I am still asking myself, “Is a “bribe” (7810) (gift in KJV) righteous or evil? The problem is, you can’t tell from this verse alone. If all I had was this verse, I would conclude that bribery is the path to prosperity. This is officially a difficult verse. So we need to do some thinking.
In Proverbs you often have verses that stand alone. Context does not help. That would seem to be the case here. Sometimes Proverbs has a pattern of contrast in these individual verses. The good and the bad are compared to teach a lesson. That does not happen here.
So we are compelled to look further. A simple comparison from other places in Proverbs shows us in the same chapter,
(Proverbs 17:23 KJV) A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.This shows that bribery is an evil force. Take this with commands to make your measures fair and to conduct business with honesty and you come to a conclusion that bribery is not an acceptable thing for God’s people. What this verse does is point out that some people are successful because of their underhanded methods. It does not condone it.
So? Our world is corrupt. This is a reminder. Walk in righteousness. Walk upright. Walk straight. It is a narrow gate and few will find it. Be one of the few.