What is bribery?

Corruption is a big problem in our country and the authorities of our state have finally acknowledged this. It seems that there is an Anti-Corruption Campaign that fights, especially against the phenomena of bribery, that is a direct manifestation of corruption. At the same time, it seems to me that there is still a lot of confusion regarding what is and what is not bribe. I want to make an analysis of this definition, based on the Bible, that is the Word of God.

Bribe is a gift that has the purpose to pervert the justice

God gave a lot of commandments in the book of Deuteronomy concerning judges, their activity and function and He says:

You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 16:18–20)(NASB)

So, according to these verses, bribe is a gift for the one who has to make right decisions, having the purpose to make him pervert and distort one’s rights or justice.

God doesn’t take bribe

God spoke for many times to the people of Israel in the Bible that they don’t have to come before God empty-handed, gifts had to be a part of their reverence and worship before Him. Here is an example:

You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt and none shall appear before Me empty-handed. (Exodus 23:15)(NASB)

But, at the same time, God is a right judge, that doesn’t accept gifts to perverse justice, as it is written:

For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:17–18)(NASB)

Greed makes one take bribe

Samuel was a righteous judge of Israel, but the Bible says that:

His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice. (1 Samuel 8:3)(NASB)

Bribe is when one goes over his power, forbids some things, and doesn’t accept to offer them until he is paid more than it is necessary to pay for this service.

We don’t have to confuse gratefulness with bribe

When Jesse sent his son, David, to the battle field, where he was to win Goliath, he told him:

“Take now for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves and run to the camp to your brothers. Bring also these ten cuts of cheese to the commander of their thousand, and look into the welfare of your brothers, and bring back news of them. (1 Samuel 17:17–18)(NASB)

Jesse didn’t send those ten cuts of cheese to the commander to pervert the truth, or ask him to save his sons from the danger on the battle field, but it was a sign of respect and gratefulness for the service that commander was doing.

Bribery is an iniquity punished by God

The king David wrote when he was inspired by the Holy Spirit:

O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells. Do not take my soul away along with sinners, nor my life with men of bloodshed, in whose hands is a wicked scheme, and whose right hand is full of bribes. (Psalm 26:8–10)(NASB)

A father and his son worked in the emergency room of a hospital. They were wicked persons and never healed people unless they were sure they will be paid for this, in this case that is bribery, because all services in the emergency room are free. Money was more important than people’s lives. And what do you think? Once, while the father was working, his son entered a shop and there was a conflict, soon he became the victim of this conflict, when on of those guys got his knife and plunge it into that son for many times. He was brought to the emergency room to save his life. He was covered by blood and no one could recognize him. That surgeon was told about this boy and that he needed an urgent surgery to save his life. But the surgeon replied: “Let his relatives come and bring money, for I will not begin to sew together for free all drunkards from this world …”. But at this moment, his attitude cost him more than all money he had gained before from “sewing”, as he himself said about his job. The price was his only son. The story has not yet ended. When they came to tell him that the boy lost much blood, but he can still be saved, our surgeon didn’t do anything. Then, after the patient (the son) died, the woman who went to carry the body to morgue recognized that he was the son of the surgeon and she came to bring that awful news.

Don’t be greed, don’t take bribe and don’t pervert justice.

Translated by Felicia Djugostran