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English Bible Dictionary

Alms

 

The duty of alms-giving, especially in kind, consisting chiefly in portions to be left designedly from produce of the field, the vineyard and the oliveyard, (Leviticus 19:9,10; 23:22; 15:11; 24:19; 26:2-13; Ruth 2:2) is strictly enjoined by the law. Every third year also, (14:28) each proprietor was directed to share the tithe of his produce with "the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow." The theological estimate of alms-giving among the Jews is indicated in the following passages: (Job 31:17; Proverbs 10:2; 11:4; Esther 9:22; Psalms 112:9; Acts 9:36) the case of Dorcas; (Acts 10:2) of Cornelius; to which may be added Tobit 4:10,11; 14:10,11, and Ecclus. 3:30; 40:24, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries.The Pharisees were zealous in almsgiving, but too ostentatious their mode of performance, for which our Lord finds fault with them. (Matthew 6:2) The duty of relieving the poor was not neglected by the Christians. (Matthew 6:1-4; Luke 14:13; Acts 20:35; Galatians 2:10) Regular proportionate giving was expected. (Acts 11:30; Romans 15:25-27; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4)

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