What the Bible says about corruption

By Hermes C. Fernandes
There are those who think that corruption is a recent phenomenon in society. If it were, there would not be so many biblical warnings against it. 

“The one who walks injustice, and the one who speaks with righteousness, who throws away the gain of oppressions, and who shakes all bribes from his hands, who covers his ears to keep from hearing blood, and closes his eyes not to see evil; he will dwell in the heights, and the strongholds of the rocks will be his high refuge. Your bread will be given to you, and your waters will be certain ”. Isaiah 33: 15-16 

“Truly oppression makes the wise man mad, and bribery corrupts the heart.” Ecclesiastes 7: 7 

Warning against corruption in the civil service

“Tax collectors also came to be baptized and asked him: Master, what should we do? He replied, “Ask no more than what is commanded of you.” Luke 3: 12-13 

Warning against police corruption “Then some soldiers asked him, ‘What about us? He said to them: Treat no one wrong, do not give false accusations, and be content with your pay ”. Luke 3:14 Warning against Corruption in the Judiciary “You will not root for justice, nor will you show respect for people. You shall not take bribes, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous. Follow justice, and only justice, so that you may live and possess the land that the Lord your God gives you ”. Deuteronomy 16: 19-20

“You will not accept bribes either, because bribery blinds those who have sight, and perverts the words of the righteous.” Exodus 23: 8 

“The wicked hid a bribe in secret, to pervert the paths of justice.” Proverbs 17:23 

“Woe to those who … justify the wicked by bribery, and to the righteous they deny justice.” Isaiah 5: 22a, 23 

“How long will you defend the unrighteous, and take sides with the wicked? Defend the cause of the weak and the orphan; protect the rights of the poor and the oppressed. Deliver the weak and needy; take them out of the hands of the wicked. They know nothing, and understand nothing. They walk in darkness ”. Psalms 82: 2-5a 

“You shall not do injustice in judgment; you will not favor the poor, nor be complacent with the powerful, but with justice you will judge your neighbor ”.Leviticus 19:15 

Independence between the powers

“The godly man has perished from the earth, and there is no one among men who is upright. Everyone is trapped for blood; each hunts his brother with a net. His hands do evil diligently; the prince demands condemnation, the judge accepts bribes, and the great one speaks of the corruption of his soul, and so they are all disturbing ”. 
Micah 7: 2-3 

Warning against Corruption in the Executive Branch 

“Your princes are rebels, companions of thieves; each of them loves bribery, and runs after gifts. They do not do justice to the orphan, and the cause of widows does not reach them ”. Isaiah 1:23 

“For justice the king establishes the land, but the friend of bribes upsets it”. Proverbs 29: 4

“Abomination is for kings to practice wickedness, because with justice the throne is established”. Proverbs 16:12 

Warning About Corrupt Accessors 

“Take the wicked out of the king’s presence, and his throne will be established in righteousness”. Proverbs 25: 5 

Warning against Corruption in the Legislative Branch “Woe to those who enact unjust laws, and to clerks who write perversities, to deprive the poor of justice, and to snatch the right of the afflicted from my people, stripping widows, and stealing the orphans! But what will you do on the day of the visitation and the desolation, which will come from afar? Who will you turn to for help, and where will you leave your glory, without each one falling among the prisoners and falling among the dead? ” Isaiah 10: 1-4

Warning against corruption and greed in the business world 

“In your midst bribes are accepted to spill blood; you receive usury and illicit profits, and you use greed towards your neighbor, oppressing him. And you have forgotten me, says the Lord God. I will certainly clap my hands against the dishonest profit you have made … ” Ezekiel 22: 12-13a 

“ Better is a little, justly, than great rents, with injustice ”. Proverbs 16: 8 

“Whatever oppresses the poor in order to increase his profit, or what gives to the rich will certainly become poor”. Proverbs 22:16 

Warning against absurd interest practiced by the Financial System 
“Whatever increases your farm with interest and usury, brings it together for what the poor feel for”. Proverbs 28: 8

“Being a righteous man, and doing justice and justice (…) not oppressing anyone, making the debtor his pledge, not stealing, giving his bread to the hungry, and covering the naked with clothes; not giving your money to usury, not taking too much, turning your hand away from injustice, and making true judgment between man and man; walking in my statutes, and keeping my judgments, to act according to the truth, this just man will certainly live, says the Lord God ”. Ezekiel 18: 5,7-9 

“If you lend money to my people, to the poor who are with you, you will not have him as a creditor; you will not impose interest ”. Exodus 22:25

“Light is born of the upright even from darkness, for it is compassionate, compassionate and just. He will go well to those who have compassion and lend, who conduct their business fairly. (…) He is liberal, gives to the poor, his righteousness remains forever; his strength will be exalted in glory ”. 
Psalms 112: 4-5,9 

Warning about Labor Rights 
“If I have neglected the right of my servant or my servant when they contend with me, then what would I do when God arises? And when he inquired about the cause, what would he answer? ” Job 31: 13-14

“I will come to you for judgment, and I will be a swift witness against sorcerers and adulterers, and against those who swear falsely, and against those who defraud the worker, and pervert the widow’s and the orphan’s rights, and from abroad, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts ”. Malachi 3: 5 

“You, lords, give to your servants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Lord in heaven.” Colossians 4: 1 

“You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor steal from him. The worker’s salary will not be in your possession until the next day ”. Leviticus 19:13 

Warning against dishonest profits 
“The merchant has a deceptive balance in his hand; he loves oppression ”. Hosea 12: 7

“You won’t have two pesos in your bag, one big and one small. You will not have two measures in your house, a big one or a small one. You will have only exact and just weights, and exact and just measures, so that your days may be prolonged in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. For the Lord your God abhors anyone who does such an injustice ”. Deuteronomy 25: 13-16 

“A deceptive balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his pleasure.” Proverbs 11: 1 

“The just weight and balance are the Lord’s; your work is all weights of the bag ”. Proverbs 16:11 

“Am I to be able to clear up false scales with a bag of deceptive weights?” Micah 6:11

“You will not commit injustice in judgments, in measures of length, weight, or capacity. Fair scales, fair weights, fair ephah, and fair you will have. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. ” 
Leviticus 19: 35-36. 

Imagine if our politicians had the Bible as their bedside book, instead of Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. They would see that corruption does not pay.