4

“The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the Maker of them all.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:2‬ ‭

Is this text saying

  • God is the maker (creator) of both men? Genesis 1:26
  • God is the one who made (caused) one to be rich and the other poor? 1 Samuel 2:7
  • Both are implied?

Please take into consideration עשׂה when responding rather than the English maker

3 Answers 3

1

In Prov 22:2, the word עָשָׂה (make, do) is a very general and quite common verb, possibly chosen because of its assonance with עָשִׁ֣יר (rich).

The verb עָשָׂה (make, do) is used in the sense that God either makes or supports all people in the same way such as is taught in Matt 5:44, 45 -

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

That is, whether one translates עָשָׂה (make, do) as "make" or more generally, "do" in some sense (eg, as per Col 1:17), the sense is clear that in God's eyes we are made or provided for equally.

Next observe that "rich and poor" here acts (as elsewhere) like a hendiadys or all people, for example, Ps 49:2, 2 Chron 34:30, 2 Kings 23:2, Jer 16:6, Job 3:19, 2 Kings 25:26, Isa 24:2, Est 1:5, etc. In all these places, all people are included and none is excluded.

Thus, the force of the proverb is simple - God makes and supports all people in the basics of life in the same way and thus all, whether rich or poor, are ultimately dependent on God.

In the NT, Paul carried this same idea into the spiritual realm when he said:

Gal 3:27, 28 - For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

2
  • I’ve read and reread your response now a few times, on different occasions. It appears you are saying, God does cause them to be rich or poor, He gives them the same treatment but their wealth is independent of God’s treatment. Is that correct? Jul 24, 2022 at 4:16
  • @NihilSineDeo - Prov 22:2 is not discussing whether God makes people rich or poor. It is simply saying God made all people and treats all people with similar services of life and sunshine and rain, etc. That is Prov 22:2 is amplified by Matt 5:44, 45.
    – Dottard
    Jul 24, 2022 at 22:25
1

My preference is for the first. But I think something else is going on here.

We have two proverbs:

Proverbs 22:2 (KJV 1900)

  The rich and poor meet together:
  The LORD is the maker of them all.

Proverbs 29:13 (KJV 1900)

  The poor and the deceitful man meet together:
  The LORD lighteneth both their eyes.

In Proverbs, which is a very realistic work meant to give an unsentimental, practical, clear-eyed view of life, there is much about how easier life is for the rich rather than the poor, and it emphasizes how different the rich are from the poor. See, e.g. Prov 10.15, Prov 22.7.

The Bible is also clear that the existence of the poor is part of God's eternal order -- there are no goals to eliminate poverty in the Bible, but rather given that poverty is a persistent aspect of life, we are charged with caring for the poor, who will always be with us:

Deuteronomy 15:11 (KJV 1900)

For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

So then where do the rich and poor meet? I think this is a riddle. One can say the rich and poor meet in the land, since they are so different from each other that they meet only in their status as inhabitants of the land.

At the same time, we can say that God sustains them both, as they are both God's creation and God's glory is revealed in them, which would be the meaning of the Proverbs 29:13. Here we remember that "the land" being referred to in Deut 15.11 is the promised land.

So they meet in heaven (in the promise) and on earth. In that case, both meanings are meant, but the emphasis would be on the first.

0

The sovereignty of the Lord is exercised over each man and He determines who is rich and who is poor by the way He fashions each one.

Yahweh forms the rich man as well as the destitute or poor man. The common ground is the same lump of clay each one is made from and the same potter is Yahweh.

Neither one made them selves and both will encounter their Maker.

You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth. Deuteronomy 8:18

It is the Lord who gives the ability and skill to create wealth.

On the other hand,

Listen, my beloved brothers: Has not God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith. James 2:5

The poor are more apt to receive from God, where as the rich often times have no need of God.

Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor , blind, and naked. Revelation 3:17-20

An interesting concept is found in Genesis 1:12.

The earth brought forth different plants from the ground and each for good and made according to God's purpose.

Gen 1:12 - And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

We are his workmanship and he shall have the desire of his hands.

You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made. Job 14:15

Man has a tendency to judge one another from man's point which is often blind to Gods purpose in having the rich and the poor.

The LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh a man dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? is it not I the LORD? Exodus 4:12

Often the poor are looked down upon much like someone who is born blind or with other disabilities.

‘Rabbi, who did sin, this one or his parents, that he should be born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither did this one sin nor his parents, but that the works of God may be manifested in him; John 9:3

But even the hairs of your head all have been numbered. Fear not; Luke 12:7

There are many more scriptures declaring God is the one who makes each individual whether they be rich or poor.

It is good to look at things from a God's point of view.

2
  • I’m not sure you have conclusively proven God makes one man poor and the other rich (not disagreeing with you) you simply started with the assumption and concluded it is so. Jul 24, 2022 at 0:53
  • 1
    Looking back at my answer and doing a little more research I do agree with you. God does give some the ability to have wealth more than others. What do you have that you did not receive. 1Co.1:7 God is the giver of each persons talents, drive, disposition, intellect, beauty or things that naturally may give an advantage for wealth more than others. That can be a persons downfall as well. Look at Solomon. Others may be poor in this world but have greater riches in other ways. Both can dislike each other for what they have or don't have. Both will meet their Maker who made each of them.
    – Sherrie
    Jul 24, 2022 at 15:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.