Almsdeeds • Almsgiving
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Alms. Charitable gifts. The practice of giving alms to the poor derives from both the OT and NT. Almsgiving has undergone many changes in both practice and importance from early biblical times to the present.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Alms; Almsgiving
Alms; Almsgiving [GK. eleēmosýnē] (Mt. 6:2–4; Lk. 11:41; 12:33; Acts 3:2f, 10; 10:2, 4, 31; 24:17); NEB CHARITY, ACTS OF CHARITY, “beg” (Acts 3:2, 10), “give to help” (Acts 10:2), GOOD DEEDS, CHARITABLE GIFTS. The OT has no specific term for almsgiving, but several Hebrew terms and phrases are used
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
ALMS Charitable gifts. The practice of giving alms to the poor. The English word “alms” comes from a longer Greek word used in the Septuagint (ancient Greek translation of the OT) to translate a Hebrew word for “righteousness.” The Hebrew term, in general, is unrelated to almsgiving; consequently the
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
alms, gifts to the needy. Almsgiving is a common practice in the Bible that recognizes God’s blessings and maintains proper community relations. In the Bible, care for the poor is not only recommended as just behavior (Prov. 14:21, 31; Isa. 58:6–8), but is required by the tithe for the poor every three
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Alms, Almsdeeds
ALMS, ALMSDEEDS. These words occur in the NT only, as the translation of the Gr. eleēmosynē, derived from eleos, “mercy”; eleeō, “to show mercy”; and eleēmōn, “merciful.” The Gr. word means “pity, mercy, kindness,” as well as the kind act or benefaction itself, in which the effect is taken for the
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Alms, Almsgiving
ALMS, ALMSGIVING. From Gk. eleēmosynē via eccl. Lat. eeleemosyna and Old English Ælmysse. The Gk. word signifies pity, prompting relief given in money or kind to the poor.Though not explicitly mentioned in the English OT, almsgiving is implied as an expression of compassion in the presence of God.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
AlmsGifts to the poor. Almsgiving is a pervasive part of the biblical tradition and is practiced to maintain community harmony. In the OT, caring for the poor is associated with living a just life, and kindness to the poor is viewed as the basis for a happy life (Prov. 14:21). Isaiah emphasizes giving
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Alms (Gk. eleēmosýnē). Although no word with the specific meaning of “alms” or “to give alms” occurs in the Old Testament, the practice does seem to have existed. Heb. ṣeḏāqâ “righteous deeds” (Ps. 11:7) came to have the more restricted meaning of gifts to the poor. Concern for the needy,
Catholic Bible Dictionary
ALMS Gifts, usually of money, given to the poor. The duty to give to the poor is not mentioned in the early books of the Old Testament; rather, it finds development in the later writings, in particular Tobit (4:6–11), Sirach (3:30–4:10; cf. Dan 4:24), and also in Proverbs (3:27; 22:9; 28:27). In the
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Alms. The duty of alms-giving, especially in kind, consisting chiefly in portions to be left designedly from produce of the field, the vineyard and the oliveyard, Lev. 19:9, 10; 23:22; Deut. 15:11; 24:19; 26:2–13; Ruth 2:2, is strictly enjoined by the law. Every third year also, Deut. 14:28, each proprietor
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Alms, Almsdeeds
ALMS, ALMSDEEDS (Gk. eleēmosunē, “beneficence,” or “benefaction” itself). In Heb. ṣdāqâ, “righteousness,” is the usual equivalent for alms (Ps. 24:5; Prov. 10:2; 11:4; Mic. 6:5). The word alms is not found in the OT but is met with frequently in the Apocrypha. The great antiquity of almsgiving is
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
AlmsNot found in the Old Testament, but repeatedly in the New. The Mosaic legislation (Lev. 25:35; Deut. 15:7) tended to promote a spirit of charity, and to prevent the occurrence of destitution among the people. Such passages as these, Ps. 41:1; 112:9; Prov. 14:31; Isa. 10:2; Amos 2:7; Jer. 5:28; Ezek.
Key passages
Le 19:9–10

“ ‘And at your reaping the harvest of your land you must not finish reaping the edge of your field, and you must not glean the remnants of your harvest. And you must not glean your vineyard, and you must not gather your vineyard’s fallen grapes; …

Ac 10:2–4

devout and fearing God together with all his household, doing many charitable deeds for the people and praying to God continually. About the ninth hour of the day, he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming to him and saying to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him and became terrified …

1 Co 5:6–8

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough? Clean out the old leaven in order that you may be a new batch of dough, just as you are unleavened. For Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. So then, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old …

See also
Topics & Themes