEN ARTICLES)
Whether poverty is required for religious perfection? ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether poverty is required for.htm

Whether the Judicial Power Corresponds to Voluntary Poverty?
... OF THOSE WHO WILL JUDGE AND OF THOSE WHO WILL BE JUDGED AT THE GENERAL JUDGMENT
(EIGHT ARTICLES) Whether the judicial power corresponds to voluntary poverty? ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the judicial power corresponds.htm

On Contempt for Pain, Poverty, and Other External Things.
... The Stromata, or Miscellanies. Book IV. Chapter V."On Contempt for Pain, Poverty,
and Other External Things. ... The same holds good also in the case of poverty. ...
/.../clement/the stromata or miscellanies/chapter v on contempt for pain.htm

"That Ye through his Poverty Might be Rich. "
... CHRIST; HIS CHARACTER AND OFFICES. 219. " "That ye through his poverty might be
rich.". 219. LM Russell. "That ye through his poverty might be rich.". ...
/.../adams/hymns for christian devotion/219 that ye through.htm

Poverty not Necessarily Righteous.
... Homily XV. Chapter X."Poverty Not Necessarily Righteous. And our father said:
"How then is this? Do we not see many impious men poor? ...
/.../unknown/the clementine homilies/chapter x poverty not necessarily righteous.htm

Psalm 16 Part 1 Confession of Our Poverty, and Saints the Best ...
... THE PSALMS OF DAVID PSALM 16 PART 1 Confession of our poverty, and saints
the best company; or, Good works profit men, not God. LM ...
/.../watts/the psalms and hymns of isaac watts/psalm 16 part 1 confession.htm

Thesaurus
Poverty (25 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) Any deficiency of elements or resources that are needed or desired, or that
constitute richness; as, poverty of soil; poverty of the blood; poverty of ...
/p/poverty.htm - 21k

Penury (4 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) Absence of resources; indigence; extreme poverty;
destitution. 2. (n.) Penuriousness; miserliness. Int. ...
/p/penury.htm - 8k

Jubilee (25 Occurrences)
... 2. It would render it impossible for any one to be born to absolute poverty,
since every one had his hereditary land. 3. It would ...
/j/jubilee.htm - 27k

Abundance (194 Occurrences)
... Mark 12:44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty,
gave all that she had to live on." (WEB KJV DBY WBS YLT RSV). ...
/a/abundance.htm - 41k

Beatitudes
... (c) In Matthew the blessings, except the last, are attached to spiritual qualities;
in Luke to external conditions of poverty and suffering. ...
/b/beatitudes.htm - 16k

Traveller (9 Occurrences)
... traveller. (KJV ASV BBE YLT). Proverbs 6:11 And thy poverty hath come as
a traveller, And thy want as an armed man. (YLT). Proverbs ...
/t/traveller.htm - 9k

Traveleth (2 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Traveleth (2 Occurrences). Proverbs 6:11 So shall thy
poverty come as one that traveleth, and thy want as an armed man. (WBS). ...
/t/traveleth.htm - 6k

Travelleth (2 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Travelleth (2 Occurrences). Proverbs 6:11 So shall thy
poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (KJV). ...
/t/travelleth.htm - 6k

Runner (5 Occurrences)
... on his way. (BBE). Proverbs 6:11 So shall thy poverty come as a robber,
And thy want as an armed man. (See JPS). Proverbs 24:34 So ...
/r/runner.htm - 9k

Roving (4 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Roving (4 Occurrences). Proverbs 6:11 So shall thy poverty
come as a roving plunderer, and thy penury as an armed man. (DBY). ...
/r/roving.htm - 7k

Concordance
Poverty (25 Occurrences)

Mark 12:44
for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on."
(WEB NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 21:4
for all these put in gifts for God from their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on."
(WEB NAS RSV NIV)

2 Corinthians 8:2
how that in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality.
(WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich.
(WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Revelation 2:9
"I know your works, oppression, and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
(WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Genesis 45:11
There I will nourish you; for there are yet five years of famine; lest you come to poverty, you, and your household, and all that you have."'
(WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS RSV)

Deuteronomy 28:48
therefore you shall serve your enemies whom Yahweh shall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck, until he has destroyed you.
(See NIV)

1 Samuel 2:7
Yahweh makes poor, and makes rich. He brings low, he also lifts up.
(See NIV)

Proverbs 6:11
so your poverty will come as a robber, and your scarcity as an armed man.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Proverbs 10:4
He who is slow in his work becomes poor, but the hand of the ready worker gets in wealth.
(See RSV)

Proverbs 10:15
The rich man's wealth is his strong city. The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Proverbs 11:24
There is one who scatters, and increases yet more. There is one who withholds more than is appropriate, but gains poverty.
(WEB KJV WBS NIV)

Proverbs 13:18
Poverty and shame come to him who refuses discipline, but he who heeds correction shall be honored.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Proverbs 14:23
In all hard work there is profit, but the talk of the lips leads only to poverty.
(WEB NAS NIV)

Proverbs 20:13
Don't love sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS RSV)

Proverbs 21:5
The plans of the diligent surely lead to profit; and everyone who is hasty surely rushes to poverty.
(WEB NAS NIV)

Proverbs 22:16
Whoever oppresses the poor for his own increase and whoever gives to the rich, both come to poverty.
(WEB NAS NIV)

Proverbs 23:21
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
(KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)

Proverbs 24:34
so your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Proverbs 28:19
One who works his land will have an abundance of food; but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Proverbs 28:22
A stingy man hurries after riches, and doesn't know that poverty waits for him.
(WEB KJV DBY WBS NIV)

Proverbs 30:8
Remove far from me falsehood and lies. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me;
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Proverbs 31:7
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ecclesiastes 4:14
Because out of a prison the young man comes to be king, though by birth he was only a poor man in the kingdom.
(See NIV)

Lamentations 3:5
He hath built up against me, And setteth round poverty and weariness.
(YLT)

Subtopics

Poverty

Poverty: General Scriptures Concerning

Related Terms

Penury (4 Occurrences)

Jubilee (25 Occurrences)

Abundance (194 Occurrences)

Beatitudes

Traveller (9 Occurrences)

Traveleth (2 Occurrences)

Travelleth (2 Occurrences)

Runner (5 Occurrences)

Roving (4 Occurrences)

Destitute (25 Occurrences)

Plunderer (4 Occurrences)

Surplus (3 Occurrences)

Abstinence (2 Occurrences)

Robber (14 Occurrences)

Rich (140 Occurrences)

Plenty (43 Occurrences)

Vanity (100 Occurrences)

Lazarus (19 Occurrences)

Tribulation (43 Occurrences)

Powder (14 Occurrences)

Riches (118 Occurrences)

Ruin (135 Occurrences)

Satisfied (110 Occurrences)

Philippians (2 Occurrences)

Poor (276 Occurrences)

Affliction (120 Occurrences)

Year (4027 Occurrences)

Vow (49 Occurrences)

Kinsman (29 Occurrences)

Need (914 Occurrences)

Nun (31 Occurrences)

Needful (17 Occurrences)

Nourish (16 Occurrences)

Undo (9 Occurrences)

Owned (18 Occurrences)

Overflowed (14 Occurrences)

Oppresses (6 Occurrences)

Overflowing (54 Occurrences)

Ordeal (2 Occurrences)

Low (216 Occurrences)

Liberality (7 Occurrences)

Gains (19 Occurrences)

Glutton (4 Occurrences)

Generosity (6 Occurrences)

Gluttonous (4 Occurrences)

Goel

Goods (231 Occurrences)

Goatskins (8 Occurrences)

Generous (17 Occurrences)

Gluttons (3 Occurrences)

Withholdeth (7 Occurrences)

Waits (21 Occurrences)

Welled (1 Occurrence)

Want (607 Occurrences)

Withholds (11 Occurrences)

Idleness (4 Occurrences)

Increase (184 Occurrences)

Increases (24 Occurrences)

Impoverish (3 Occurrences)

Increaseth (21 Occurrences)

Idle (33 Occurrences)

Fantasies (4 Occurrences)

Free-hearted (3 Occurrences)

Followeth (18 Occurrences)

Forgetteth (10 Occurrences)

Tilleth (2 Occurrences)

Tendeth (7 Occurrences)

Tilling (4 Occurrences)

Tills (2 Occurrences)

Rushes (13 Occurrences)

Reproof (29 Occurrences)

Regardeth (21 Occurrences)

Railing (9 Occurrences)

Remembereth (19 Occurrences)

Refuseth (22 Occurrences)

Refuses (21 Occurrences)

Regular (95 Occurrences)

Refusing (21 Occurrences)

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