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Justice for All

23 You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.

When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.

When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.[a]

You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Sabbatical Year and Sabbath

10 For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat. You shall do the same with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.

12 For six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest, so that your ox and your donkey may have relief, and your home-born slave and the resident alien may be refreshed. 13 Be attentive to all that I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.

The Annual Festivals

14 Three times in the year you shall hold a festival for me. 15 You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread; as I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt.

No one shall appear before me empty-handed.

16 You shall observe the festival of harvest, of the first fruits of your labour, of what you sow in the field. You shall observe the festival of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labour. 17 Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.

18 You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my festival remain until the morning.

19 The choicest of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.

You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.

The Conquest of Canaan Promised

20 I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21 Be attentive to him and listen to his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him.

22 But if you listen attentively to his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.

23 When my angel goes in front of you, and brings you to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24 you shall not bow down to their gods, or worship them, or follow their practices, but you shall utterly demolish them and break their pillars in pieces. 25 You shall worship the Lord your God, and I[b] will bless your bread and your water; and I will take sickness away from among you. 26 No one shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfil the number of your days. 27 I will send my terror in front of you, and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 And I will send the pestilence[c] in front of you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, or the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. 31 I will set your borders from the Red Sea[d] to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates; for I will hand over to you the inhabitants of the land, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. 33 They shall not live in your land, or they will make you sin against me; for if you worship their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 23:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Exodus 23:25 Gk Vg: Heb he
  3. Exodus 23:28 Or hornets: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Exodus 23:31 Or Sea of Reeds

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

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