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image of Vetus Testamentum

This article is an examination of BTS‘ in the Old Testament to see whether the root has a negative or neutral meaning. The verb is used sometimes with a negative sense such as unjust gain or violent extortion (e.g. Ezek. xxii 12, 27), but at other times has a neutral or positive meaning such as finish, prevent, cut off or die (e.g. Isa. x 12). The noun is also used with a negative sense, and can refer in particular to contexts of violence. There are two examples in particular, Job xxii 3 and Ps. xxx 10 (9), where a neutral meaning is possible and fits the context, but a more negative meaning need not be excluded. The conclusion of this article is that BTS‘ is a noun with usually, possibly always, a negative meaning. The word would best be rendered "unjust gain" or "extortion".

Affiliations: 1: Cambridge


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