The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially important.
(1.) They had the right of gleaning the fields (Leviticus 19:9, 10; Deuteronomy 24:19, 21).
(2.) In the sabbatical year they were to have their share of the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Exodus 23:11; Leviticus 25:6).
(3.) In the year of jubilee they recovered their property (Leviticus 25:25-30).
(4.) Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Exodus 22:25-27; Deuteronomy 24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deuteronomy 15:7-11).
(5.) In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was to go free (Deuteronomy 15:12-15; Leviticus 25:39-42, 47-54).
(6.) Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28, 29; 26:12, 13).
(7.) They shared in the feasts (Deuteronomy 16:11, 14; Nehemiah 8:10).
(8.) Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Leviticus 19:13).
In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Galatians 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 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-13; Ephesians 4:28). This word is used figuratively in Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Revelation 3:17.