Manners & Customs
Beggars in the New Testament
In New Testament times beggars were usually the blind, maimed, or diseased. Thus blind Bartimeus "sat by the highway side begging" (Mark 10:46). The impotent man "was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple" (Acts 3:2). The beggar Lazarus, who was diseased, was laid at the gate of "a certain rich man" (Luke 16:19, 20).
Thus did these needy ones ask alms of those who passed their way. Today in the East a poor sick man is sometimes placed in a booth alongside the door of a rich man's house, and lives by means of the gifts of those who pass by him. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]