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These have a large place in the Old Testament history, and several different words are used which are often translated PRESENTS. There were
2. From an inferior to a superior (2 Chron. 9:2424And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. (2 Chronicles 9:24); 2 Chron. 17:5,115Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honor in abundance. (2 Chronicles 17:5)
11Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats. (2 Chronicles 17:11)
). This also took the form of tribute, an acknowledgment of submission (1 Sam. 10:2727But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace. (1 Samuel 10:27); 1 Kings 4:2121And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life. (1 Kings 4:21)). When Solomon reigned supreme, “all the earth” sought to Solomon to hear his wisdom, and brought presents, as did the queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:2,24-252And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. (1 Kings 10:2)
24And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. 25And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. (1 Kings 10:24‑25)
). This is a type of Christ’s kingdom as established on earth, when presents, as willing tribute, will be sent from all nations to the Lord Jesus (Psa. 45:12; 72:10,1512And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favor. (Psalm 45:12)
10The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. (Psalm 72:10)
15And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. (Psalm 72:15)
; Isa. 60:99Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. (Isaiah 60:9)).
3. Gifts to judges: these were very apt to become bribes, and were strictly prohibited (Ex. 23:88And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous. (Exodus 23:8); Deut. 16:1919Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. (Deuteronomy 16:19); 2 Chron. 19:77Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (2 Chronicles 19:7)). It was usual also to take presents to prophets (1 Sam. 9:77Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we? (1 Samuel 9:7)); and as the prophets were sometimes judges, the gifts were liable to become bribes, as they did with the sons of Samuel, though Samuel himself could challenge the people, and they admitted the fact, that he had never taken a bribe to blind his eyes therewith (1 Sam. 8:33And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. (1 Samuel 8:3); 1 Sam. 12:33Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. (1 Samuel 12:3)).