Matthew 5: 3 – Who are the poor?

The Greek word is ptochos and it means materially poor, destitute etc. The Hebrew term for poor is ani (anawim) which also originally denoted the physically poor. But in the course of time it came to be applied to people in different situations because of their poverty. Thus the Hebrew word anawim would refer to those who are oppressed and downtrodden because of their poverty. It would refer to those voiceless people who have no influence, help or power. It would denote the humble and the helpless who put their trust in God and who depend on God alone for the vindication of their rights. In the later Old Testament literature the word anawim became almost a technical term for “pious/devout” people.

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