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Justice and Fairness

23 (A)“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. (B)Do not show partiality to a poor person at his trial.

(C)“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.

(D)“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.

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

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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 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.

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Footnotes

  1. Exodus 23:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain

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.

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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.

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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.

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