Deuteronomy 1:17

17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”

Deuteronomy 1:17 in Other Translations

KJV
17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
ESV
17 You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.'
NLT
17 and impartial in your judgments. Hear the cases of those who are poor as well as those who are rich. Don’t be afraid of anyone’s anger, for the decision you make is God’s decision. Bring me any cases that are too difficult for you, and I will handle them.’
MSG
17 Don't play favorites; treat the little and the big alike; listen carefully to each. Don't be impressed by big names. This is God's judgment you're dealing with. Hard cases you can bring to me; I'll deal with them."
CSB
17 Do not show partiality when rendering judgment; listen to small and great alike. Do not be intimidated by anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too difficult for you, and I will hear it.

Deuteronomy 1:17 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 1:17

Ye shall not respect persons in judgment
Or pass judgment, and give sentence according to the outward appearances, circumstances, and relations of men; as whether they be friends or foes, rich or poor, old or young, men or women, learned or unlearned; truth and justice should always take place, without any regard to what persons are:

but you shall hear the small as well as the great;
persons in low, life, and in mean circumstances, as well as great and noble personages; or little causes and of no great moment, as well as those of the utmost importance; all must be attended to, a cause about a "prutah" or a farthing, as well as one about a hundred pounds, in which Jarchi instances, and if that came first it was not to be postponed:

ye shall not be afraid of the face of man;
of the frowns and threatenings of rich men, and of such as are in power and authority; not be awed or intimidated by them from doing justice; see ( Job 31:34 ) ,

for the judgment [is] God's;
judges stand in the place of God, are put into their office by him, and act under him, and for him, and are accountable to him; and therefore should be careful what judgment they make, or sentence they pass, lest they bring discredit to him, and destruction on themselves:

and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will
hear it;
which is said for their encouragement, as well as was an instruction to them not to undertake a cause too difficult for them; see ( Exodus 18:22 Exodus 18:26 ) .

Deuteronomy 1:17 In-Context

15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials.
16 And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.
17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”
18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do.
19 Then, as the LORD our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful wilderness that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Exodus 18:16; S Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 16:19; Proverbs 24:23; Acts 10:34; James 2:1
  • 2. Proverbs 29:25; 2 Chronicles 19:6
  • 3. Exodus 18:26