This particular word occurs twice in King James Version:
Ezekiel 22:12 (`osheq), and Matthew 23:25 (harpage), and indicates that one who is an extortioner is guilty of snatching away from another by strife, greed and oppression that which does not lawfully belong to him. The element of covetousness and usury is involved in the meaning of this word; for it is greedily gotten gain. The publicans were considered as being specially guilty of this sin; this is clear from the Pharisee's deprecatory remark: "I am not .... an extortioner ..... as this publican" (Luke 18:11). Paul classes extortion (pleonexia, literally, "over-reaching") among a category of the grossest crimes known to humanity (1 Corinthians 5:10,11); indeed, so grievous is it that it closes the door of heaven in the face of the one guilty of it (1 Corinthians 6:10).
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