Exodus 23 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
23 The Lord continued, “Never spread false rumors. Don’t join forces with wicked people by giving false testimony. 2 Never follow a crowd in doing wrong. When you testify in court, don’t side with the majority to pervert justice. 3 Never give special favors to poor people in court.
4 “Whenever you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering loose, be sure to take it back to him. 5 Whenever you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, don’t leave it there. Be sure to help him with his animal.
6 “Never deny justice to poor people in court. 7 Avoid telling lies. Don’t kill innocent or honest people, because I will never declare guilty people innocent. 8 Never take a bribe, because bribes blind those who can see and deny justice to those who are in the right.
9 “Never oppress foreigners. You know what it’s like to be foreigners because you were foreigners living in Egypt.
10 “For six years you may plant crops in your fields and harvest them, 11 but in the seventh year you must leave the land unplowed and unused. In that way the poor among your people will have food to eat, and wild animals may eat what the poor people leave. You must do the same with your vineyards and olive groves.
12 “For six days you will do your work, but on the seventh day you must not work. Then your ox and donkey can rest. The slaves born in your household and foreigners will also be refreshed.
13 “Be careful to do everything I told you.
“Never mention the names of other gods or let them be heard on your lips.
Laws for Three Festivals
14 “Three times a year you must celebrate a pilgrimage festival in my honor.
15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread: For seven days you must eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, because that was when you left Egypt. No one may come into my presence without an offering.
16 “Celebrate the Festival of the Harvest with the first produce harvested from whatever you plant in your fields.
“Celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the year when you harvest your crops from the fields.
17 “These are the three times each year that all your men must come into the presence of the Master, the Lord.
18 “Never offer the blood of a sacrifice to me at the same time you offer anything containing yeast. The fat sacrificed at my festivals should never be left over in the morning.
19 “You must bring the best of the first produce harvested from your soil to the house of the Lord your God.
“Never cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.
Laws about God’s Messenger, Who Will Bring Israel to the Promised Land
20 “I’m going to send a Messenger in front of you to protect you on your trip and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him, and listen to him. Don’t defy him, because he will not forgive your disobedience. He is acting on my authority. 22 But if you will listen to him and do everything I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an opponent to your opponents.
23 “My Messenger will go ahead of you and will bring you to the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites. I will wipe them out. 24 Never worship or serve their gods or follow their practices. Instead, you must destroy their gods and crush their sacred stones. 25 You must serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your food and water. I will take away all sickness from among you. 26 No woman in your land will miscarry or be unable to have children. I will let you live a normal life span.
27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw any nation you meet into a panic. I will make all your enemies flee from you. 28 I will spread panic ahead of you to force the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites out of your way. 29 I will not force them out of your way in one year. Otherwise, the land would be deserted, and wild animals would take over. 30 Little by little I will force them out of your way until you have increased enough in number to take possession of the land.
31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Sinai Desert to the Euphrates River. I will put the people living in the land under your control, and you will force them out of your way. 32 Never make a treaty with them and their gods. 33 Never let them live in your land, or they will make you sin against me and trap you into serving their gods.”