Exodus 23:7

7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.

Read Exodus 23:7 Using Other Translations

Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.
Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked.
“Be sure never to charge anyone falsely with evil. Never sentence an innocent or blameless person to death, for I never declare a guilty person to be innocent.

What does Exodus 23:7 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 23:7

Keep thee far from a false matter
Or "word" F26; from receiving a false testimony, or taking the false or wrong side of a cause, or engaging in a bad one; keep aloof off from it, as much at a distance from it as possible:

and the innocent and the righteous slay thou not;
that is, do not condemn them to death, nor join with the majority in their condemnation, if they appear to be innocent and righteous; nor give orders, or join in giving orders to the executioner to put such to death. The Targum of Jonathan is,

``he that goes righteous out of the house of thy judgment (out of the sanhedrim, to which he belonged), and they find out his sin (afterwards), and he that goes out guilty, and they (afterwards) find out his righteousness, do not slay:''

for I will not justify the wicked:
the wicked judge in pronouncing an unjust sentence on innocent and righteous men, or if they absolve wicked men, at the same time they put to death the innocent and righteous, God will not justify those wicked men cleared by them, but will, in his own time and way, sooner or later, inflict the deserved punishment on them: this is not contrary to ( Romans 4:5 ) for though God justifies the ungodly, he does not justify ungodliness in them, or them in ungodliness, but from it, and that by the imputation of the righteousness of his Son.


FOOTNOTES:

F26 (rqv rbdm) "a verbo mendacii", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Junius & Tremellius, Tigurine version, Fagius.
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