There are two verses in the Pentateuch that exhort against bribery.
וְשֹׁחַד לֹא תִקָּח כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר פִּקְחִים וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים
לֹא תַטֶּה מִשְׁפָּט לֹא תַכִּיר פָּנִים וְלֹא תִקַּח שֹׁחַד כִּי הַשֹּׁחַד יְעַוֵּר עֵינֵי חֲכָמִים וִיסַלֵּף דִּבְרֵי צַדִּיקִם
While these statements about bribery are virtually identical, there are some minor differences:
- In Exodus the noun (bribe) appears before the verb (take), while in Deuteronomy it is reversed.
- In Exodus the word used for the people who are getting blinded is פִּקְחִים. This word is switched to חֲכָמִים in Deuteronomy. (Note that in Exodus 4:11 פקח, which is the singular of פקחים, appears to simply refer to a person with the faculty of sight, while a חכם is generally taken to be someone with specific wisdom.)
- In Exodus the people themselves are said to get blinded, whereas in Deuteronomy it is the eyes of the people that are said to get blinded.
Are any of these differences significant, and if they are what do they mean?
I have seen English translations that translate the two verses differently, as well as ones that translate them the same.
For example, the ESV translations:
And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.
In this version the noun-verb order is the same in both verses, but the verb is translated as "take" in Exodus and "accept" in Deuteronomy (despite the same Hebrew word תִקָּח in both verses). This version differentiates between פִּקְחִים – "clear-sighted" and חֲכָמִים – "wise", and also adds in "the eyes of" in Deuteronomy.
The King James Version translates both פִּקְחִים and חֲכָמִים as wise, though it does add "the eyes of" in Deuteronomy.
Interestingly, the Aramaic translations retain the distinct noun-verb orders.
Targum Onkelos has וְשׁוּחְדָּא לָא תְקַבֵּיל in Exodus, but וְלָא תְקַבֵּיל שׁוּחְדָּא in Deuteronomy. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan has ושוחדא לא תקביל in Exodus and ולא תקבלון שוחדא in Deutornomy. Onkelos translates both פִּקְחִים and חֲכָמִים as חַכִּימִין, while Pseudo-Jonathan differentiates between נסבוי and חכימיא. And both Targumim have "the eyes of" in both verses.