"Naked" means "being without clothing" - so I guess "who are naked" means "who are very poor". Am I on the right track?

Pope Francis tweeted 1m ago:

Everyone is called to contribute with courage and determination to the respect for the fundamental rights of every person, especially the "invisible": of the many who are hungry and thirsty, who are naked, sick, outcast or imprisoned.

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    This may be opinion but the Pope could have meant they don't only have no clothes, but they have nothing. Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


This is typical Biblical language: when all these adjectives are used together, we are encouraged to think of the needy in general. It's not so much about specific naked people. So, your interpretation is pretty good.

Typical examples:

I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ (Matthew 25:36)

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? (Isaiah 58:7)

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    Yes, presumably the Biblical reference is to people too poor to have more than minimal clothing, rather than being literally naked. Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 12:56
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    @KateBunting I have seen someone so poor they were literally naked. Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 6:10
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    @LorenPechtel whereas I have seen people being rich enough to afford vacations in an exclusive nudist camp. Or even people trying to get rich by being naked Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 14:24
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    The fact that this question and answer have been so popular suggests that people will look at anything vaguely titillating! Fair enough.
    – legatrix
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 16:56
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    Can we maybe imply that back in biblical times when this was written, it was more common for people to be literally so poor they can't afford even basic minimal clothing? Nowadays, even homeless people can easily get free clothing from various charities, but maybe that wasn't the case back in the day? Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 19:06

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