What Do You Do When Your Brother is in Distress? Dimitri Houtteman/Unsplash

What Do You Do When Your Brother is in Distress?

Wisdom from the Hebrew scriptures for times of crisis


This phrase appears 3 times in one chapter: “And if one of your brothers has become distressed…” (Leviticus 25: verses 25, 35 & 39). The Bible is written with minimalism. So when a sentence is repeated, it is important. The root of the word “distressed” here in the original Hebrew means “to be brought low.”

This describes the situation when a family member or friend or neighbor, experiences a downturn financially, mentally, spiritually etc.

From high to low.
From success to failure.
From wealth to poverty.
From a state of security to a state of apprehension.
From an uplifted mood to depression.

This chapter highlights our duty to be sensitive to others. It is so important to pay attention to the condition of those around us.

When someone is low, that is a call to action, a call for us to see their plight, the distress of a fellow human. This is a call to support and “hold him” (Lev. 25:35), not to let him fall, but to redeem him from his difficulty ( “.. and his redeeming relative shall come...


Only members can read and write comments.