1 “You should not extend a false report. You should not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2 You should not follow the majority to do evil, nor should you bear witness in a lawsuit, stretching with the majority, so as to stretch the truth, 3 nor should you be favor a poor man in his lawsuit. 4 “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey getting lost, you should bring it back to him. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you fallen under its burden, you should refrain from leaving him under it; you should rescue it along with him. 6 “You should not stretch the judgment for your poor in his lawsuit. 7 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, because I will not acquit the wicked. 8 And you should take no bribe, because a bribe blinds the seeing and turns the cause of those who are in the right. 9 “You should not oppress a temporary resident. You know the heart of a temporary resident, because you were temporary residents in the land of Egypt.
laws about conspiracy
The community was responsible to work together to make sure that justice was experienced by all. But the temptation would be to side with the majority, or to side against one’s enemy, or to allow one’s peers to influence his thinking. The LORD would not have that kind of collusion going on in his community. Unity was not to be gained at someone else’s expense. Justice cannot happen when the majority gangs up on the outsider. Truth cannot prevail when the crowd is more interested in what they can together accomplish.
Believers have a responsibility to proclaim the truth, even when it is not in their advantage to do so. The Israelites were reminded that when they were in Egypt, a ruling majority oppressed them, and they could not get justice. Their rescue had to come from the power of the LORD, because the heart of the Egyptians was set against them. In the new community, justice and truth were to overrule the pressure to conform to the conspiracy of the crowd.
LORD, make us people of integrity, who do not bend to the flow of all the waters around us.