Exodus 23:1“You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2“You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; 3nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.
The Lord continues to give Moses directions for His people to follow in order that they might live a life that is pleasing to God. Here we see how He would have us treat everyone without any partiality. Specifically, He mentions not going along with the majority, just because it is the majority; or siding with the poor just because they are poor. How vastly would our society be improved if we didn’t have people using their power to divide and promote that division between groups of people? Instead, mercy and justice should control how we treat others.
1“If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.
2“If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account. 3“But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4“If what he stole is actually found alive in his possession, whether an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.
5“If a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed bare and lets his animal loose so that it grazes in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.
6“If a fire breaks out and spreads to thorn bushes, so that stacked grain or the standing grain or the field itself is consumed, he who started the fire shall surely make restitution.
7“If a man gives his neighbor money or goods to keep for him and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is caught, he shall pay double. 8“If the thief is not caught, then the owner of the house shall appear before the judges, to determine whether he laid his hands on his neighbor’s property. 9“For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before the judges; he whom the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.
10“If a man gives his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep for him, and it dies or is hurt or is driven away while no one is looking, 11an oath before the LORD shall be made by the two of them that he has not laid hands on his neighbor’s property; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution. 12“But if it is actually stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. 13“If it is all torn to pieces, let him bring it as evidence; he shall not make restitution for what has been torn to pieces.
14“If a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not with it, he shall make full restitution. 15“If its owner is with it, he shall not make restitution; if it is hired, it came for its hire.
16“If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. 17“If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.
18“You shall not allow a sorceress to live.
19“Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.
20“He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the LORD alone, shall be utterly destroyed.
21“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22“You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. 23“If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; 24and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
25“If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest. 26“If you ever take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, 27for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body. What else shall he sleep in? And it shall come about that when he cries out to Me, I will hear him, for I am gracious.
28“You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
29“You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. 30“You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.
31“You shall be holy men to Me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh torn to pieces in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.
1“You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2“You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; 3nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.
4“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him. 5“If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying helpless under its load, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release it with him.
6“You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute. 7“Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty.
8“You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.
9“You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.
The Sabbath and Land
10“You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, 11but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
12“Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves. 13“Now concerning everything which I have said to you, be on your guard; and do not mention the name of other gods, nor let them be heard from your mouth.
Three National Feasts
14“Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15“You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 16“Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.
18“You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; nor is the fat of My feast to remain overnight until morning.
19“You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God.
You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother.
Conquest of the Land
20“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21“Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. 22“But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23“For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them. 24“You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces. 25“But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. 26“There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27“I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28“I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. 29“I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30“I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. 31“I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land 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 shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
People Affirm Their Covenant with God
1Then He said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance. 2“Moses alone, however, shall come near to the LORD, but they shall not come near, nor shall the people come up with him.”
3Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the LORD has spoken we will do!” 4Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5he sent young men of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD. 6Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” 8So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
9Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. 11Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank.
12Now the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.” 13So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. 14But to the elders he said, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them.” 15Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. 18Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Psalm 18:30 As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
31 For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God,
32 The God who girds me with strength
And makes my way blameless?
33 He makes my feet like hinds’ feet,
And sets me upon my high places.
34 He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your right hand upholds me;
And Your gentleness makes me great.
36 You enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
And I did not turn back until they were consumed.
38 I shattered them, so that they were not able to rise;
They fell under my feet.
39 For You have girded me with strength for battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.