Isaiah 5:23

23 They take bribes to let the wicked go free, and they punish the innocent.

Isaiah 5:23 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 5:23

Which justify the wicked for reward
This is either spoken of judges, and civil magistrates, who gave the cause in favour of the wicked, that bribed them, contrary to law, ( Deuteronomy 16:19 ) or rather of the Scribes and Pharisees, who pronounced the wicked righteous men, provided they kept the traditions of the elders, and paid tithes of all they possessed, and gave them money for their long prayers, ( Matthew 23:14 Matthew 23:23 ) : and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him;
by condemning them as unrighteous persons: so the Jews did Christ and his apostles; they pronounced them wicked, and condemned them to death; and as much as in them lay took away their righteousness from them, by taking away their character from them as righteous persons among men; though their righteousness itself could not be taken away, it being an everlasting one.

Isaiah 5:23 In-Context

21 What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.
22 What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.
23 They take bribes to let the wicked go free, and they punish the innocent.
24 Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble and dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will rot and their flowers wither. For they have rejected the law of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 That is why the LORD ’s anger burns against his people, and why he has raised his fist to crush them. The mountains tremble, and the corpses of his people litter the streets like garbage. But even then the LORD ’s anger is not satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike!
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.