[b-hebrew] Re: Bribes, Gifts, and Tribute

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue May 18 03:20:00 EDT 2004


David,

I think that the very reason that the writer(s) of these two pericopes used
the word $oxad (in stead of, say "minxah" or "matanah") is exactly because
he wished to emphasize that this was a "pay-off" which was at least morally
not kosher. Notice that the word is not used in any other such situation in
the Tanakh.

Yigal

----- 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 10:48 PM
Subject: Bribes, Gifts, and Tribute


> 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
> > > >
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> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> >
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>
>
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