|rob'-er, rob'-er-i: ((tsammim) hungry, snare, (tseme'im) thirsty, (lestes) thief, (harpagmos) to ravish away, carry off, plunder)
RELATED: Law, Ten Commandments
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Practised by the Ishmaelites ( Genesis 16:12 ), the Chaldeans
and Sabeans ( Job 1:15 , 1:17 ), and the men of Shechem ( Judges 9:25 . See also
1 Samuel 27:6-10 ; 30 ; Hosea 4:2 ; 6:9 ). Robbers infested Judea in our Lord's
time ( Luke 10:30 ; John 18:40 ; Acts 5:36 , 5:37 ; 21:38 ; 2 Corinthians 11:26
). The words of the Authorized Version, "counted it not robbery to be equal,"
etc. (Philippians 2:6 , 2:7 ), are better rendered in the Revised Version, "counted
it not a prize to be on an equality," etc., i.e., "did not look upon equality
with God as a prize which must not slip from his grasp" = "did not cling with
avidity to the prerogatives of his divine majesty; did not ambitiously display
his equality with God."
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
Robbery has ever been one of the principal employments
of the nomad tribes of the East. From the time of Ishmael to the present day the
Bedouin has been a "wild man," and a robber by trade. ( Genesis 16:12 ) The Mosaic
law on the subject of theft is contained in ( Exodus 2:2 ). There seems no reason
to suppose that the law underwent any alteration in Solomons time. Man-stealing
was punishable with death. ( Exodus 21:16 ; 24:7 ) Invasion of right in land was
strictly forbidden. ( Deuteronomy 27:17 ; Isaiah 5:8 ; Micah 2:2 )
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
"Robber" represents no particular Hebrew word in the Old Testament, but in the
Apocrypha and the New Testament is always a translation of lestes (see THIEF).
In the King James Version Job 5:5 ; 18:9, "robber" stands for the doubtful word
tsammim, the Revised Version (British and American) "hungry" in Job 5:5 and "snare"
in 18:9. The meaning is uncertain, and perhaps tseme'im, "thirsty," should be
read in both places. Psalms 62:10, "Become not vain in robbery," means "put not
your trust in riches dishonestly gained." RV's changes of the King James Version
in Proverbs 21:7 ; Daniel 11:14 ; Nahum 3:1 are obvious. In Philippians 2:6 the
King James Version reads "thought it not robbery to be equal with God." the English
Revised Version has "a prize," while the English Revised Version margin and the
American Standard Revised Version read "a thing to be grasped," the American Standard
Revised Version rewording "counted not the being on an equality with God a thing
to be grasped." The Greek here is harpagmos, a word derived from harpazo, "to
ravish away," "carry off," "plunder" (compare "harpy"). Properly speaking, the
termination -mos should give the derived noun an active sense, "the act of plundering,"
whence the King James Version's "robbery." The verse would then mean "who thought
that being on an equality with God did not consist in grasping," and this translation
gives good sense in the context and has some excellent scholarly support. But
a passive significance is frequently found despite a -mos termination, giving
to harpagmos the sense of "thing grasped," as in the Revised Version (British
and American). Usually English commentators take "grasped" as meaning "clung to"--"did
not think equality with God should be clung to tenaciously"--but "to cling to"
seems unknown as a translation of harpazo. Hence, render "a thing to be grasped
at"--did not seek equality with God by selfish methods but by humbling himself."
It is to be noticed, naturally, that Paul is thinking of "equality with God" simply
in the sense of "receiving explicit adoration from men" (Philippians 2:10 , 11),
and that the metaphysical relation of the Son to the Father is not at all in point.
See also GRASP.
Burton Scott Easton
bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, define, harpagmos, lestes, robber, robbery, thief, tsammim