increase 1. To become greater or larger. 2. To multiply; reproduce.
withholds: 1. To keep in check; restrain. 2. To refrain from giving, granting, or permitting
poverty: 1. the condition of being without adequate food, money, etc. 2. scarcity or dearth
One of the definitions of “scatter” speaks of “sowing” by scattering, and in the Bible, “sowing” is often equated with planting things of God… giving to others, helping others, etc. The first part of this verse indicates that those who plant/sow things of God will be blessed and will become greater or reproduce those things as God uses the things they have given Him. See the following verses as examples of this principle:
1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (NKJV)
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
2 Corinthians 9: 9 &10 (NKJV)
9 As it is written: “ He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness…
The second part of today’s verse speaks of the person who doesn’t give freely, but “refrains” from giving and even keeps back the things that he KNOWS it would be right to give. Because of the hardness of this type of person’s heart, he will NOT be blessed and this type of “stinginess” tends to bring about poverty.