[b-hebrew] Bribes, Gifts, and Tribute

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon May 17 19:19:08 EDT 2004


What is at stake here is not the legality of the action, as we understand it, rather the action. This is giving something of value to get the recipient to do something that he normally may not do. In that way, a king can bribe another king.

An example of a “legal” bribe is in U.S. politics, where a large donation is given to a politician’s re-election campaign so that the politician will do certain things that the “donor” wishes.

Usually, however, bribes are recognized as a way to pervert justice.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Kimbrough (CLWA)" <dkimbrough at clwa.org>
> 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
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