26
Nov
10

“Gift” in the Old Testament

Finding a parallel for “charism” in the Old Testament is not easy.  One way is to look at various words translated “gift” in English Bibles.  Using the same categories I found in the NT, I found a very different set of uses for “gift” in the older Testament.

First of all, if we think of the commonly assumed meaning of “charisms” – diversity of gifts given to believers – we find that there are only a few references, and even those are open to other interpretations.  The vast majority of occurences of “gifts” in the OT relate to religious offerings and gifts exchanged between humans.    There are no occurrences describing salvation as a gift, though there are a few terms which seem to imply “blessing.”

What is perhaps significant with relation to the question of ecclesial charisms, however, are the three references in Romans which describe the Levites (8:19 and 18:16) and the service of priesthood (18:7) as gifts.  As far as I’ve seen, these are the only references which imply that a particular group within the people of God is itself a gift of God for the benefit of the whole.   Their functional specialization also coheres well with the idea of specialized movements which are raised up around a particular gift that brings with it a vocational obligation.

BLESSING

REF HEB MEANING
Genesis 30:20 zebed good gift (of a son)
Num. 8:19 nathan Levites given as a gift to Aaron & sons
Num. 18:6 mattanah Levites as gift for Israel to perform service at tent of mtg
Num. 18:7 mattanah service of the priesthood given as a gift to Aaron and sons
Deut.     33:15 NA gifts of the ancient mountains
Deut.     33:16 NA gifts of the earth
Psalm 127:3 nachalah children are a gift of the Lord
Eccl.  3:13 mattath a man’s labour is the gift of God
Eccl. 5:19 mattath a man’s labour is the gift of God

DIVERSITY OF GIFTS GIVEN BY GOD TO BELIEVERS

REF HEB MEANING
Num. 8:19 nathan Levites given as a gift to Aaron & sons
Num. 18:6 mattanah Levites as gift for Israel to perform service at tent of mtg
Num. 18:7 mattanah service of the priesthood given as a gift to Aaron and sons
Eccl.  3:13 mattath a man’s labour is the gift of God
Eccl. 5:19 mattath a man’s labour is the gift of God

RELIGIOUS OFFERING

REF HEB MEANING
Exodus 28:38 mattanah holy gifts
Leviticus 22:2 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Leviticus 22:3 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Leviticus 22:4 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Leviticus 22:6 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Leviticus 22:7 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Lev.       22:10 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Lev.       22:12 terumah gift / offering
Lev.       22:12 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Lev.       22:14 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Lev.       22:14 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Lev.       22:15 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Lev.       22:16 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Lev.       22:18 NA gift for a burnt offering
Lev.       23:38 mattanah gifts / offering
Numbers 5:9 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Numbers 5:10 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Numbers 7:3 qorban gifts / offering
Numbers 18:8 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Numbers 18:9 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Num.     18:10 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Num.     18:11 mattan gift / offering
Num.     18:19 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
Num.     18:29 mattanah gifts / offering
Num.     18:32 qadosh holy (gifts / things)
Num.     31:52 terumah gift / offering
Deut.     12:6 terumah special gifts / offerings
Deut.    12:11 terumah special gifts / offerings
Deut.    12:17 terumah special gifts / offerings
Deut.    16:17 mattanah gift / offering
1 Samuel 6:3 NA gift offering
1 Samuel 9:7 teshurah gift to take to the man of God
2 Kings 12:18 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
1 Chro.  26:20 qodesh dedicated gifts
1 Chro.  26:26 qodesh dedicated gifts
2 Chro.  31:6 qodesh holy (gifts / things)
2 Chro.  31:12 terumah contributions
2 Chro.  31:12 qodesh dedicated gifts
2 Chro.  31:14 terumah contributions
2 Chro.  31:14 qodesh dedicated gifts
2 Chro.  32:23 minchah gift / offering
Ezra 1:6 migdanah valuable gifts for the rebuilding of the Temple
Psalm 45:12 minchah gift for the King from daughter of Tyre
Psalm 68:18 mattanah ascended God receiving gifts from people
Psalm 68:29 shay kings will bring gifts to you
Psalm 72:10 minchah gifts for the King from kings of Tarshish and Islands
Psalm 72:10 eshkar gifts brought to the King from kings of Sheba and Seba
Psalm 76:11 shay let all around bring gifts for the Lord, who is to be feared
Isaiah 18:7 shay a gift of homage will b brought to the Lord
Ezekiel 20:26 mattanah idolatrous offering of passing sons through fire
Ezekiel 20:31 mattanah idolatrous offering of passing sons through fire
Ezekiel 20:39 mattanah idolatrous offerings will no longer profane my name
Ezekiel 20:40 maseth on holy mountain God will seek the people’s gifts
Ezekiel 44:30 terumah offerings / special gifts
Ezekiel 45:13 terumah offerings / special gifts
Ezekiel 48:8 terumah offerings / special gifts
Ezekiel 48:12 terumiyyah special gift
Ezekiel 48:12 terumah sacred portion
Ezekiel 48:12 qodesh most holy (portion)
Ezekiel 48:20 terumah special gift
Ezekiel 48:20 qodesh sacred (portion)
Ezekiel 48:20 terumah (sacred) portion
Hosea 8:13 habhab idolatrous sacrificial gifts
Micah 1:7 ethnan idolatrous temple gifts
Micah 1:7 ethnan idolatrous gifts
Micah 1:7 ethnan wages of prostitutes

GIFTS EXCHANGED BETWEEN HUMANS

REF HEB MEANING
Genesis 24:53 migdanah costly gifts
Genesis 25:6 mattanah gifts for sons of Abraham’s concubines
Genesis 32:13 minchah gift for Esau
Genesis 32:18 minchah gift for Esau
Genesis 32:20 minchah gift for Esau
Genesis 32:21 minchah gift for Esau
Genesis 33:10 minchah gift for Esau
Genesis 33:11 berakah gift for Esau
Genesis 34:12 mattan bridal gift
Genesis 43:11 minchah gift for Joseph
Genesis 43:15 minchah gifts for Joseph
Genesis 43:25 minchah gifts for Joseph
Genesis 43:26 minchah gifts for Joseph
1 Sam.  10:27 minchah gifts for Saul
1 Sam.  25:27 berakah gift for David
1 Sam.  30:26 berakah gift for David
2 Samuel 11:8 maseth gift for Uriah
1 Kings 9:16 shilluchim wedding gift for Solomon’s daughter
1 Kings 10:25 minchah gifts brought to Solomon from other nations
1 Kings 13:7 mattath gift for man of God
1 Kings 15:19 shochad gift between kings
2 Kings 5:15 berakah gift for Elisha
2 Kings 8:8 minchah gift for Elisha
2 Kings 8:9 minchah gift for Elisha
2 Kings 16:8 shochad gift for the King of Assyria
2 Kings 20:12 minchah gift for Hezekiah
2 Chro.  9:24 minchah gifts brought to Solomon from other nations
2 Chro.  17:5 minchah gifts for Jehoshaphat from all Judah
2 Chro.  17:11 minchah gifts for Jehoshaphat from Philistines, Arabians
2 Chro.  21:3 mattanah gifts from King to sons
Esther 2:18 maseth gifts from the King to the people
Esther 9:22 mattanah gifts to the poor
Psalm 45:12 minchah gift for the King from daughter of Tyre
Psalm 72:10 minchah gifts for the King from kings of Tarshish and Islands
Psalm 72:10 eshkar gifts brought to the King from kings of Sheba and Seba
Psalm 112:9 nathan the righteous have freely scattered their gifts to the poor
Proverbs 6:35 shochad scorned husband accepts no gifts (bribe)
Prov. 18:16 mattan a man’s gift makes room for him
Proverbs 19:6 mattan all are a friend to he who gives gifts
Prov.  21:14 mattan a gift given in secret subdues anger
Prov. 22:16 nathan one who gives gifts to the rich comes to poverty
Prov.  25:14 mattath one who boasts falsely is like clouds without rain
Isaiah 1:23 shochad your rulers chase after gifts
Isaiah 39:1 minchah gifts for Hezekiah
Jeremiah 40:5 maseth gift for captain of the bodyguard
Ezekiel 16:33 nedeh men give gifts to harlots
Ezekiel 16:33 nadan you give gifts to all your lovers
Ezekiel 46:16 mattanah gift from prince to his sons – inheritance
Ezekiel 46:17 mattanah gift from prince to his servants – temporary until jubilee
Daniel 2:6 mattena king offers Daniel gifts
Daniel 2:48 mattena king gives Daniel gifts
Daniel 5:17 mattena Daniel refuses king’s gifts
Daniel 11:38 yaqar (Antiochus) will offer costly gifts to foreign god
Micah 1:14 shilluchim parting gifts
Micah 7:3 shillum ruler & judge accepts gifts / bribes
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