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Keluaran 23:1-3

Konteks
Justice

23:1 1 “You must not give 2  a false report. 3  Do not make common cause 4  with the wicked 5  to be a malicious 6  witness.

23:2 “You must not follow a crowd 7  in doing evil things; 8  in a lawsuit you must not offer testimony that agrees with a crowd so as to pervert justice, 9  23:3 and you must not show partiality 10  to a poor man in his lawsuit.

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[23:1]  1 sn People who claim to worship and serve the righteous judge of the universe must preserve equity and justice in their dealings with others. These verses teach that God’s people must be honest witnesses (1-3); God’s people must be righteous even with enemies (4-5); and God’s people must be fair in dispensing justice (6-9).

[23:1]  2 tn Heb “take up, lift, carry” (נָשָׂא, nasa’). This verb was also used in the prohibition against taking “the name of Yahweh in vain.” Sometimes the object of this verb is physical, as in Jonah 1:12 and 15. Used in this prohibition involving speech, it covers both originating and repeating a lie.

[23:1]  3 tn Or “a groundless report” (see Exod 20:7 for the word שָׁוְא, shav’).

[23:1]  4 tn Heb “do not put your hand” (cf. KJV, ASV); NASB “join your hand.”

[23:1]  5 tn The word “wicked” (רָשָׁע, rasha’) refers to the guilty criminal, the person who is doing something wrong. In the religious setting it describes the person who is not a member of the covenant and may be involved in all kinds of sin, even though there is the appearance of moral and spiritual stability.

[23:1]  6 tn The word חָמָס (khamas) often means “violence” in the sense of social injustices done to other people, usually the poor and needy. A “malicious” witness would do great harm to others. See J. W. McKay, “Exodus 23:1-43, 6-8: A Decalogue for Administration of Justice in the City Gate,” VT 21 (1971): 311-25.

[23:2]  7 tn The word רָבִּים (rabbim), here rendered “crowd,” is also used infrequently to refer to the “mighty,” people of importance in society (Job 35:9; cf. Lev 19:15).

[23:2]  8 tn For any individual to join a group that is bent on acting wickedly would be a violation of the Law and would incur personal responsibility.

[23:2]  9 tn Heb “you will not answer in a lawsuit to turn after the crowd to turn.” The form translated “agrees with” (Heb “to turn after”) is a Qal infinitive construct from נָטָה (natah); the same root is used at the end of the verse but as a Hiphil infinitive construct, “to pervert [justice].”

[23:3]  10 tn The point here is one of false sympathy and honor, the bad sense of the word הָדַר (hadar; see S. R. Driver, Exodus, 237).



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