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Exodus 23

Justice and Mercy

1 “You shall not spread a false report. Do not join the wicked by being a malicious witness.

2 You shall not follow the crowd in wrongdoing. When you testify in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd. 3 And do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.

4 If you encounter your enemy’s stray ox or donkey, you must return it to him.

5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you fallen under its load, do not leave it there; you must help him with it.

6 You shall not deny justice to the poor in their lawsuits. 7 Stay far away from a false accusation. Do not kill the innocent or the just, for I will not acquit the guilty.

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

9 Do not oppress a foreign resident, since you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners; for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

Sabbath Laws
(Leviticus 25:1–7; Deuteronomy 15:1–6)

10 For six years you are to sow your land and gather its produce, 11 but in the seventh year you must let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people may eat from the field and the wild animals may consume what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and olive grove.

12 For six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you must cease, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the son of your maidservant may be refreshed, as well as the foreign resident.

13 Pay close attention to everything I have said to you. You must not invoke the names of other gods; they must not be heard on your lips.

The Three Feasts of Pilgrimage
(Leviticus 23:1–3)

14 Three times a year you are to celebrate a feast to Me.

15 You are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread a as I commanded you: At the appointed time in the month of Abib b you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days, because that was the month you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before Me empty-handed.

16 You are also to keep the Feast of Harvest c with the firstfruits of the produce from what you sow in the field.

And keep the Feast of Ingathering d at the end of the year, when you gather your produce from the field.

17 Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD.

18 You must not offer the blood of My sacrifices with anything leavened, nor may the fat of My feast remain until morning.

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

You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

God’s Angel to Lead
(Deuteronomy 7:12–26)

20 Behold, I am sending an angel before you to protect you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to his voice; do not defy him, for he will not forgive rebellion, since My Name is in him.

22 But if you will listen carefully to his voice and do everything I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. 23 For My angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I will annihilate them.

24 You must not bow down to their gods or serve them or follow their practices. Instead, you are to demolish them and smash their sacred stones to pieces.

25 So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless e your bread and your water. And I will take away sickness from among you. 26 No woman in your land will miscarry or be barren; I will fulfill the number of your days.

27 I will send My terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn and run. 28 I will send the hornet before you to drive the Hivites and Canaanites and Hittites out of your way.

29 I will not drive them out before you in a single year; otherwise the land would become desolate and wild animals would multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out ahead of you, until you become fruitful and possess the land.

31 And I will establish your borders from the Red Sea f to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the Euphrates. g For I will deliver the inhabitants into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. 33 They must not remain in your land, lest they cause you to sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”

 

Footnotes:

15 a That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten; see Exodus 12:14–20.
15 b Abib was the first month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April.
16 c That is, Shavuot, the late spring feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is also known as the Feast of Weeks (see Exodus 34:22) or the Feast of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1).
16 d That is, Sukkot, the autumn feast of pilgrimage to Jerusalem; it is later called the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths or Shelters ).
25 e LXX and Vulgate I will bless
31 f Or the Sea of Reeds
31 g Hebrew the River

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