That the poor existed among the Hebrews we have abundant evidence ( Exodus 23:11 ; Deuteronomy 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 ( Leviticus 19:10 ; Deuteronomy 12:12 ; 14:29 ). It is predicted of the seed of the wicked that they shall be beggars ( Psalms 37:25 ; 109:10 ).
In the New Testament we find not seldom mention made of beggars ( Mark 10:46 ; Luke 16:20 Luke 16:21 ; Acts 3:2 ), yet there is no mention of such a class as vagrant beggars, so numerous in the East. "Beggarly," in Galatians 4:9 , means worthless.
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Beg". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".