While the proverb suggests “the poor and the oppressor have this in common,” they were obviously opposite and probably had little appreciation for each other. Of course, that would have been an important element in giving this wise saying meaning to the ancient world.
The one thing noted that they do have “in common” is “the LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.” Such an obvious statement, I’ve struggled to understand the insight.
Of all the things that could have been said about their human commonality it’s that God gave eyesight to both. Maybe it’s that they can see each other — suggesting they could know each other; understand each other; and even be helpful to one another.
I’d like to think this saying is a message of hopeful possibilities not an unequivocal divide!
A modern American wise saying possibly offers some insight. Ohio State and Michigan have been major football rivals for over a century. But in the 1930’s, Ohio State coach Francis Schmidt had unparalleled initial success again the Wolverines.
His ability to defeat his football foes might be summed up in a phrase he used about the Michigan players, “They put their pants on one leg at a time same as everybody else!”
However different we are — when I understand how we’re alike, some good can start happening. It can even work for “the poor” and “the oppressor!”