The meaning of the Hebrew words for the English term 'poor' continues
to be disputed. Two main schools of thought have developed. Some
believe the terms refer to literal and material poverty, others that the
terms refer to literal-metaphorical poverty. The result has been an
impasse. This study suggests that the different Hebrew words for poor
should be understood as metaphors for the concept of powerlessness. In
addition, the concept of powerlessness is understood to have different
perspectives. Psalm 82 is exegeted to provide a basis for this suggestion.
The exegesis confirms the contention that poverty is powerlessness.
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