Exodus 23:3

3 and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.

Exodus 23:3 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.
English Standard Version (ESV)
3 nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.
New Living Translation (NLT)
3 And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.
The Message Bible (MSG)
3 And just because someone is poor, don't show favoritism in a dispute.
American Standard Version (ASV)
3 neither shalt thou favor a poor man in his cause.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
3 Never give special favors to poor people in court.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
3 Do not show favoritism to a poor person in his lawsuit.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
3 Do not show favor to a poor person in court.

Exodus 23:3 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 23:3

Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.
] Because he is a poor man, and for that reason endeavour to carry his cause for him, right or wrong, from a foolish pity to him as a poor man, and from an affectation of gaining the applause of people on that account; or "thou shalt not honour" or "adorn" a poor man F21, by a set speech in favour of his cause, though wrong, dressed up in the best manner, and set off with all the colourings of art, to make it appear in the most plausible manner; the law is against respect of persons, as not the person of the rich, so neither is the person of the poor to be accepted, but the justice of their cause is to be regarded; so the Targum of Jonathan,

``the poor that is guilty in his judgment or cause, his face (or person) thou shalt not accept to have pity on him, for no person is to be accepted in judgment.''


F21 (rdht al) "non honorabis", Pagninus, Vatablus, Drusius, Cartwright; "non decorabis", Montanus; "ne ornes", Tigurine version; "ne honorato", Junius & Tremellius; "ne ornato", Piscator.

Exodus 23:3 In-Context

1 “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.
2 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd,
3 and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.
4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it.
5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Deuteronomy 1:17
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