Nāshâ, Hebrew Strong’s #5383, is used 13 times in the Old Testament. It is translated as exact (3), lend (3), lend on usury (2), creditor (2), extortioner (1), taker of usury (1) and usurer (1). It is translated as “extortioner” in the following verse:
Mûṣ, Hebrew Strong’s #4160, is used 1 time in the Old Testament. It is translated as “extortioner” in the following verse:Psalm 109:11 - Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
ʿŌsheq, Hebrew Strong’s #6233, is used 15 times in the Old Testament. It is translated as oppression (11), cruelly (1), extortion (1), oppression + <H6231> (1), and thing (1). It is translated as “extortion” in the following verse:Isaiah 16:4 - Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.
Harpagē, Greek Strong's # 724, is used 3 times in the New Testament. It is translated as extortion (1), ravening (1), spoiling (1). It is translated as “extortion” in the following verse:Ezekiel 22:12-15 - In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD. Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it. And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.
Note from Disciple's Study Bible, 1988:“The horrible enumeration of economic injustices and abridgment of human rights which Ezekiel made could be applied to our own day. The signs of forgetting God's ways are seen in overcharging, extortion, oppression of the poor, and the denial of justice to those who have no advocate. Religious leaders face judgment when they ensure the support of their institution by ignoring or even supporting economic injustice.”
Harpax, Greek Strong's #727, is used 5 times in the New Testament. It is translated as extortioner (4), and ravening (1). It is translated as “extortioner” in the following verses:Matthew 23:25 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Septuagint, Brenton's edition, 1851.Luke 18:9-14 - And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13 - I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Webster’s Dictionary, 1828Nehemiah 5:14-19 - From the day that he charged me to be their ruler in the land of Juda, from the twentieth year even to the thirty-second year of Arthasastha, twelve years, I and my brethren ate not [provision] extorted from them. But as for the former acts of extortion wherein [those who were] before me oppressed them, they even took of them their last money, forty didrachms for bread and wine; and the [very] outcasts of them exercised authority over the people: but I did not so, because of the fear of God. Also in the work of the wall I treated them not with rigor, I bought not land: and all that were gathered together [came] thither to the work. And the Jews, to [the number of] a hundred and fifty men, besides those coming to us from the nations round about, [were] at my table. And there came [to me] for one day one calf, and I had six choice sheep and a goat; and every ten days wine in abundance of all sorts: yet with these I required not the bread of extortion, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. Remember me, O God, for good, [in] all that I have done to this people.
EXTORT', verb transitive [Latin extortus, from extorqueo, to wrest from; ex and torqueo, to twist.]
1. To draw from by force or compulsion; to wrest or wring from by physical force, by menace, duress, violence, authority, or by an illegal means. Conquerors extort contributions from the vanquished; tyrannical princes extort money from their subjects; officers often extort illegal fees; confessions of guilt are extorted by the rack. A promise extorted by duress is not binding.
2. To gain by violence or oppression.
EXTORT', verb intransitive To practice extortion.
EXTOR'TION, noun The act of extorting; the act or practice of wresting any thing from a person by force, duress, menaces, authority, or by any undue exercise of power; illegal exaction; illegal compulsion to pay money, or to do some other act. extortion is an offense punishable at common law.
1. Force or illegal compulsion by which any thing is taken from a person.
Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books, vol. 2, William Blackstone, 1753
Lastly, extortion is an abuse of public justice, which consists in any officer’s unlawfully taking, by colour of his office, from any man, any money or thing of value that is not due to him, or more than is due, or before it is due. The punishment is fine and imprisonment, and sometimes a forfeiture of the office.
Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1856By 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 29, s. 7, if any person shall accuse or threaten to accuse any other person of any infamous crime, as described in s. 9, with a view or intent to extort or gain from him, and shall by intimidating him by such accusation or threat extort or gain from him, any chattel, money, or valuable security, every such offender shall be deemed guilty of robbery, and shall be indicted and punished accordingly. It is equally a robbery to extort money from a person by threatening to accuse him of an unnatural crime, whether the party so threatened has been guilty of such crime or not. Rex vs. Gardner, 1 C. & P. 79.—Chitty.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 1st Edition, 1891 Wex Legal DictionaryEXTORSIVELY. A technical word used in indictments for extortion. In North Carolina, it seems, the crime of extortion may be charged without using this word. 1 Hayw. R. 406.
EXTORTION, crimes. In a large sense it, signifies any oppression, under color of right: but in a more strict sense it means the unlawful taking by any officer, by color of his office, of any money or thing of value that is not due to him, or more than is due, or before it is due. 4 Bl. Com. 141; 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 68, s. 1; 1 Russ. Cr. *144. To constitute extortion, there must be the receipt of money or something of value; the taking a promissory note, which is void, is not sufficient to make an extortion. 2 Mass. R. 523; see Bac. Ab. h. t.; Co. Litt. 168. It is extortion and oppression for an officer to take money for the performance of his duty, even though it be in the exercise of a discretionary power. 2 Burr. 927. It differs from exaction. (q. v.) See 6 Cowen, R. 661; 1 Caines, R. 130; 13 S. & R. 426 1 Yeates, 71; 1 South. 324; 3 Penna. R. 183; 7 Pick. 279; 1 Pick. 171.
25 CFR 11.417 - Extortion.Extortion
Forcing action or obtaining something by illegal means. Anyone may commit extortion through force or coercion. A public or private official may also commit extortion under the color of office.
Set of illegal activities aimed at commercial profit that may be disguised as legitimate business deals. Common examples include fraud, extortion, bribery, and actual or threatened violence.
18 U.S. Code § 872 - Extortion by officers or employees of the United StatesA person who shall willfully, by making false charges against another person or by any other means whatsoever, extort or attempt to extort any moneys, goods, property, or anything else of any value, shall be guilty of extortion, a misdemeanor.
Misc. Definitions from Bouvier'sWhoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; but if the amount so extorted or demanded does not exceed $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 740; Oct. 31, 1951, ch. 655, § 24(b), 65 Stat. 720; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(G), (K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 606(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3511.)
Sending threatening letters to persons for the purpose of extorting money, is said to, be a misdemeanor at common law. Hawk. B. 1, c. 53, s. 1; 2 Russ. on Cr. 575; 2 Chit. Cr. L. 841; 4 Bl. Com. l26. To be indictable, the threat must be of a nature calculated to overcome a firm and prudent man. The party who makes a threat may be held to bail for his good behaviour. Vide Com. Dig. Battery, D; 13 Vin. Ab. 357.
TORTURE, punishments. A punishment inflicted in some countries on supposed criminals to induce them to confess their crimes, and to reveal their associates.
2. This absurd and tyrannical practice never was in use in the United States; for no man is bound to accuse himself. An attempt to torture a person accused of crime, in order to extort a confession, is an indictable offence. 2 Tyler, 380. Vide Question.
Isabel Paterson said:
Adam Smith said:Do you think nobody would willingly entrust his children to you or pay you for teaching them? Why do you have to extort your fees and collect your pupils by compulsion?
Beneficence is always free, it cannot be extorted by force.