A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
– Proverbs 17:8
The word for gift means bribe, or reward, and it is mostly negative in the Old Testament usage. The word for precious means favor, or charm. It describes a stone that is seen as some charm of favor, or magic charm. The second phrase describes the one who uses it as prospering wherever he turns his bribe. The proverb describes the short term success of the palm greaser. Using bribes can range on the scale of wickedness, but it is always wicked to do so (Proverbs 17:23). God’s righteousness is described as never taking bribes (Deuteronomy 10:17). The law, which demands holiness like God’s holiness, forbids the giving or taking of bribes (Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19; 27:25).