|Noah Webster's Dictionary|
1. (superl.) Having wealth; having large possessions, or larger than most men, as lands, goods, money, or securities; opulent; affluent; rich.
2. (superl.) Hence, ample; full; satisfactory; abundant.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
welth, wel'-thi (hon, chayil, nekhacim; euporia, "to possess riches," "to be in a position of ease" (Jeremiah 49:31)): The possession of wealth is not regarded as sinful, but, on the contrary, was looked upon as a sign of the blessing of God (Ecclesiastes 5:19; Ecclesiastes 6:2). The doctrine of "blessed are the poor, and cursed are the rich" finds no countenance in the Scriptures, for Luke 6:20, 24 refers to concrete conditions (disciples and persecutors; note the "ye"). God is the maker of rich and poor alike (Proverbs 22:2). But while it is not sinful to be rich it is very dangerous, and certainly perilous to one's salvation (Matthew 19:23). Of this fact the rich young ruler is a striking example (Luke 18:22, 23). It is because of the danger of losing the soul through the possession of wealth that so many exhortations are found in the Scriptures aimed especially at those who have an abundance of this world's goods (1 Timothy 6:17 James 1:10, 11; James 5:1, etc.). Certain parables are especially worthy of note in this same connection, e.g. the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21), the Rich Man and Lazarus-if such can be called a parable-(Luke 16:19-31). That it is not impossible for men of wealth to be saved, however, is apparent from the narratives, in the Gospels, of such rich men as Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38, 39 Matthew 27:57-60), and Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10). It may fairly be inferred from the Gospel records that James and John, who were disciples of our Lord, were men of considerable means (Mark 1:19, 20 John 19:27).
Wealth may be the result of industry (Proverbs 10:4), or the result of the special blessing of God (2 Chronicles 1:11, 12). We are warned to be careful lest at any time we should say "My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember Yahweh thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth" (Deuteronomy 8:17, 18).
Those possessing wealth are liable to certain kinds of sins against which they are frequently warned, e.g., highmindedness (1 Timothy 6:17); oppression of the poor (James 2:6); selfishness (Luke 12 and 16); dishonesty (Luke 19:1-10); self-conceit (Proverbs 28:11); self-trust (Proverbs 18:11).
It is of interest to note that in the five places in the New Testament in which the word "lucre"-as applying to wealth-is used, it is prefaced by the word "filthy" (1 Timothy 3:3 (the King James Version), 8; Titus 1:7, 11 1 Peter 5:2), and that in four of these five places it refers to the income of ministers of the gospel, as though they were particularly susceptible of being led away by the influences and power of money, and so needed special warning.
The Scriptures are not without instruction as to how we may use our wealth wisely and as well-pleasing to God. The parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16) exhorts us to "make.... friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness," by which is meant that we should use the wealth which God has committed to us as stewards in order that we may win friends (souls) with it for Him and His kingdom, just as the unfaithful steward used the goods with which his master had entrusted him to make friends for himself. The parable of Dives and Lazarus gives us the sad picture of a selfish rich man who had abused his trust, who had failed to make friends with his money, and who, in the other world, would have given anything just for such a friend (Luke 16:19-31).
See also RICHES.
Wealthy (22 Occurrences)
Matthew 27:57 Towards sunset there came a wealthy inhabitant of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who himself also had become a disciple of Jesus. (WEY)
Mark 10:23 And Jesus, looking round about, said to his disciples, How hard it is for those who have wealth to come into the kingdom of God! (See NAS)
Mark 12:41 Having taken a seat opposite the Treasury, He observed how the people were dropping money into the Treasury, and that many of the wealthy threw in large sums. (WEY)
Luke 18:24 And Jesus, looking at him, said, How hard it is for those who have wealth to get into the kingdom of God! (See NAS)
Luke 19:2 There was a man there called Zacchaeus, who was the local surveyor of taxes, and was wealthy. (WEY NIV)
Revelation 3:17 For you say, I have wealth, and have got together goods and land, and have need of nothing; and you are not conscious of your sad and unhappy condition, that you are poor and blind and without clothing. (See NAS)
Revelation 6:15 The kings of the earth and the great men, the military chiefs, the wealthy and the powerful--all, whether slaves or free men--hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, (WEY)
Revelation 18:15 Those who traded in these things, who grew wealthy through her, will stand afar off, struck with terror at her punishment, (WEY)
Genesis 13:2 and Abram 'is' exceedingly wealthy in cattle, in silver, and in gold. (YLT NIV)
Genesis 24:35 Yahweh has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys. (See NIV)
Genesis 26:13 And his wealth became very great, increasing more and more; (See NAS RSV NIV)
1 Samuel 25:2 There was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. (See NIV)
2 Samuel 19:32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even eighty years old: and he had provided the king with sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. (See RSV NIV)
2 Kings 4:8 And it came to pass on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a wealthy woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. (DBY RSV)
2 Kings 15:20 And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, of all those who were wealthy, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land. (DBY RSV NIV)
Nehemiah 4:2 and saith before his brethren and the force of Samaria, yea, he saith, 'What 'are' the weak Jews doing? are they left to themselves? do they sacrifice? do they complete in a day? do they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish? -- and they burnt!' (See NAS)
Job 27:19 He lieth down rich, but there shall be not to gather; he openeth his eyes, and his wealth is not. (See NIV)
Psalms 66:12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. (KJV ASV WBS)
Ecclesiastes 5:12 Sweet 'is' the sleep of the labourer whether he eat little or much; and the sufficiency of the wealthy is not suffering him to sleep. (YLT)
Isaiah 5:17 Then the lambs will get food as in their grass-lands, and the fat cattle will be feasting in the waste places. (See NAS)
Jeremiah 49:31 Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone. (KJV WBS)
Hosea 12:8 And Ephraim saith: 'Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself, All my labours -- they find not against me iniquity that 'is' sin.' (See NIV)