Poor — The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially important. (1.) They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19,21).
(2.) 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).
(3.) In the year of jubilee they recovered their property (Lev. 25:25–30).
(4.) Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25–27; Deut. 24:10–13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deut. 15:7–11).
(5.) In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was to go free (Deut. 15:12–15; Lev. 25:39–42, 47–54).
(6.) Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12, 13).
(7.) They shared in the feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10).
(8.) Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev. 19:13).
In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 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 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:7–13; Eph. 4:28). This word is used figuratively in Matt. 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 3:17.