Spoil (represented by many Heb. and several Gr. words in our version). SEE AKROTHINION; SEE BOOTY. The modern Arab nomads, or Bedawin, live in great part on the plunder of caravans or single travelers, and do not regard the trade of robbers as dishonorable (Arvieux, Descr. 3, 220 sq.; Niebuhr, Bed. p. 382 sq.; Mayeux, Les Bedouins, ou Arabes du Desert [Par. 1816], 12, 3). This was the case with their ancestors the Ishmaelites, as well as the neighboring Chaldees (Ge 16:12; Job 1:17). The same is related of Israelitish hordes in the times of the Judges (Jg 9:25; Jg 11:3; comp. 1Ch 7:21), and many invasions by the Philistines, Amalekites, etc., were but attacks from bands of robbers (comp. 1Sa 23:1; 1Sa 27:8 sq.; Jg 2:14,16), such as are still frequent in the villages of Palestine. In the organized Jewish state open plundering was rare (yet see Ho 6:9; Mic 2:8), and the figures of speech referring to it (Pr 23:28) may be referred chiefly to neighboring countries. But after the Captivity, especially under the oppressive rule of the Romans, and in consequence of almost unceasing wars of which Nearer Asia was the scene, the bands of robbers, aided by the multitude of hiding places which the cavernous nature of the country afforded (see Josephus, Ant. 14, 15, 5; Heliot. Eth. 1, 28 sq.), gained the upper hand in Palestine and in Trachonitis on its northeast border (Josephus, Ant. 15, 10, 1; 16, 9,1), so that Herod (ibid. 14, 9, 2; 15, 5; War, 1, 16, 4) and the procurators were compelled to send military force against them from time to time (Ant. 20, 6, 1), unless they preferred to tolerate them for tribute (ibid. 20, 11,1). Sometimes these officers even increased the number of the robbers by accepting bribes to release prisoners (ibid. 20, 9, 5) or dismissing them for other reasons (ibid. 20, 9, 3). The wilderness between Jerusalem and Jericho through which the highway led, and which, in great part, is a deep valley traversed by clefts and shut in with walls of cavernous sandstone (Berggren, Reis. 3, 100 sq.), was especially infested (Lu 10:30 sq.; Jerome, in Jer 3:2; comp. Robinson, Bibl. Res. 2, 509). During the investment of Jerusalem by the Romans the robbers played a prominent part in the doomed city. SEE THEUDAS.

Some would find a reference to sea robbery or piracy in Job 24:18 (Koster, Erläut. d. heil. Schr. p. 208 sq.), but without ground. SEE ROB.

Bible concordance for SPOILS.

Definition of spoil

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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