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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 15:27

"He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live."

One is tempted to go right on past the truth in this proverb because it seems unimportant. But it is a foolish temptation that we will all face -- the temptation to gain personally by receiving money that we shouldn't have. We think we are getting ahead by receiving stolen property or cheating on our taxes or taking a bribe or stealing or embezzling from our company or a hundred other ways of getting more for ourselves by cheating.

Solomon wants us to stop and think about it. Are you really getting ahead? You may be getting ahead a little materially but what about spiritually, psychologically, and morally. This bad choice makes you open to other bad choices that were not present before. God will not reward a person who makes it to the top by stepping on others to get there.


This is the Hebrew word basa which has a range of meanings from gain, to greedy, to profit, to cut off. It often has the idea of unjust gain. In this instance, idea of profit is clearly there but also the negative side of profit. Greed is also present.


This word is in the word basa and the translators thought that they needed to use this two-word explanation in order to clearly display the meaning.


This is the Hebrew word akar which means to stir up, to disturb, to trouble. The idea here is that by trying to help the family, the person who gains in a greedy or unjust manner has really stirred up more trouble for his home and family. He sets in motion mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical issues that will bring a level of disease and turmoil to the home.

You think you are getting ahead, but you begin to constantly think about people finding out what you have done. You now have other possibilities of illicit profit present themselves to your mind that were never there before.


This is the Hebrew word sane which means to hate, to detest. This word carries the idea of an emotional reaction to something; an aversion toward illegal gain.

It is important to say at this point that this is not all that morality entails. Many people have come to think that right and wrong are just emotional reactions to or for something. Right and wrong are concepts embedded in the world we live in by the God who created it. What is right is what benefits others with no harm to others. What is wrong is what harms others with benefit only to a select person or group. God has defined where these lines are in His law. We don't believe Him and therefore end up harming others through our desires for personal profit.


This is the Hebrew word mataan which means gift(s). Solomon uses the right word. Little gifts that turn you away from the righteous decision. Little gifts that allow you to make more than everybody else at the expense of the company or the customer. Little gifts that don't seem like much but mean that you are putting yourself ahead of everyone and everything else.

This is a hard concept to grasp for many. You don't get ahead by cheating. If you want to have a new level of harmony in your home and in your mind, do things right and live within your means.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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