[b-hebrew] Bribes, Gifts, and Tribute

David Kimbrough (CLWA) dkimbrough at clwa.org
Mon May 17 16:48:57 EDT 2004


Yigal,

Yes you are correct that in 1Kings 15:19 King Asa gives all of his silver
and gold to King Benhadad of Syria which Asa calls a "gift" ($oxad).  The
gift was to get the King of Syria to do something, attack Israel.  However
this is not a bribe however as there nothing illegal or unethical about it.
Gifts of cash were routinely given out in order to obtain military alliance
of one type or another, just as they are today.  King Benhadad was
committing no crime, just receiving payment for services rendered.  The King
of Israel may not have been happy about this arrangement, and perhaps even
many Judeans weren't either, but that does not equal bribery.

The nearly identical relation is reported in 2Kings 16:8.  This time King
Ahaz is giving a gift the King of Assyria to attach the King of Syria.  King
Tiglathpileser is good to his word and does so.  No bribery, just a Kings
doing their jobs.  Bribery would to pay a King NOT to do his job.

David Eugene Kimbrough
Water Quality & Laboratory Supervisor
Castaic Lake Water Agency
27234 Bouquet Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91350-2173 USA
V 661.297.1600
F 661.297.0414 or .1611
dkimbrough at clwa.org


-----Original Message-----
From: Yigal Levin [mailto:leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il]
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 2:08 PM
To: b-hebrew
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Proverbs 17:8



----- Original Message -----
From: "David Kimbrough (CLWA)" <dkimbrough at clwa.org>
To: "'Yigal Levin'" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>; "b-hebrew"
<b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 9:43 PM
Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] Proverbs 17:8


> 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.

No. These are both bribes given by the wak king of Judah to a more powerful
country, aimed at getting its king to take action.

Yigal


>
> 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
> bribery.
>
> 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
> stone".
>
>  Yigal
>
>  ----- 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
> 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.
> > >
> > > 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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>
>


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