Proverbs 14:21

21 It's criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor - what a blessing!

Proverbs 14:21 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 14:21

He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth
He that despiseth his neighbour in his heart, speaks slightly of him, overlooks him, is not friendly to him, will neither converse with him, nor relieve him in his necessity; for it seems to be understood of his poor neighbour; and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "he that despiseth the poor"; that despises him for his poverty; because of his pedigree and education, and the low circumstances he is in; or on account of his weakness and incapacity, or any outward circumstance that attends him; such an one sins very greatly, is guilty of a heinous sin; and he will be reckoned and dealt with as a sinner, and be condemned and punished, and so be unhappy and miserable; but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy [is] he;

``that gives to the poor,''
as the Targum; who has compassion on him in his distress, and shows it by relieving him: he that shows favour to the meek and humble ones, as the word F19 may be rendered, and as they generally are that are in affliction and poverty, for these tend to humble men; and such who regard them in their low estate are "happy" or blessed; they are blessed in things temporal and spiritual, and both here and hereafter; see ( Psalms 41:1-3 ) ( Matthew 5:7 ) .

F19 (Mywne) "modestorum", Montanus, Mercerus; "mansuetos", Cocceius.

Proverbs 14:21 In-Context

19 Eventually, evil will pay tribute to good; the wicked will respect God-loyal people.
20 An unlucky loser is shunned by all, but everyone loves a winner.
21 It's criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor - what a blessing!
22 Isn't it obvious that conspirators lose out, while the thoughtful win love and trust?
23 Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.