[b-hebrew] Proverbs 17:8

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Mon May 17 14:16:20 EDT 2004


Dear Chris,

>Subject: Proverbs 17:8.
>
>The question here centres on the word that is translated as 'gift' and
>'bribe'; and also on the 'object' of the proverb either as 'the person' who
>is the recipient of the 'gift/bribe' or the 'it' ie the gift/bribe itself.
>
>Personally speaking I favour 'gift' even though this word is often
>translated as bribe elswhere, this is very much linked to the somewhat
>esthetical sense of the word 'stone of grace' and its position in the
>sentence?. Anyway please elucidate me with your grammatical intuitions.  I
>learn good things from these heated debates.

HH: "Stone of grace" probably implies a jewel (NASB: "precious 
stone") or charm (NRSV: "magic stone"). The verses on either side of 
Prov 17:8, which may not be related to it, concern evil. The Hebrew 
word here, $+D ("gift/bribe"). almost always refers to something 
evil. There's not a completely unambiguous example of a positive 
meaning for the word in the OT, it seems to me. Also, the verse 
suggests a somewhat negative meaning for $+D because it apparently 
aims to bring success to the one who possesses it. A true gift is 
given for the joy that it will bring to the recipient, not for the 
success it will bring to the giver. So I would lean towards the bribe 
interpretation.

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard




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