[b-hebrew] Proverbs 21:14 KPH

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Wed Jul 21 21:13:55 EDT 2004

On Wednesday 21 July 2004 16:17, Karl Randolph wrote:
> To All:
> This is a hapax legomai lexeme in Tanakh, do we have any clues as to its
> definition?
> “A gift in secret ??? anger, and a bribe in the bosom (???) strong fury.”
> Why is the gift in secret, unless neither the giver nor the givee want it
> to be known that the gift was made? Why wouldn’t they want the gift to be
> known? Similarly, a bribe in the bosom is being hidden. Why, if not to
> pervert justice?  What is the typical reaction when people see injustice
> being practiced, if not fury?

A "gift in secret" is a clear term for a bribe.  It's obvious, then, why they 
don't want the gift to be known.  The part about perverting justice is a bit 
of eisegesis that isn't in the text.  The question is, whose 
wrath/anger/fury/whatever?  The most likely candidate is the one receiving 
the gift or bribe.

> Hence, from the context, I read this term as having the definition of
> “excite” or “inflame”.

Uh-uh.  Every lexical tool available indicates that both the root and the 
surface word mean "pacify," from a base meaning of "bend."  Hence, the bribe 
turns away or appeases anger.

Dave Washburn
Insert clever epigram here...or not

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