22:22 “You must not afflict 1 any widow or orphan. 22:23 If you afflict them 2 in any way 3 and they cry to me, I will surely hear 4 their cry, 22:24 and my anger will burn and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives will be widows and your children will be fatherless. 5
1 tn The verb “afflict” is a Piel imperfect from עָנָה (’anah); it has a wide range of meanings: “afflict, oppress, humiliate, rape.” These victims are at the mercy of the judges, businessmen, or villains. The righteous king and the righteous people will not mistreat them (see Isa 1:17; Job 31:16, 17, 21).
2 tn The accusative here is the masculine singular pronoun, which leads S. R. Driver to conclude that this line is out of place, even though the masculine singular can be used in places like this (Exodus, 232). U. Cassuto says its use is to refer to certain classes (Exodus, 292).
3 tn Here again and with “cry” the infinitive absolute functions with a diminished emphasis (GKC 342-43 §113.o).
4 tn Here is the normal use of the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense to emphasize the verb: “I will surely hear,” implying, “I will surely respond.”
5 sn The punishment will follow the form of talionic justice, an eye for an eye, in which the punishment matches the crime. God will use invading armies (“sword” is a metonymy of adjunct here) to destroy them, making their wives widows and their children orphans.