Deuteronomy 15:11

11 For the needy shall never cease from within the land; therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thy hand bountifully unto thy brother, to thy poor and to thy needy, in thy land.

Deuteronomy 15:11 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 15:11

For the poor shall never cease out of the land
There would be always such objects to exercise their charity and beneficence towards, ( John 12:8 ) , which is no contradiction to ( Deuteronomy 15:4 ) for had they been obedient to the laws of God, they would have been so blessed that there would have been none; so the Targums; but he foresaw that they would not keep his commands, and so this would be the case, and which he foretells that they might expect it, and do their duty to them, as here directed:

therefore I command thee, saying, thou shalt open thine hand wide unto
thy brother;
not give sparingly, but largely, in proportion to the necessities of the poor, and according to the abilities of the lender or giver; and this must be done to a brother, one that is near in the bonds of consanguinity, and to him a man must give or lend first, as Aben Ezra observes, and then "to thy poor"; the poor of thy family, as the same writer:

and to thy needy in the land;
that are in very distressed circumstances, though not related, and particularly such as are in the same place where a man dwells; for, as the same writer remarks, the poor of thy land are to be preferred to the poor of another place,

Deuteronomy 15:11 In-Context

9 Beware that there be not a wicked thought in thy heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry against thee to Jehovah, and it be sin in thee.
10 Thou shalt bountifully give unto him, and thy heart shall not be evil-disposed when thou givest unto him; because for this thing Jehovah thy God will bless thee in all thy works, and in all the business of thy hand.
11 For the needy shall never cease from within the land; therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thy hand bountifully unto thy brother, to thy poor and to thy needy, in thy land.
12 If thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, have been sold unto thee, he shall serve thee six years, and in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.
13 And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty;

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or 'afflicted' as Ps. 10.12.