(Proverbs 19:7 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.
There is an assumption here that I did not at first see. Aall I saw was the one who was “poor” (7326). I thought I was supposed to feel sorry for him. Everyone was abandoning him. It seemed like an observation that reflected poorly on others. But I kept thinking.
We have the “brethren" (brothers NASB) (251) of a “poor” (7326) man. It is taken for granted that the brothers are not poor. At first I was assuming he was one of that large helpless class. But if his brothers were not poor, his family was not poor. So we are not talking about someone who is locked into poverty by social injustice or oppression. This is a man who has created his own poverty. The poor get a lot of good press in Proverbs. This word is not always condemned, it is the context that brings this nuance.
And these brothers “hate” (8130) him. It seems implied because he is poor, but I wonder if it isn’t because of the way he became poor and the attitudes that keep him that way. It can’t be an accident of birth, class or other social distinction. It is because of choices he has made.
Is poverty created by our actions, by accident or by oppression? Obviously it can be any of the three but the one hardest to escape is the poverty we create for ourselves.
And what about the “friends” (4828). It does not seem to be based on what we would call friendship today. Or maybe it is pointing out that some people can wear out their welcome by their lack of good character. People who were once your friends might remove themselves from contact because you have become a parasite instead of a companion.
So? What kind of brother are we? Do we view friends as people to be used or people to be served? What kind of attitudes do we exhibit to others? Examine yourself. Be honest.