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Exodus 23 Good News Translation (GNT)

Justice and Fairness

23 “Do not spread false rumors, and do not help a guilty person by giving false testimony. Do not follow the majority when they do wrong or when they give testimony that perverts justice. Do not show partiality to a poor person at his trial.

“If you happen to see your enemy's cow or donkey running loose, take it back to him. If his donkey has fallen under its load, help him get the donkey to its feet again; don't just walk off.

“Do not deny justice to a poor person when he appears in court. Do not make false accusations, and do not put an innocent person to death, for I will condemn anyone who does such an evil thing. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe makes people blind to what is right and ruins the cause of those who are innocent.

“Do not mistreat a foreigner; you know how it feels to be a foreigner, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

The Seventh Year and the Seventh Day

10 “For six years plant your land and gather in what it produces. 11 But in the seventh year let it rest, and do not harvest anything that grows on it. The poor may eat what grows there, and the wild animals can have what is left. Do the same with your vineyards and your olive trees.

12 “Work six days a week, but do no work on the seventh day, so that your slaves and the foreigners who work for you and even your animals can rest.

13 “Listen to everything that I, the Lord, have said to you. Do not pray to other gods; do not even mention their names.

The Three Great Festivals

14 “Celebrate three festivals a year to honor me. 15 In the month of Abib, the month in which you left Egypt, celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the way that I commanded you. Do not eat any bread made with yeast during the seven days of this festival. Never come to worship me without bringing an offering.

16 “Celebrate the Harvest Festival when you begin to harvest your crops.

“Celebrate the Festival of Shelters in the autumn, when you gather the fruit from your vineyards and orchards. 17 Every year at these three festivals all your men must come to worship me, the Lord your God.

18 “Do not offer bread made with yeast when you sacrifice an animal to me. The fat of animals sacrificed to me during these festivals is not to be left until the following morning.

19 “Each year bring to the house of the Lord your God the first grain that you harvest.

“Do not cook a young sheep or goat in its mother's milk.

Promises and Instructions

20 “I will send an angel ahead of you to protect you as you travel and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and obey him. Do not rebel against him, for I have sent him, and he will not pardon such rebellion. 22 But if you obey him and do everything I command, I will fight against all your enemies. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and take you into the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I will destroy them. 24 Do not bow down to their gods or worship them, and do not adopt their religious practices. Destroy their gods and break down their sacred stone pillars. 25 If you worship me, the Lord your God, I will bless you with food and water and take away all your sicknesses. 26 In your land no woman will have a miscarriage or be without children. I will give you long lives.

27 “I will make the people who oppose you afraid of me; I will bring confusion among the people against whom you fight, and I will make all your enemies turn and run from you. 28 I will throw your enemies into panic;[a] I will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites as you advance. 29 I will not drive them out within a year's time; if I did, the land would become deserted, and the wild animals would be too many for you. 30 Instead, I will drive them out little by little, until there are enough of you to take possession of the land. 31 I will make the borders of your land extend from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Mediterranean Sea and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give you power over the inhabitants of the land, and you will drive them out as you advance. 32 Do not make any agreement with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let those people live in your country; if you do, they will make you sin against me. If you worship their gods, it will be a fatal trap for you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 23:28 I will … panic; or I will send hornets among your enemies.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Exodus 23 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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 and 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 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 homeborn 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 labor, 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 labor. 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 fulfill 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
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Exodus 23 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

23 “You are not to repeat false rumors; do not join hands with the wicked by offering perjured testimony. Do not follow the crowd when it does what is wrong; and don’t allow the popular view to sway you into offering testimony for any cause if the effect will be to pervert justice. On the other hand, don’t favor a person’s lawsuit simply because he is poor.

“If you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey straying, you must return it to him. If you see the donkey which belongs to someone who hates you lying down helpless under its load, you are not to pass him by but to go and help him free it.

(v) “Do not deny anyone justice in his lawsuit simply because he is poor. Keep away from fraud, and do not cause the death of the innocent and righteous; for I will not justify the wicked. You are not to receive a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clearsighted and subverts the cause of the righteous.

“You are not to oppress a foreigner, for you know how a foreigner feels, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

10 “For six years, you are to sow your land with seed and gather in its harvest. 11 But the seventh year, you are to let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people can eat; and what they leave, the wild animals in the countryside can eat. Do the same with your vineyard and olive grove.

12 “For six days, you are to work. But on the seventh day, you are to rest, so that your ox and donkey can rest, and your slave-girl’s son and the foreigner be renewed.

13 “Pay attention to everything I have said to you; do not invoke the names of other gods or even let them be heard crossing your lips.

14 “Three times a year, you are to observe a festival for me. 15 Keep the festival of matzah: for seven days, as I ordered you, you are to eat matzah at the time determined in the month of Aviv; for it was in that month that you left Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty-handed. 16 Next, the festival of harvest, the firstfruits of your efforts sowing in the field; and last, the festival of ingathering, at the end of the year, when you gather in from the fields the results of your efforts. 17 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Lord, Adonai.

18 “You are not to offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread, nor is the fat of my festival to remain all night until morning.

19 “You are to bring the best firstfruits of your land into the house of Adonai your God.

“You are not to boil a young animal in its mother’s milk.

(vi) 20 “I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him, listen to what he says and do not rebel against him; because he will not forgive any wrongdoing of yours, since my name resides in him. 22 But if you listen to what he says and do everything I tell you, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. 23 When my angel goes ahead of you and brings you to the Emori, Hitti, P’rizi, Kena‘ani, Hivi and Y’vusi, I will make an end of them. 24 You are not to worship their gods, serve them or follow their practices; rather, you are to demolish them completely and smash their standing-stones to pieces.

25 “You are to serve Adonai your God; and he will bless your food and water. I will take sickness away from among you. (vii) 26 In your land your women will not miscarry or be barren, and you will live out the full span of your lives. 27 I will send terror of me ahead of you, throwing into confusion all the people to whom you come; and I will make all your enemies turn their backs on you. 28 I will send hornets ahead of you to drive out the Hivi, Kena‘ani and Hitti from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, which would cause the land to become desolate and the wild animals too many for you. 30 I will drive them out from before you gradually, until you have grown in number and can take possession of the land. 31 I will set your boundaries from the Sea of Suf to the sea of the P’lishtim and from the desert to the [Euphrates] River, for I will hand the inhabitants of the land over to you, and you will drive them out from before you. 32 You are not to make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 They are not to live in your land; otherwise they will make you sin against me by ensnaring you to serve their gods.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Exodus 23 The Message (MSG)

23 1-3 “Don’t pass on malicious gossip.

“Don’t link up with a wicked person and give corrupt testimony. Don’t go along with the crowd in doing evil and don’t fudge your testimony in a case just to please the crowd. And just because someone is poor, don’t show favoritism in a dispute.

4-5 “If you find your enemy’s ox or donkey loose, take it back to him. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you lying helpless under its load, don’t walk off and leave it. Help it up.

“When there is a dispute concerning your poor, don’t tamper with the justice due them.

“Stay clear of false accusations. Don’t contribute to the death of innocent and good people. I don’t let the wicked off the hook.

“Don’t take bribes. Bribes blind perfectly good eyes and twist the speech of good people.

“Don’t take advantage of a stranger. You know what it’s like to be a stranger; you were strangers in Egypt.

10-11 “Sow your land for six years and gather in its crops, but in the seventh year leave it alone and give it a rest so that your poor may eat from it. What they leave, let the wildlife have. Do the same with your vineyards and olive groves.

12 “Work for six days and rest the seventh so your ox and donkey may rest and your servant and migrant workers may have time to get their needed rest.

13 “Listen carefully to everything I tell you. Don’t pay attention to other gods—don’t so much as mention their names.

14 “Three times a year you are to hold a festival for me.

15 “Hold the spring Festival of Unraised Bread when you eat unraised bread for seven days at the time set for the month of Abib, as I commanded you. That was the month you came out of Egypt. No one should show up before me empty-handed.

16 “Hold the summer Festival of Harvest when you bring in the firstfruits of all your work in the fields.

“Hold the autumn Festival of Ingathering at the end of the season when you bring in the year’s crops.

17 “Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Master, God.

18 “Don’t offer the blood of a sacrifice to me with anything that has yeast in it.

“Don’t leave the fat from my festival offering out overnight.

19 “Bring the choice first produce of the year to the house of your God.

“Don’t boil a kid in its mother’s milk.

20-24 “Now get yourselves ready. I’m sending my Angel ahead of you to guard you in your travels, to lead you to the place that I’ve prepared. Pay close attention to him. Obey him. Don’t go against him. He won’t put up with your rebellions because he’s acting on my authority. But if you obey him and do everything I tell you, I’ll be an enemy to your enemies, I’ll fight those who fight you. When my Angel goes ahead of you and leads you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, I’ll clear the country of them. So don’t worship or serve their gods; don’t do anything they do because I’m going to wipe them right off the face of the Earth and smash their sacred phallic pillars to bits.

25-26 “But you—you serve your God and he’ll bless your food and your water. I’ll get rid of the sickness among you; there won’t be any miscarriages nor barren women in your land. I’ll make sure you live full and complete lives.

27 “I’ll send my Terror on ahead of you and throw those peoples you’re approaching into a panic. All you’ll see of your enemies is the backs of their necks.

28-31 “And I’ll send Despair on ahead of you. It will push the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites out of your way. I won’t get rid of them all at once lest the land grow up in weeds and the wild animals take over. Little by little I’ll get them out of there while you have a chance to get your crops going and make the land your own. I will make your borders stretch from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Wilderness to the Euphrates River. I’m turning everyone living in that land over to you; go ahead and drive them out.

32-33 “Don’t make any deals with them or their gods. They are not to stay in the same country with you lest they get you to sin by worshiping their gods. Beware. That’s a huge danger.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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