Chapter
Verse

Proverbs 19:7

ESV All a poor man’s brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them.
NIV The poor are shunned by all their relatives-- how much more do their friends avoid them! Though the poor pursue them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found.
NASB All the brothers of a poor person hate him; How much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone.
CSB All the brothers of a poor person hate him; how much more do his friends keep their distance from him! He may pursue them with words, but they are not there.
NLT The relatives of the poor despise them; how much more will their friends avoid them! Though the poor plead with them, their friends are gone.
KJV All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.

What does Proverbs 19:7 mean?

Solomon makes a sad observation here, which expands on the second half of an earlier remark (Proverbs 19:4). In a biblical context, the term "hate" is very often used as a contrast to "love," and without implying emotions. Rather, the two words are used to express practical aspects such as support and assistance. Prior statements noted that some "friends" are only interested in those whose money can give them advantages. When the money is gone, so are the false friends. This proverb mourns the fact that even family are prone to looking down on struggling relatives—and the poor often find others want little to do with them.

In the ancient world, earthly wealth was seen as a gauge of a person's divine approval. It was common to assume that those who were rich "deserved" that status and that the poor were disliked by the gods. Jesus' treatment of the poor was drastically different. He read a passage of Scripture in the synagogue that explained how He had come to proclaim good news to the poor (Luke 4:17–19). He pronounced blessing on the poor, saying, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20). He instructed, "But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind" (Luke 14:13). He told a self-righteous rich young ruler to sell all that he had and give it to the poor (Luke 18:22). Also, he preached to "the common people," and they "heard him gladly" (Mark 12:37, KJV).

Other passages in the New Testament condemn mistreating the poor and fawning over the rich (James 2:1–13; Galatians 3:28)
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