Exodus 23 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Laws About Fairness
23 “You must not ·tell lies [L give a false report]. If you are a witness in court, ·don’t help [L you shall not set hands with] a wicked person ·by telling lies [with a false/violent/malicious witness].
2 “You must not ·do wrong just because everyone else is doing it [follow the crowd in evil]. ·If you are a witness in court, you must not ruin a fair trial. You must not tell lies just because everyone else is [L You are not to give testimony in an accusation by siding with everyone else in order to distort justice]. 3 ·If a poor person is in court, you must not take his side just because he is poor [L You must not be partial to a poor person in his dispute/lawsuit].
4 “If you ·see [L encounter] your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering away, you must return it to him. 5 If you see that ·your enemy’s donkey [L the donkey of one who hates you] has fallen because its load is too heavy, do not leave it there. You must ·help your enemy get the donkey back on its feet [set it free; or rearrange its load].
6 “You must not ·be unfair to [pervert the justice of] a poor person when he is in court. 7 ·You must not lie when you accuse someone in court [L Keep yourself far from a false charge/report]. Never allow an innocent or honest person to be put to death as punishment, because I will not ·treat guilty people as if they were innocent [acquit the guilty].
8 “You must not accept ·money from a person who wants you to lie in court [L a bribe], because ·such money will not let you see what is right [L a bribe blinds officials; Prov. 15:27; 17:8; 18:16]. Such money ·makes good people tell lies [undermines the cause of the righteous].
9 “You must not ·mistreat [oppress] a ·foreigner [sojourner; resident alien]. You know how it feels to be a ·foreigner [sojourner; resident alien], because you were ·foreigners [sojourners; resident aliens] in Egypt [22:21].
Laws for the Sabbath
10 “For six years you are to ·plant [sow] and harvest crops on your land. 11 Then during the seventh year, ·do not plow or plant your land [L you will let it lie fallow and untilled]. If any food grows there, allow the poor people to have it, and let the wild animals eat what is left. You should do the same with your vineyards and your orchards of olive trees [Lev. 25:1–7].
12 “You should work six days a week, but on the seventh day you must ·rest [stop]. This lets your ox and your donkey rest, and it also lets the slave born in your house and the ·foreigner [sojourner; resident alien] be refreshed.
13 “Be sure to do all that I have said to you. You must not ·even say [invoke; bring to mind] the names of other gods; those names must not ·come out of [L be heard from] your mouth.
Three Yearly Feasts
14 “Three times each year you must ·hold a feast to honor me [hold a festival; or make a pilgrimage for me]. 15 You must celebrate the ·Feast [Festival] of Unleavened Bread [34:18] in the way I commanded you. For seven days you must eat ·bread that is made without yeast [unleavened bread] at the set time during the month of Abib [13:4], the month when you came out of Egypt. No one is to ·come to worship [appear before] me ·without bringing an offering [empty-handed].
16 “You must celebrate the ·Feast [Festival] of Harvest [C called Feast of Weeks in 34:22; later called Pentecost]. Offer to God the first things you harvest from the crops you planted in your fields.
“You must celebrate the ·Feast [Festival] of Ingathering [C later called Feast of Shelters or Booths; Lev. 23:33–36] in the fall, when you gather all the crops from your fields.
17 “So three times during every year all your males must come ·to worship [L before] the Lord God.
18 “You must not offer ·animal blood [L blood of a sacrifice] along with anything ·that has yeast in it [leavened].
“You must not save any of the fat from the sacrifice for the next day.
19 “You must bring the best of the firstfruits of your land to the ·Holy Tent [L House; 25:9] of the Lord your God.
“You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk [C probably a pagan ritual; Deut. 14:21].
God Will Help Israel
20 “I am sending an angel ahead of you, who will ·protect [guard] you ·as you travel [L on the way/path]. He will ·lead [bring] you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and ·obey him [L listen to his voice]. Do not ·turn [rebel] against him; he will not forgive ·such turning against him [L it] because my ·power [L name] is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to ·all he says [L his voice] and do everything that I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies. I will fight all who fight against you. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and take you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will ·destroy them [wipe/blot them out].
24 “You must not bow down to their gods or ·worship [serve] them. You must not live the way those people live. You must ·destroy their idols [demolish them], breaking into pieces ·the stone pillars they use in worship [L their pillars]. 25 If you worship the Lord your God, ·I [L he] will bless your bread and your water. I will take away sickness from you. 26 None of your women will miscarry or be ·unable to have children [barren]. I will ·allow you to live long lives [L fill the number of your days].
27 “I will ·make your enemies afraid of me [L send the dread of me before you]. I will confuse any people ·you fight against [L against whom you come], and I will make all your enemies ·run away from [L turn their backs to] you. 28 I will send ·terror [or pestilence; or the hornet] ahead of you that will force the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites out of your way. 29 But I will not ·force all those people out [drive them out] in only one year. If I did, the land would become ·a desert [desolate] and the wild animals would become too many for you. 30 Instead, I will ·force those people [drive them] out ·slowly [little by little], until there are enough of you to ·take over [possess] the land.
31 “I will give you the land from the ·Red [or Reed; 10:19] Sea to the ·Mediterranean [L Philistine] Sea, and from the ·desert [wilderness] to the ·Euphrates River [L River]. I will give ·you power over [L into your hand] the people who now live in the land, and you will ·force [drive] them out ahead of you. 32 You must not ·make an agreement [L cut a covenant] with those people or with their gods. 33 You must not let them live in your land, or they will make you sin against me. If you ·worship [serve] their gods, ·you will be caught in a trap [L they will be a trap/snare to you].”
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