16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to one another, render true and perfect justice in your gates.
AY-leh ha-d’-va-REEM a-SHER ta-a-SU da-b’-RU e-MET EESH et ray-AY-hu e-MET u-mish-PAT sha-LOM shif-TU b’-sha-a-ray-KHEM
טז אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשׂוּ דַּבְּרוּ אֱמֶת אִישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵהוּ אֱמֶת וּמִשְׁפַּט שָׁלוֹם שִׁפְטוּ בְּשַׁעֲרֵיכֶם׃
8:16 Render true and perfect justice in your gates
In order for Yehuda and Yisrael to become a blessing (verse 13), they have to perform emet umishpat shalom (אמת ומשפט שלום). While this phrase is translated here as “true and perfect justice,” the words literally mean ‘truth’ and ‘judgement of peace.’ When two people each claim to represent truth, how does peace emerge? The Sages state that from here we learn the importance of compromise, as truth, justice, and peace are the three pillars upon which the world depends (Ethics of the Fathers 1:18). The commentator Radak suggests that when the judges in Israel mete out righteous justice, then even the losing parties in a quarrel will accept the judgment peacefully. This sense of justice and peace will cause the nations of the world to encourage each other to go to Yerushalayim for God’s blessing (verses 20-22).