Poverty


by Mike Ratliff

41 Καὶ καθίσας κατέναντι τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου ἐθεώρει πῶς ὁ ὄχλος βάλλει χαλκὸν εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον. καὶ πολλοὶ πλούσιοι ἔβαλλον πολλά· 42 καὶ ἐλθοῦσα μία χήρα πτωχὴ ἔβαλεν λεπτὰ δύο, ὅ ἐστιν κοδράντης. 43 καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἡ χήρα αὕτη ἡ πτωχὴ πλεῖον πάντων ἔβαλεν τῶν βαλλόντων εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον· 44 πάντες γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ περισσεύοντος αὐτοῖς ἔβαλον, αὕτη δὲ ἐκ τῆς ὑστερήσεως αὐτῆς πάντα ὅσα εἶχεν ἔβαλεν ὅλον τὸν βίον αὐτῆς. Mark 12:41-44 (NA28)

41 And having sat opposite the Treasury He was observing how the crowd put copper coins into it; and many rich people were putting in much. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins which is a penny.  43 And having summoned His disciples He said to them, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow put in more than all the others who put into the Treasury; 44 for everyone else put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In the passage above the word “poverty” translates the Greek noun ὑστερήσεως (hysterēseōs) the genitive, singular, feminine case of ὑστέρησις (hysterēsis), which means, “need, poverty.”  This refers to a beggar, someone who was completely destitute, having nothing. Continue reading