Here’s an older version of Proverbs 22:22,23:

“Rob not the poor because he is poor;
neither oppress the afflicted in the place of business.
For God shall spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.” [See NIV version.]

Ooh – scary threat! I betcha God knows how to spoil a soul if anyone does.

Writing about 145 years ago, John Ruskin added some commentary to that.

This ‘robbing the poor because he is poor,’ is especially the mercantile form of theft, consisting in taking advantage of a man’s necessities in order to obtain his labour or property at a reduced price.

The ordinary highwayman’s opposite form of robbery – of the rich, because he is rich – does not appear to occur so often [to the mind of the authors of Proverbs]; probably because, being less profitable and more dangerous than the robbery of the poor, it is rarely practised by persons of discretion.

So “persons of discretion” much prefer to rob the poor than to rob the rich. Less dangerous and more profitable.

Mr Ruskin, the way you do talk!

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