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Exodus 23:8 meaning...

This commandment is part of the broader legal and ethical instructions given by God to the Israelites through Moses. The verse begins with a clear and unequivocal command: "You shall take no bribe." This directive is foundational for maintaining a just and impartial legal system among the Israelites. It emphasizes the importance of integrity in judgment and dealings, highlighting that the acceptance of bribes is incompatible with the pursuit of justice.

  • The Detrimental Effects of Bribes

The latter part of the verse provides insight into why taking bribes is strictly forbidden: "for a bribe blinds those who have sight and perverts the words of the righteous." This vivid imagery underscores the corrupting influence of bribery on both perception and speech.

Blinds Those Who Have Sight: The metaphor of blindness suggests that even those who possess the ability to see clearly, both in a literal and metaphorical sense, can be impaired by the allure of a bribe. It clouds their judgment, preventing them from making fair and impartial decisions.

Perverts the Words of the Righteous: The acceptance of bribes not only distorts judgment but also has the power to corrupt the very words and testimonies of those who are meant to uphold righteousness. The righteous, when swayed by bribes, can become instruments of injustice.

Significance for Believers: Upholding Integrity in Justice

Integrity in Justice: The verse underscores the foundational importance of integrity in the administration of justice. Believers are called to uphold righteousness, resisting the temptations of bribery that can compromise impartiality.

Guarding Against Corruption: The metaphor of blindness serves as a powerful warning against the subtle allure of corruption. Believers are urged to remain vigilant and guard against any compromise that may distort their perception and judgment.


Deuteronomy 16:19: "You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous." This verse from Deuteronomy echoes the sentiment expressed in Exodus, emphasizing the prohibition of bribery and its detrimental impact on justice.

Proverbs 17:23: "A wicked man receives a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice." Proverbs provides additional wisdom on the consequences of bribery, highlighting its association with wickedness and the perversion of justice.

Conclusion - A Call to Uncompromising Justice: Exodus 23:8 stands as a timeless call for uncompromising justice, rooted in integrity and free from the corrupting influence of bribes. The verse challenges us to embody righteousness in our actions and decisions, reflecting the character of a God who is just and impartial.

See also: vs 4-6

Exodus 23:8. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds those who have sight and perverts the words of the righteous.


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