ROBBERY. Illegal seizure of another’s property. Early in Israel’s history such a crime was forbidden by law (Lev.19.13). In the days of the judges it was unsafe to travel the highways because of robberies by highwaymen (Judg.5.6; Judg.9.25). Houses were built to resist robbers, who were often base enough to seize the money of orphans and widows (Isa.10.2). Honor did not exist among thieves (Ezek.39.10). So depraved had Israel become by Hosea’s day that companies of priests had turned to pillage (Hos.6.9).

David warned against the lust for riches that resulted in robbery (Ps.62.10). Isaiah wrote of God’s hatred for this means of getting a burnt offering (Isa.61.8). Among the vices of God’s people listed by Ezekiel is robbery (Ezek.22.29). Nahum accused Nineveh of being a center of numerous robberies (Nah.3.1). Withholding tithes and offerings from God’s storehouse was a kind of robbery (Mal.3.8).

The prevalence of robbery during NT times is attested by the account of the Good Samaritan (Luke.10.30-Luke.10.37). Jesus warned against robbers who will enter the Christian fold (John.10.1). Heaven is the secure depository for those who wish to store treasures for the future (Matt.6.19-Matt.6.20). Paul, who knew his world as few men of his day knew it, was familiar with violent seizure by thieves (2Cor.11.26). Incidentally Jesus’ claim to equality with God was not one of illegal seizure (Phil.2.6).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

See also GRASP.