[b-hebrew] Proverbs 17:8

David Kimbrough (CLWA) dkimbrough at clwa.org
Mon May 17 15:43:02 EDT 2004

Hmmm.   Well I have to say that using your translation, I do not see any
negative connotations.  It seems like a positive association to me,
comparing $oxad to a precious stone, a jewel perhaps.  It is hard for me to
see how that is negative.

In the OT, this word $oxad is used 23 times.  Most of them are clearly
references to bribery (Exd 23:8, Deu 16:19, Deu 27:25, 1Sam 8:3, Job 15:34,
Psa 15:5, Psa 26:10,  Pro 17:23, Isa 1:23, 5:23, 33:15, 2Ch 19:7, Eze 22:12,
Mic 3:11, etc).  

Other do not seem to have any negative association.  1Ki 15:19 and 2Ki 16:8
the reference is clearly to gifts from king to king, a normal, legal, and
positive activity, tokens of good faith and alliance.

Isa 45:13 seems to be a reference to reward, a gift for doing something
ethically good and legal, in this case freeing captives.  I read it as the
righteous free captives for goodness alone, without expectation of reward.
However it could be read that the righteous free captives without expecting
ransoms, which the modern reader would have a negative association with.  It
depends if the righteous is the captor, or liberates the captives from a 3rd
party captor.

I think of it this way, if one were to search the laws of say California,
one would find references to rules pertaining to gifts and government
officials, all with negative connotations, namely with the stated or
unstated concern of bribery. This does not mean that in English all gifts
are thought of as negative or bribes.  It is just In the context of
regulating illegal activity, perversion of justice in particular (a subject
of great concern in the OT) the word gift is closely associated with

David Eugene Kimbrough

-----Original Message-----
From: Yigal Levin [mailto:leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il]
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 12:06 PM
To: b-hebrew
Subject: Fw: [b-hebrew] Proverbs 17:8

 In all of the places in which $oxad is used, it is always meant
negatively -
as a bribe. This includes verse 23 in this very chapter. As for verse 8, my
translation would be: "A bribe is [as preacous] to its owner [as a] precous


 ----- Original Message -----
> From: "wattswestmaas" <wattswestmaas at eircom.net>
> To: "B-Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 7:17 PM
> Subject: [b-hebrew] Proverbs 17:8
> > Dear One and All,
> >
> > 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
> >
> > 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.
> > learn good things from these heated debates.
> >
> > Much appreciated - Chris from Ireland
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> >
> >

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