poor

Those existing at the bottom of a society's economic scale. In the OT there is recognition of injustice and inequalities. These impose strong duties on the better-off to relieve those who have lost out in ruthless competition, perhaps even to the point of selling themselves into slavery (2 Kgs. 4:1; Amos 2:6, 7). The prophets denounced conditions which accelerated the divisions between rich and poor (Isa. 3:14–15) and reminded the nation that God hears the cry of the poor (Ps. 12:5; Isa. 10:2). The Law made provision for the poor (Exod. 23:11) and imposed restrictions on a farmer's unbridled greed (Lev. 19:9–10).
Charitable giving to the poor was, however, circumscribed by the conviction that poverty was a punishment for wickedness (Prov. 13:18). There was no systematic help for the army of beggars in NT times, but Jesus' concern for the poor is particularly clear in the gospel of Luke. In the epistles Paul more than once asks his Churches to support his collection for the poor members of the Church in Jerusalem (Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 8–9), who were impoverished after spending all their capital (Acts 4:32–5) and were severely hurt by the universal famine (Acts 11:28) of, perhaps, 46 CE. Such sympathy for the poor was alien to contemporary Graeco-Roman ways of thinking: gifts were certainly sometimes made by the well-to-do but from motives of self-interest such as honour or prestige. The élite in society regarded the majority with contempt and were apt to parade their superiority. The Church's ideal of holding together in one congregation all strata of society (Paul's aim in 1 Cor.) must have been regarded as extraordinary, and Luke 6:35 quite outlandish.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • poor — W1S1 [po: US pur] adj comparative poorer superlative poorest ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(no money)¦ 2¦(not good)¦ 3¦(sympathy)¦ 4¦(not good at something)¦ 5¦(health)¦ 6 poor in something 7 a poor second/third etc …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Poor — Poor, a. [Compar. {Poorer} (?; 254); superl. {Poorest}.] [OE. poure or povre, OF. povre, F. pauvre, L. pauper; the first syllable of which is probably akin to paucus few (see {Paucity}, {Few}), and the second to parare to prepare, procure. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • poor — [ pur ] adjective *** ▸ 1 lacking money ▸ 2 of low quality ▸ 3 not good enough ▸ 4 not skillful ▸ 5 lacking something important ▸ 6 less than expected ▸ 7 feeling sorry for someone ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) having little money and few possessions: a poor… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • poor — [poor] adj. [ME pore < OFr povre < L pauper, poor < IE base * pōu , small > FEW, FOAL] 1. a) lacking material possessions; having little or no means to support oneself; needy; impoverished b) indicating or characterized by poverty 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Poor — is an adjective related to a state of poverty, low quality or pity.People with the surname Poor: * Charles Henry Poor, a US Navy officer * Charles Lane Poor, an astronomer * Edward Erie Poor, a vice president of the National Park Bank * Enoch… …   Wikipedia

  • poor — UK US /pɔːr/ US  /pʊr/ adjective ► having little money and/or few possessions: »It s offering to pay off 10 percent of the poor countries debt. »He came from a poor immigrant family. ► not good or operating well, or of a low quality or standard:… …   Financial and business terms

  • poor — ► ADJECTIVE 1) lacking sufficient money to live at a comfortable or normal standard. 2) of a low or inferior standard or quality. 3) (poor in) lacking in. 4) deserving pity or sympathy. ● the poor man s Cf. ↑the poor man s …   English terms dictionary

  • poor — adj 1 Poor, indigent, needy, destitute, penniless, impecunious, poverty stricken, necessitous are comparable when they mean having less money or fewer possessions than are required to support a full life. Poor describes a person, a people, or an… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • poor — (adj.) c.1200, from O.Fr. poure (Fr. pauvre), from L. pauper poor, perhaps a compound of paucus little and parare to get. Replaced O.E. earm. The poor boy sandwich, made of simple but filling ingredients, was invented and named in New Orleans in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • poor — [adj1] lacking sufficient money bad off*, bankrupt, beggared, beggarly, behind eight ball*, broke*, destitute, dirt poor*, down andout*, empty handed*, flat*, flat broke*, fortuneless, hard up*, impecunious, impoverished, indigent, in need,… …   New thesaurus

  • Poor — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Enoch Poor (1736–1780), Schiffbauer und Händler aus Exeter, Brigadegeneral der Kontinentalarmee im Amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg. Salem Poor (* 1758), afroamerikanischer Soldat, der für seine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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