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November 16    Scripture



Manners & Customs: Beggars
Beggars and Begging in the Ancient World

Beg in Easton's Bible Dictionary That the poor existed among the Hebrews we have abundant evidence (Ex. 23:11; Deut. 15:11), but there is no mention of beggars properly so called in the Old Testament. The poor were provided for by the law of Moses (Lev. 19:10; Deut. 12:12; 14:29). It is predicted of the seed of the wicked that they shall be beggars (Ps. 37:25; 109:10). In the New Testament we find not seldom mention made of beggars (Mark 10:46; Luke 16:20, 21; Acts 3:2), yet there is no mention of such a class as vagrant beggars, so numerous in the East. "Beggarly," in Gal. 4:9, means worthless.

Beggars in Naves Topical Bible Set among princes 1Sa 2:8 -Not the seed of the righteous Ps 37:25 -The children of the wicked Ps 109:10; Pr 20:4; Lu 16:3 -INSTANCES OF Bartimaeus Mr 10:46 Lazarus Lu 16:20-22 The blind man Joh 9:8 The lame man Ac 3:2-5

Beggars in Smiths Bible Dictionary The poor among the Hebrews were much favored. They were allowed to glean in the fields, and to gather whatever the land produced in the year in which it was not tilled Le 19:10; 25:5,6; De 24:19 They were also invited to feasts. De 14:29 and Deut 26:12 The Israelite could not be an absolute pauper. His land was in alienable, except for a certain term, when it reverted to him or his posterity. And if this resource were insufficient, he could pledge the services of himself and family or a valuable sum. Those who were indigent through bodily infirmities were usually taken care of by their kindred. A beggar was sometimes seen, however, and was regarded and abhorred as a vagabond. Ps 109:10 In later times beggars were accustomed, it would seem, to have a fixed place at the corners of the streets, Mr 10:46 or at the gates of the temple, Ac 3:2 or of private houses, Lu 16:20

Beggars in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE 1. No Law Concerning Beggars or Begging in Israel: It is significant that the Mosaic law contains no enactment concerning beggars, or begging, though it makes ample provision for the relief and care of "the poor in the land." Biblical Hebrew seems to have no term for professional begging, the nearest approach to it being the expressions "to ask (or seek) bread" and "to wander." This omission certainly is not accidental; it comports with the very nature of the Mosaic law, the spirit of which is breathed in this, among other kindred provisions, that a poor Hebrew who even sold himself for debt to his wealthy brother was allowed to serve him only until the Jubilee (See JUBILEE), and his master was forbidden to treat him as a sl ave (Lev 25:39). These laws, as far as actually practiced, have always virtually done away with beggars and begging among the Jews. 2. Begging Not Unknown to the Ancient Jews: Begging, however, came to be known to the Jews in the course of time with the development of the larger cities, either as occurring among themselves, or among neighboring or intermingling peoples, as may be inferred from Ps 59:15; compare 109:10, where Yahweh is besought that the children of the wicked may be cursed with beggary, in contra- distinction to the children of the righteous, who have never had to ask bread (Ps 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed asking (English Versions, "begging") bread." For the Hebrew expression corresponding to "begging" see Ps 59:15, "They shall wander up and down for food"; and compare Ps 119:10, "Let me not wander," etc. 3. Begging and Alms-taking Denounced in Jewish Literature: The first clear denunciation of beggary and almstaking in Jewish literature is found in Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 40:28- 30, where the Hebrew for "begging" is to "wander," ete, as in Ps 59:15, according to the edition of Cowley and Neubauer; Oxford, 1897. There as well as in Tobit, and in the New Testament, where beggars are specifically mentioned, the word eleemosune has assumed the special sense of alms given to the begging poor (compare Tobit 4:7,16,17; 12:8-11; Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 3:14,30; 7:10; 16:14; Mt 6:2-4; 20:30-34; Mk 10:46-52; Lk 11:41; 12:33; Jn 9:1-41; Acts 9:36; 10:2,4,31; 24:17). 4. Professional Beggars a Despised Class: As to professional beggars, originally, certainly, and for a long time, they were a despised...

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]

Beggars in the Old Testament In Eastern cities there are usually many beggars. In Old Testament times the idea of a beggar going from door to door to ask for alms was little known among the Jews. The law of Moses provided for the needy by requiring that the Jews purposely leave some of the harvest for the poor. Also mortgaged property was returned to the original owner at the year of jubilee. However, beggars were not entirely unknown, for Hannah speaks of them in her song of thanksgiving (1 Samuel 2:8). The Psalmist promised that beggary would be the lot of the wicked (Psalm 109:10), and also that the righteous would be kept from the necessity for it (Psalm 37 :25). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Beggars Scripture - 1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set [them] among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth [are] the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.

Beggars Scripture - Luke 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Beggars Scripture - Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Faith and Healing EXPECTATlON OF SUPERNATURAL POWER TO HEAL BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF GOD Dr. Trumbull has called attention to a very interesting situation which he discovered in the Orient. He says: "Another fact that sheds light upon the work of JESUS and His disciples in their ministry of healing, is the universal expectation, in the East, of the cure of disease through the supernatural power of some reputed representative of GOD. So it is, and so it has been." A multitude of people lay about the pool of Bethesda expecting an angel to trouble the waters and cure their sicknesses (John 5:1-4). A blind beggar was given an orange and a crust of bread, but he pointed to his sightless eyes, and asked Dr. Trumbull to cure his blindness. He thought that this traveler was a representative of GOD who could heal him. Such is the faith that exists in the East, in modern times. This universal faith in divine power to heal, in Messianic times, presented JESUS and His apostles with a marvelous opportunity to demonstrate the healing power of a compassionate GOD. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Multitudes of Sick People PREVALENCE OF SICKNESS IN PALESTINE IN CHRIST'S DAY AND IN MODERN TIMES The Gospel records tell of the presence of a multitude of sick people in the land, and how these were brought in great numbers to JESUS to be healed. "And at even . . . they brought unto him all that were diseased . . . and all the city was gathered at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases" (Mark 1:32-34). In the days before the British occupation of the land, and before the modern Jews brought scientific medical skill in the healing of disease, the Land of Israel was overrun with all kinds of afflicted people. One traveling through the land would scarcely ever be out of sight of blind beggars, or crippled people, or lepers, etc. Such a situation has served to illustrate the conditions under which the ministry of CHRIST was carried on so effectively, in meeting the need in the homes where sickness was present. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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