"Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness.
"You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.
"Do not pass along false reports. Do not cooperate with evil people by telling lies on the witness stand.
"Don't pass on malicious gossip. "Don't link up with a wicked person and give corrupt testimony.
Do not let a false statement go further; do not make an agreement with evil-doers to be a false witness.
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness.
"You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 sn People who claim to worship and serve the righteous judge of the universe must preserve equity and justice in their dealings with others. These verses teach that God’s people must be honest witnesses (1-3); God’s people must be righteous even with enemies (4-5); and God’s people must be fair in dispensing justice (6-9).
2 tn Heb “take up, lift, carry” (נָשָׂא, nasa’). This verb was also used in the prohibition against taking “the name of Yahweh in vain.” Sometimes the object of this verb is physical, as in Jonah 1:12 and 15. Used in this prohibition involving speech, it covers both originating and repeating a lie.
3 tn Or “a groundless report” (see Exod 20:7 for the word שָׁוְא, shav’).
4 tn Heb “do not put your hand” (cf. KJV, ASV); NASB “join your hand.”
5 tn The word “wicked” (רָשָׁע, rasha’) refers to the guilty criminal, the person who is doing something wrong. In the religious setting it describes the person who is not a member of the covenant and may be involved in all kinds of sin, even though there is the appearance of moral and spiritual stability.
6 tn The word חָמָס (khamas) often means “violence” in the sense of social injustices done to other people, usually the poor and needy. A “malicious” witness would do great harm to others. See J. W. McKay, “Exodus 23:1-43, 6-8: A Decalogue for Administration of Justice in the City Gate,” VT 21 (1971): 311-25.