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If the thief is not caught,[a] then the owner of the house will be brought before the judges[b] to see[c] whether he has laid[d] his hand on his neighbor’s goods. In all cases of illegal possessions,[e] whether for an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any kind of lost item, about which someone says ‘This belongs to me,’[f] the matter of the two of them will come before the judges,[g] and the one whom[h] the judges declare guilty[i] must repay double to his neighbor.

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  1. Exodus 22:8 tn Heb “found.”
  2. Exodus 22:8 tn Here again the word used is “the gods,” meaning the judges who made the assessments and decisions. In addition to other works, see J. R. Vannoy, “The Use of the Word ha’elohim in Exodus 21:6 and 22:7, 8, ” The Law and the Prophets, 225-41.
  3. Exodus 22:8 tn The phrase “to see” has been supplied.
  4. Exodus 22:8 tn The line says “if he has not stretched out his hand.” This could be the oath formula, but the construction here would be unusual, or it could be taken as “whether” (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:438). U. Cassuto (Exodus, 286) does not think the wording can possibly fit an oath; nevertheless, an oath would be involved before God (as he takes it instead of “judges”)—if the man swore, his word would be accepted, but if he would not swear, he would be guilty.
  5. Exodus 22:9 tn Heb “concerning every kind [thing] of trespass.”
  6. Exodus 22:9 tn The text simply has “this is it” (הוּא זֶה, huʾ zeh).
  7. Exodus 22:9 tn Again, or “God.”
  8. Exodus 22:9 tn This kind of clause Gesenius calls an independent relative clause—it does not depend on a governing substantive but itself expresses a substantival idea (GKC 445-46 §138.e).
  9. Exodus 22:9 tn The verb means “to be guilty” in Qal; in Hiphil it would have a declarative sense, because a causative sense would not possibly fit.

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