Original Research

The Hebrew terminology for the poor in Psalm 82

C. R. Dickson
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 51, No 4 | a1457 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v51i4.1457 | © 1995 C. R. Dickson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 1995 | Published: 11 December 1995

About the author(s)

C. R. Dickson, Baptist Theological College of South Africa, South Africa

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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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