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Exodus 23 Living Bible (TLB)

23 “Do not pass along untrue reports. Do not cooperate with an evil man by affirming on the witness stand something you know is false.

2-3 “Don’t join mobs intent on evil. When on the witness stand, don’t be swayed in your testimony by the mood of the majority present, and do not slant your testimony in favor of a man just because he is poor.

“If you come upon an enemy’s ox or donkey that has strayed away, you must take it back to its owner. If you see your enemy trying to get his donkey onto its feet beneath a heavy load, you must not go on by but must help him.

“A man’s poverty is no excuse for twisting justice against him.

“Keep far away from falsely charging anyone with evil; never let an innocent person be put to death. I will not stand for this.[a]

“Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you unaware of what you clearly see! A bribe hurts the cause of the person who is right.

“Do not oppress foreigners; you know what it’s like to be a foreigner; remember your own experience in the land of Egypt.

10 “Sow and reap your crops for six years, 11 but let the land rest and lie fallow during the seventh year, and let the poor among the people harvest any volunteer crop that may come up; leave the rest for the animals to enjoy. The same rule applies to your vineyards and your olive groves.

12 “Work six days only, and rest the seventh; this is to give your oxen and donkeys a rest, as well as the people of your household—your slaves and visitors.

13 “Be sure to obey all of these instructions; and remember—never mention the name of any other god.[b]

14 “There are three annual religious pilgrimages you must make.[c]

15 “The first is the Pilgrimage of Unleavened Bread, when for seven days you are not to eat bread with yeast, just as I commanded you before. This celebration is to be an annual event at the regular time in March, the month you left Egypt; everyone must bring me a sacrifice at that time. 16 Then there is the Harvest Pilgrimage, when you must bring to me the first of your crops. And, finally, the Pilgrimage of Ingathering at the end of the harvest season. 17 At these three times each year, every man in Israel shall appear before the Lord God.

18 “No sacrificial blood shall be offered with leavened bread; no sacrificial fat shall be left unoffered until the next morning.

19 “As you reap each of your crops, bring me the choicest sample of the first day’s harvest; it shall be offered to the Lord your God.[d]

“Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

20 “See, I am sending an Angel before you to lead you safely to the land I have prepared for you. 21 Reverence him and obey all of his instructions; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; he is my representative—he bears my name.[e] 22 But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies. 23 For my Angel shall go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, to live there. And I will destroy those people before you.

24 “You must not worship the gods of these other nations, nor sacrifice to them in any way, and you must not follow the evil example of these heathen people; you must utterly conquer them and break down their shameful idols.

25 “You shall serve the Lord your God only; then I will bless you with food and with water, and I will take away sickness from among you. 26 There will be no miscarriages nor barrenness throughout your land, and you will live out the full quota of the days of your life.

27 “The terror of the Lord shall fall upon all the people whose land you invade, and they will flee before you; 28 and I will send hornets to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites from before you. 29 I will not do it all in one year, for the land would become a wilderness, and the wild animals would become too many to control. 30 But I will drive them out a little at a time, until your population has increased enough to fill the land. 31 And I will set your enlarged boundaries from the Red Sea to the Philistine coast, and from the southern deserts as far as the Euphrates River; and I will cause you to defeat the people now living in the land, and you will drive them out ahead of you.

32 “You must make no covenant with them, nor have anything to do with their gods. 33 Don’t let them live among you! For I know that they will infect you with their sin of worshiping false gods, and that would be an utter disaster to you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 23:7 I will not stand for this, literally, “I will not acquit the wicked.”
  2. Exodus 23:13 never mention the name of any other god, in prayer or in taking an oath.
  3. Exodus 23:14 pilgrimages you must make, or “feasts you must celebrate.”
  4. Exodus 23:19 it shall be offered to the Lord your God, literally, “you shall bring (it) into the house of Jehovah your God.”
  5. Exodus 23:21 he is my representative—he bears my name, literally, “my name is in him.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Exodus 23 New International Version (NIV)

Laws of Justice and Mercy

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

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

“If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey 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 to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.

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

“Do not oppress a foreigner; 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. 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, 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.

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

The Three Annual Festivals

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

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

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

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

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

17 “Three times 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.

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

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

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

God’s Angel to Prepare the Way

20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy 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, and I will wipe them out. 24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.

27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. 28 I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites 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 too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession 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. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. 32 Do not make a covenant 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 to you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 23:31 Or the Sea of Reeds
  2. Exodus 23:31 Hebrew to the Sea of the Philistines
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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