Laws about Honesty and Justice

23 “You must not spread a false report. Do not join[a] the wicked to be a malicious witness.(A)

“You must not follow a crowd in wrongdoing. Do not testify in a lawsuit and go along with a crowd to pervert justice.(B) Do not show favoritism to a poor person in his lawsuit.

“If you come across your enemy’s stray ox or donkey, you must return it to him.

“If you see the donkey of someone who hates you lying helpless under its load, and you want to refrain from helping it, you must help with it.[b](C)

“You must not deny justice to a poor person among you in his lawsuit. Stay far away from a false accusation. Do not kill the innocent and the just, because I will not justify the guilty.(D) You must not take a bribe,(E) for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and corrupts the words[c] of the righteous. You must not oppress a foreign resident;(F) you yourselves know how it feels to be a foreigner because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

Sabbaths and Festivals

10 “Sow your land for six years and gather its produce.(G) 11 But during the seventh year you are to let it rest and leave it uncultivated, so that the poor among your people may eat from it and the wild animals may consume what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

12 “Do your work(H) for six days but rest on the seventh day so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave as well as the foreign resident may be refreshed.

13 “Pay strict attention to everything I have said to you. You must not invoke the names of other gods; they must not be heard on your lips.[d](I)

14 “Celebrate a festival in My honor three times a year.(J) 15 Observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib,[e] because you came out of Egypt in that month. No one is to appear before Me empty-handed.(K) 16 Also observe the Festival of Harvest[f] with the firstfruits of your produce from what you sow in the field, and observe the Festival of Ingathering[g](L) at the end of the year, when you gather your produce[h] from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord God.

18 “You must not offer the blood of My sacrifices with anything leavened. The fat of My festival offering must not remain until morning.(M)

19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your land to the house of the Lord your God.

“You must not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.(N)

Promises and Warnings

20 “I am going to send an angel(O) before you to protect you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Be attentive to him and listen to his voice. Do not defy[i] him, because he will not forgive your acts of rebellion, for My name is in him.(P) 22 But if you will carefully obey him and do everything I say, then I will be an enemy(Q) to your enemies and a foe to your foes. 23 For My angel will go before you and bring you to the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out.(R) 24 You must not bow down to their gods or worship them. Do not imitate their practices. Instead, demolish them[j] and smash their sacred pillars to pieces.(S) 25 Worship the Lord your God, and He[k] will bless your bread and your water. I will remove illnesses from you.(T) 26 No woman will miscarry or be childless in your land. I will give you the full number of your days.(U)

27 “I will cause the people ahead of you to feel terror[l] and throw into confusion(V) all the nations you come to. I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you in retreat. 28 I will send the hornet[m](W) in front of you, and it will drive the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites away from you. 29 I will not drive them out ahead of you in a single year; otherwise, the land would become desolate, and wild animals would multiply against you. 30 I will drive them out little by little ahead of you until you have become numerous[n] and take possession of the land. 31 I will set your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea,[o] and from the wilderness to the Euphrates River.[p] For I will place the inhabitants of the land under your control, and you will drive them out ahead of you.(X) 32 You must not make a covenant(Y) with them or their gods. 33 They must not remain in your land, or else they will make you sin against Me. If you worship their gods, it will be a snare for you.”(Z)

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 23:1 Lit join hands with
  2. Exodus 23:5 Or load, you must refrain from leaving it to him; you must set it free with him
  3. Exodus 23:8 Or and subverts the cause
  4. Exodus 23:13 Lit mouth
  5. Exodus 23:15 March–April; called Nisan in the post-exilic period; Neh 2:1; Est 3:7
  6. Exodus 23:16 The Festival of Harvest is called Festival of Weeks elsewhere; Ex 34:22. In the NT it is called Pentecost; Ac 2:1.
  7. Exodus 23:16 The Festival of Ingathering is called Festival of Booths elsewhere; Lv 23:34-36.
  8. Exodus 23:16 Lit labors
  9. Exodus 23:21 Or embitter
  10. Exodus 23:24 Probably the idols
  11. Exodus 23:25 LXX, Vg read I
  12. Exodus 23:27 Lit will send terror of Me ahead of you
  13. Exodus 23:28 Or send panic
  14. Exodus 23:30 Lit fruitful
  15. Exodus 23:31 Lit the Sea of the Philistines
  16. Exodus 23:31 Lit the River

Laws of Justice and Mercy

23 “Do not spread false reports.(A) Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.(B)

“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice(C) by siding with the crowd,(D) and do not show favoritism(E) to a poor person in a lawsuit.

“If you come across your enemy’s(F) ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it.(G) If you see the donkey(H) of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

“Do not deny justice(I) to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge(J) and do not put an innocent(K) or honest person to death,(L) for I will not acquit the guilty.(M)

“Do not accept a bribe,(N) for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.

“Do not oppress a foreigner;(O) you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

Sabbath Laws

10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused.(P) Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

12 “Six days do your work,(Q) but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.(R)

13 “Be careful(S) to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods;(T) do not let them be heard on your lips.(U)

The Three Annual Festivals

14 “Three times(V) a year you are to celebrate a festival to me.

15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread;(W) for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv,(X) for in that month you came out of Egypt.

“No one is to appear before me empty-handed.(Y)

16 “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest(Z) with the firstfruits(AA) of the crops you sow in your field.

“Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering(AB) at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.(AC)

17 “Three times(AD) a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.

18 “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast.(AE)

“The fat of my festival offerings must not be kept until morning.(AF)

19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits(AG) of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.

“Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.(AH)

God’s Angel to Prepare the Way

20 “See, I am sending an angel(AI) ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.(AJ) 21 Pay attention to him and listen(AK) to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive(AL) your rebellion,(AM) since my Name(AN) is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do(AO) all that I say, I will be an enemy(AP) to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites,(AQ) and I will wipe them out. 24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship(AR) them or follow their practices.(AS) You must demolish(AT) them and break their sacred stones(AU) to pieces. 25 Worship the Lord your God,(AV) and his blessing(AW) will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness(AX) from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren(AY) in your land. I will give you a full life span.(AZ)

27 “I will send my terror(BA) ahead of you and throw into confusion(BB) every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.(BC) 28 I will send the hornet(BD) ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites(BE) out of your way. 29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals(BF) too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession(BG) of the land.

31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea[a] to the Mediterranean Sea,[b] and from the desert to the Euphrates River.(BH) I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out(BI) before you. 32 Do not make a covenant(BJ) with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare(BK) to you.”

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 23:31 Or the Sea of Reeds
  2. Exodus 23:31 Hebrew to the Sea of the Philistines

Bible Gateway Sponsors