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What the Bible says about helping the poor                      

There are hundreds of passages in the Bible that touch on the plight of the poor and the need for us to deal justly with those in need. Here are a few...


Old Testament


God commanded His people to love the poor.

  • The law stipulated how a farmer should harvest his field to provide for the poor. 

  • "There will always be poor in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and those who are in need" (Deuteronomy 15:11)

  • "The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, the wicked does not understand such concern".  (Proverbs 29:7)


Scripture not only admonishes us to care for the poor but there are many blessings are promised for this simple act.

  • He who is generous will be blessed for he gives some of his food to the poor". (Proverbs 22:9)

  • "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done. (Proverbs 31:20)

  • The righteous man has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever. (See Psalm 22:6, 35:10, 68:10,    82:3-4, 109:16, 112:9, 113:7-8, 132:15, 140:12)




The prophets spoke at length about how Messiah would be recognized by His relationship to the poor.

  • "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has  anointed me to preach good news to the poor." (Isaiah 61:1)

  • "With righteousness He will judge the needy, with justice He will give decisions for the poor of the earth." (Isaiah 11:4)

New Testament
  • "Let the man who has two garments share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise" (Luke 3:11)

  • Give to him who asks of you and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you." (Matthew 5:42)

  • "Sell your possesions and give, make yourselves purses which do not ware out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys." (Luke 12:33)

  • "But whoever has means and sees his someone in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? (1 John 3:17)

  • For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor that through His poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9)

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