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Keep your distance[a] from a false charge[b]—do not kill the innocent and the righteous,[c] for I will not justify the wicked.[d]

“You must not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see[e] and subverts the words of the righteous.

“You must not oppress[f] a resident foreigner, since you know the life[g] of a foreigner, for you were foreigners[h] in the land of Egypt.

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  1. Exodus 23:7 tn Or “stay away from,” or “have nothing to do with.”
  2. Exodus 23:7 tn Heb “a false matter,” this expression in this context would have to be a case in law that was false or that could only be won by falsehood.
  3. Exodus 23:7 tn The two clauses probably should be related: the getting involved in the false charge could lead to the death of an innocent person (so, e.g., Naboth in 1 Kgs 21:10-13).
  4. Exodus 23:7 sn God will not declare right the one who is in the wrong. Society should also be consistent, but it cannot see the intents and motives, as God can.
  5. Exodus 23:8 tn Heb “blinds the open-eyed.”
  6. Exodus 23:9 tn The verb means “to crush.” S. R. Driver notes that in this context this would probably mean with an unfair judgment in the courts (Exodus, 239).sn In Mosaic Law the foreign resident, גֵּר (ger), was essentially a naturalized citizen who joined the covenant community (see Exod 12:19, 48; Deut 29:10-13). Besides not oppressing the ger (Exod 22:21), Israel was told to love the ger (Lev 19:33-34). Several passages emphasize equal standing under Mosaic Law (Exod 12:49; 20:10; Lev 24:22; Num 9:14; 15:15, 16, 29).
  7. Exodus 23:9 tn Heb “soul, life, feelings.” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) refers here to the soul “as the centre and transmitter of feelings and perceptions” (HALOT 713 s.v.). The Israelites should be motivated by knowing what it feels like to be oppressed.
  8. Exodus 23:9 sn The same term גֵּר (ger) is used for the resident foreigner living in Israel and of the Israelite who lived in Israel, despite the very different social conditions of each. A foreign resident has differing status in different countries. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt, but the resident foreigner in Israel was under the same laws (civil and religious) as the Israelite and could worship the Lord as part of the covenant community. Several passages emphasize equal standing under Mosaic Law (Exod 12:49; Lev 24:22; Num 9:14; 15:15, 16, 26, 29; 19:10; 35:15; Deut 1:16 or similar obligations Exod 20:10; 23:12; Lev 16:29; 17:10, 12, 13; 18:26; 24:16; Num 15:14.

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