Proverbs 19:17

Hebrew Bible

14 A house and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord. 15 Laziness brings on a deep sleep, and the idle person will go hungry. 16 The one who obeys commandments guards his life;the one who despises his ways will die. 17 The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the Lord, and the Lord will repay him for his good deed. 18 Discipline your child, for there is hope,but do not set your heart on causing his death. 19 A person with great anger bears the penalty, but if you deliver him from it once, you will have to do it again.

Matthew 25:40

New Testament

37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels!

 Notes and References

"... Where could such an idea originate, the notion that caring for the poor is somehow equivalent to encountering the presence of God? Just at this point, Israel’s wisdom tradition once again provides an unexpected shaft of illumination upon the identity of Jesus: “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and will be repaid in full” (Proverbs 19:17). Matthew does not quote this text, and there is no obvious verbal echo of it in Matthew 25, though the LXX rendering of Proverbs 19:17 employs language characteristic of Matthew’s concerns and emphases (“the one who has mercy on the poor man”). Nonetheless, Matthew’s account of the final judgment stands in continuity with this fundamental insight of Israel’s sages, as articulated in the Proverbs text: we will be judged and recompensed in accordance with our treatment of the poor. But the most remarkable link here between Proverbs and Matthew lies in the former’s affirmation that those who show mercy to the poor are in effect lending to the LORD. This is precisely what Matthew reaffirms and elaborates: it is the Lord Jesus who is the ultimate recipient of human acts of kindness. If the connection between Proverbs 19:17 and Matthew 25:40 be granted, a crucial corollary follows: when Jesus says that mercy shown to the poor is really shown to him, he is placing himself directly into the role of the LORD referred to by Proverbs—that is, the LORD God of Israel ..."

Hays, Richard B. Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (pp. 207-208) Baylor University Press, 2017

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