Exodus 23

Exodus 23

 
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1 "Do not pass along false reports. Do not cooperate with evil people by telling lies on the witness stand.

2 "Do not join a crowd that intends to do evil. When you are on the witness stand, do not be swayed in your testimony by the opinion of the majority.

3 And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.

4 "If you come upon your enemy's ox or donkey that has strayed away, take it back to its owner.

5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you struggling beneath a heavy load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and offer to help.

6 "Do not twist justice against people simply because they are poor.

7 "Keep far away from falsely charging anyone with evil. Never put an innocent or honest person to death. I will not allow anyone guilty of this to go free.

8 "Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see. A bribe always hurts the cause of the person who is in the right.

9 "Do not oppress the foreigners living among you. You know what it is like to be a foreigner. Remember your own experience in the land of Egypt.

10 "Plant and harvest your crops for six years,

11 but let the land rest and lie fallow during the seventh year. Then let the poor among you harvest any volunteer crop that may come up. Leave the rest for the animals to eat. The same applies to your vineyards and olive groves.

12 "Work for six days, and rest on the seventh. This will give your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It will also allow the people of your household, including your slaves and visitors, to be refreshed.

13 "Be sure to obey all my instructions. And remember, never pray to or swear by any other gods. Do not even mention their names.

14 "Each year you must celebrate three festivals in my honor.

15 The first is the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast, just as I commanded you before. This festival will be an annual event at the appointed time in early spring,* for that is the anniversary of your exodus from Egypt. Everyone must bring me a sacrifice at that time.1

16 You must also celebrate the Festival of Harvest,* when you bring me the first crops of your harvest. Finally, you are to celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest* at the end of the harvest season.2

17 At these three times each year, every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign LORD.

18 "Sacrificial blood must never be offered together with bread that has yeast in it. And no sacrificial fat may be left unoffered until the next morning.

19 "As you harvest each of your crops, bring me a choice sample of the first day's harvest. It must be offered to the LORD your God. "You must not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.

20 "See, I am sending my angel before you to lead you safely to the land I have prepared for you.

21 Pay attention to him, and obey all of his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sins. He is my representative--he bears my name.

22 But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you.

23 For my angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, so you may live there. And I will destroy them.

24 Do not worship the gods of these other nations or serve them in any way, and never follow their evil example. Instead, you must utterly conquer them and break down their shameful idols.

25 "You must serve only the LORD your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will keep you healthy.

26 There will be no miscarriages or infertility among your people, and I will give you long, full lives.

27 "I will send my terror upon all the people whose lands you invade, and they will panic before you.

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Notes:

1: Hebrew in the month of Abib. This month of the Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs in March and April.

2: Or Festival of Weeks.


New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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