bribes & coming to terms w/ related terms | Solomon’s wisdom, pt. 6

bribes & coming to terms w/ related terms | Solomon’s wisdom, pt. 6 March 13, 2022

Wycliffe Bible Translators say one who refuses a bribe: “boweth away from evil by the dread of the Lord.” Again, this is abstaining from bribes.

I mention a Stephen Garber concept, who has ministered as a scholar in residence, taught at a number of schools, and I can refer interested students to:

Harvard: or Yale:

I thought it was Harvard. He currently teaches at Regent College:

He has written other works, including: The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior

making law & sausage

You would be surprised in Proverbs to read how bribes can be used to ease situations. Sometimes they are not bribes in the way we bribe today, or the way someone strong-arms us into bribes today.

I have generally taken the stance that it’s just wrong. In mosts cases in Proverbs, bribes are wrong, like we view them today.

At other times, bribes are really more like peace offerings between people. It depends on the context. I haven’t posted on Proverbs in the last couple days, so I thought it might be a tip.

A politician I know of accepted a bribe, but I admired him for admitting it publicly, and apologizing.

I’ve never accepted one in our cultural sense, that I know of, from this guy or that guy. I refuse to operate this way with those around me.

Does it mean I’m better than the politician?

Let me put it to you this way, I sat in a men’s fellowship and listened as some of the men “talked” about basic men’s issues 101. Then I realized they were condescending, and “talking” about one of the men in particular. Finally one guy exclaimed, “I may have my sins, but I don’t have that guy’s sin!” The one who brought the gavel down was the men’s leader, unfortunately…

personal sin is oft times a competition between the pharisee’s sin & the publican’s

Don’t read me wrong, because I’m neither as judgmental nor sinful as you may guess, for picking this thought out of the blue from Proverbs.

With decent and acceptable bribes, at least in ancient Hebrew Biblical context if not grammar, my educated guess is the language in Proverbs is closer to a horizontal peace offering than a vertical one.

Look it up in another translation if you need assistance with clarity. Many translations use the term bribe, but consider a translation where: the read is easy, one you truly like. At this point, I’m reading out of the NLT.

translations are not too different, but various ones will speak your lingo at times

The Writings, or the Wisdom Literature, which include Proverbs can be a little strenuous to decipher in the KJV.

There seem to be two words at play when bribes are mentioned in Proverbs, possibly others (shochbad: bribe || kheyk: lit. bosom, for ex. keeping secrets). However, The Writings use either term for good or bad forms of bribes. The immediate context is key.

Eugene Peterson says about both individuals or systems who do not use bribes, that they are, “those who refuse to exploit…”
It is interesting to relate refusing to participate in a bribe to abstaining from exploitation.

Wycliffe Bible Translators say one who refuses a bribe, “boweth away from evil by the dread of the Lord.” Again, this is abstaining from bribes.

For a bribe, the terms gifts, presents, and an expectation received (noun form) are examples of transliteration. These terms point to decent and acceptable gifts, like the horizontal peace offering concept.

The general idea of paying someone to do wrong is why I am somewhat adamant about offering a little clarity.

Is wrong also a failure to stand up and do right, or not?

in some ways, bribery also means a failure to run your race to your full potential

This is most often the case because of a fear of performance-based comparisons from others, even if they are attempting to coach you out of kindness.

This isn’t about participation trophies either.

Competition is necessary, but there’s also something to be said for the love of the game. Some athletes have it, and it motivates their self-discipline long after others lose interest.

I recently was with a group of athletes talking about a lot of sports they had played. We were all multi-sports athletes in our day. One still is, playing multiple sports per year. We were throwing around a football, kicking a soccer ball, all just hanging out more than anything. We were talking about college sports.

Finally I asked the athlete, what one sport would you play all day every day if you could?

Without hesitation, the answer is golf.

Run your race… or hike your trail… (whatever metaphor suits your taste) to your full potential. Don’t allow someone to bribe you out of being your best.

en Septiembre

As promised in my lead-in video, here’s a semi-related video and a tie-in. When difficult times arise, perhaps hopeless times, turning to our human devices like bribery really isn’t a viable solution.

The song may be about some wayward souls, but a key is mentioned, the key of St. Jude. This is important for some reasons Evangelicals may not be familiar with. We surely recognize that St. Jude could be the half-brother of our Lord, perhaps the author of the Biblical book.

St. Jude is also the patron of lost causes or lost souls.

Instead of reaching for a human device to change a relationship, like a bribe or manipulation, the name of St. Jude is mentioned.

I certainly cannot explain the depth of meaning this song holds for some who are from a faithtribe that recognizes this type of communion of the saints. However, I know for some, calling upon the prayers of a saint (or even alluding to the prayers) is very similar to when Evangelicals go to the altar on Sunday for prayer from someone on the prayer team. To some, it is simply another form of intercession.

Again, when all seems lost, is it better to turn to forms of manipulation or our human devices like bribery?

Sure a good gift goes a long way at the right time, especially to ease relations, as The Writings say.

On the other hand, is it better to turn our gaze upward when we really can’t seem to look down any further?

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