(Proverbs 14:21 KJV) He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
If you have your Bible open you can see that the English word “poor” (6035) is used in the previous word as well as this verse. In the Hebrew it is a different word. In a quick look I found eight different families of words that are translated “poor” in the NASB. They can’t all mean the same thing. What is the emphasis here?
You don’t have to look that far. If you have an NASB you can see a margin note that says it could also means “afflicted”. So in this verse we are not being reminded of our treatment of those who simply are short of cash. We are here being told to be “gracious” (2603a) to those who are going through some crippling condition. It could be physical. It also be emotional, social or spiritual.
So? The root of “poor” is affliction. The root of “gracious” is grace. We are to extend the grace of God to those who are suffering. Don’t act like they don’t exist.