Exodus 23:8
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.

New Living Translation
"Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see. A bribe makes even a righteous person twist the truth.

English Standard Version
And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

New American Standard Bible
"You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.

King James Bible
And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You must not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and corrupts the words of the righteous.

International Standard Version
You are not to take a bribe because a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and distorts the words of the righteous.

NET Bible
"You must not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and subverts the words of the righteous.

New Heart English Bible
"You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of those who have sight and perverts the words of the righteous.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Never take a bribe, because bribes blind those who can see and deny justice to those who are in the right.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And thou shalt take no gift; for a gift blindeth them that have sight, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

New American Standard 1977
“And you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And thou shalt take no bribe; for the bribe blinds the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

King James 2000 Bible
And you shall take no bribe: for the bribe blinds the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.

American King James Version
And you shall take no gift: for the gift blinds the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.

American Standard Version
And thou shalt take no bribe: for a bribe blindeth them that have sight, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Neither shalt thou take bribes, which even blind the wise, and pervert the words of the just.

Darby Bible Translation
And thou shalt take no bribe; for the bribe blindeth those whose eyes are open, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

English Revised Version
And thou shalt take no gift: for a gift blindeth them that have sight, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

World English Bible
"You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds those who have sight and perverts the words of the righteous.

Young's Literal Translation
And a bribe thou dost not take; for the bribe bindeth the open -eyed, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
Study Bible
Justice and Mercy
7"Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty. 8"You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just. 9"You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 10:17
"For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.

Deuteronomy 16:19
"You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

1 Samuel 8:3
His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.

1 Samuel 12:3
"Here I am; bear witness against me before the LORD and His anointed. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you."

Psalm 15:5
He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

Proverbs 15:27
He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live.

Proverbs 17:8
A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers.

Proverbs 17:23
A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice.

Ecclesiastes 7:7
For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart.

Isaiah 1:23
Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow's plea come before them.
Treasury of Scripture

And you shall take no gift: for the gift blinds the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.

thou shalt take

Deuteronomy 16:19 You shall not wrest judgment; you shall not respect persons, neither …

1 Samuel 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, …

1 Samuel 12:3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before …

Psalm 26:10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.

Proverbs 15:27 He that is greedy of gain troubles his own house; but he that hates …

Proverbs 17:8,23 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that has it: wherever …

Proverbs 19:4 Wealth makes many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor.

Ecclesiastes 7:7 Surely oppression makes a wise man mad; and a gift destroys the heart.

Isaiah 1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me; the …

Isaiah 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness …

Ezekiel 22:12 In you have they taken gifts to shed blood; you have taken usury and increase…

Hosea 4:18 Their drink is sour: they have committed prostitution continually: …

Amos 5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they …

Micah 7:3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asks, …

the wise. Heb. the seeing

(8) Thou shalt take no gift--i.e., no bribe. Corruption has been always rife in the East, and the pure administration of justice is almost unknown there. Signal punishments by wise rulers have sometimes checked the inveterate evil (Herod. v. 25). But it recurs again and again--"Naturam expellas furca, tarnen usque recurret." According to Josephus (contr. Ap. ii. 27), the Jewish law punished with death the judge who took a bribe. But Hebrew judges seem practically to have been no better than Oriental judges generally. (See 1Samuel 8:3; Psalm 26:10; Proverbs 17:23; Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 5:23; Micah 3:9-11, &c.) The corrupt Administration of justice was one of the crying evils which provoked God's judgments against His people, and led, in the first instance, to the Babylonian captivity, and afterwards to the Roman conquest.

Verse 8. - And thou shalt take no gift. The worst sin of a judge, and the commonest in the East, is to accept abribe from one of the parties to a suit, and give sentence accordingly. As such a practice defeats the whole end for which the administration of justice exists, it is, when detected, for the most part, punished capitally. Josephus tells us that it was so among the Jews (Contr. Apion. 2:27); but the Mosaic code, as it has come down to us, omits to fix the penalty. Whatever it was, it was practically set at nought. Eli's sons "turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment" (1 Samuel 8:3). In David's time, men's hands were "full of bribes" (Psalm 26:10). Solomon complains of wicked men" taking gifts out of their bosoms to pervert the ways of judgment" (Proverbs 17:23). Isaiah is never weary of bearing witness against the princes of his day, who" love gifts and follow after rewards" (Isaiah 1:23);who "justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him" (Isaiah 5:23). Micah adds his testimony - "Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward" (Exodus 3:9-11). The gift blindeth the wise. See Deuteronomy 16:19. And thou shalt take no gift,.... Of the persons whose cause is to be tried in a court of judicature before judges; neither of those on the one side nor on the other, neither before the trial nor after, neither by words, by a promise, nor by facts, by actually receiving money; and not even to judge truly, as Jarchi observes, neither to clear the innocent nor to condemn the guilty: a gift was not to be taken on any consideration whatever:

for the gift blindeth the wise; or the "seeing" (a); the open ones, who used to have both their eyes and their ears open, and attentive to the cause before them; and yet a gift so blinds them, by casting such a mist before them, that they are inattentive to the true merits of the cause, and their affections and judgments are to be carried away in favour of those that have bribed them, as to pass a wrong sentence:

and perverteth the words of the righteous; either the sentences of righteous judges, as they ought to be, but a gift perverts their judgment, and they give a wrong decree; or the causes of the righteous that are brought before those are perverted by giving the cause to their adversaries, who are wicked men.

(a) "videntes", Pagninus, Vatablus, Cartwright; "apertos", Montanus, Drusius. 23:1-9 In the law of Moses are very plain marks of sound moral feeling, and of true political wisdom. Every thing in it is suited to the desired and avowed object, the worship of one only God, and the separation of Israel from the pagan world. Neither parties, friends, witnesses, nor common opinions, must move us to lessen great faults, to aggravate small ones, excuse offenders, accuse the innocent, or misrepresent any thing.
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