Mishpatim: Language and Translation

In Exodus/Shemot 22:20-23, God commands the people not to “wrong* or oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Plaut/Stern translation**), adding a note about also caring for widows and orphans and concluding with one of those dire warnings that is apparently so unspeakable, the text breaks off, causing some translators to resort to ellipsis, before presenting a very specific threat:

Oh, if you afflict, afflict them…
For (then) they will cry, cry out to me,
and I will hearken, hearken to their cry,
my anger will flare up
and I will kill you with the sword,
so that your wives become widows, and your children, orphans!– Fox**

If you [dare to] cause him pain…! for if he shall cry out to Me, I shall surely hear his outcry. My wrath shall blaze and I shall kill you by the sword, and your wives will be widows and your children orphans. — Stone**

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