Property Rights

22 [a]If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and (A)four sheep for the sheep.

[b]If the (B)thief is [c]caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account. But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be (C)sold for his theft. If what he stole is actually found alive in his [d]possession, whether an ox or a donkey or a sheep, (D)he shall pay double.

“If a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed bare and lets his animal loose so that it grazes in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.

“If a fire breaks out and spreads to thorn bushes, so that stacked grain or the standing grain or the field itself is consumed, he who started the fire shall surely make restitution.

(E)If a man gives his neighbor money or goods to keep for him and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is [e]caught, he shall pay double. If the thief is not [f]caught, then the owner of the house shall [g]appear before [h](F)the judges, to determine whether he [i]laid his hands on his neighbor’s property. For every [j]breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, ‘This is it,’ the [k]case of both parties shall come before [l](G)the judges; he whom [m]the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.

10 “If a man gives his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep for him, and it dies or is hurt or is driven away while no one is looking, 11 an (H)oath before the Lord shall be made by the two of them [n]that he has not [o]laid hands on his neighbor’s property; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution. 12 But if it is actually stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. 13 If it is all torn to pieces, let him bring it as evidence; he shall not make restitution for what has been torn to pieces.

14 “If a man [p]borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not with it, he shall make full restitution. 15 If its owner is with it, he shall not make restitution; if it is hired, it came for its hire.

Sundry Laws

16 (I)If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall [q]pay money equal to the (J)dowry for virgins.

18 “You shall not allow a (K)sorceress to live.

19 (L)Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.

20 (M)He who sacrifices to [r]any god, other than to the Lord alone, shall be [s]utterly destroyed.

21 (N)You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22 (O)You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. 23 If you afflict him at all, and (P)if he does cry out to Me, (Q)I will surely hear his cry; 24 and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, (R)and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

25 (S)If you lend money to My people, to the poor [t]among you, you are not to [u]act as a creditor to him; you shall not [v]charge him (T)interest. 26 If you ever take your neighbor’s cloak (U)as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, 27 for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his [w]body. What else shall he sleep in? And it shall come about that (V)when he cries out to Me, I will hear him, for (W)I am gracious.

28 “You shall not [x](X)curse God, (Y)nor curse a ruler of your people.

29 (Z)You shall not delay the offering from [y]your harvest and your vintage. (AA)The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. 30 (AB)You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; (AC)on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.

31 (AD)You shall be holy men to Me, therefore (AE)you shall not eat any flesh torn to pieces in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.


  1. Exodus 22:1 Ch 21:37 in Heb
  2. Exodus 22:2 Ch 22:1 in Heb
  3. Exodus 22:2 Lit found
  4. Exodus 22:4 Lit hand
  5. Exodus 22:7 Lit found
  6. Exodus 22:8 Lit found
  7. Exodus 22:8 Lit approach to
  8. Exodus 22:8 Or God
  9. Exodus 22:8 Lit stretched his hand
  10. Exodus 22:9 Or matter of transgression
  11. Exodus 22:9 Lit matter
  12. Exodus 22:9 Or God
  13. Exodus 22:9 Or God
  14. Exodus 22:11 Lit whether
  15. Exodus 22:11 Lit stretched his hand
  16. Exodus 22:14 Lit asks
  17. Exodus 22:17 Lit weigh out silver
  18. Exodus 22:20 Lit the gods
  19. Exodus 22:20 Lit put under the ban
  20. Exodus 22:25 Lit with
  21. Exodus 22:25 Lit be
  22. Exodus 22:25 Lit lay upon
  23. Exodus 22:27 Lit skin
  24. Exodus 22:28 Or revile
  25. Exodus 22:29 Lit your fullness and your tears

Protection of Property

22 [a]“Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back(A) five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

“If a thief is caught breaking in(B) at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;(C) but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.

“Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution,(D) but if they have nothing, they must be sold(E) to pay for their theft. If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession(F)—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double.(G)

“If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in someone else’s field, the offender must make restitution(H) from the best of their own field or vineyard.

“If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks(I) of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution.(J)

“If anyone gives a neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping(K) and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double.(L) But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges,(M) and they must[b] determine whether the owner of the house has laid hands on the other person’s property. In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges.[c](N) The one whom the judges declare[d] guilty must pay back double to the other.

10 “If anyone gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to their neighbor for safekeeping(O) and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking, 11 the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath(P) before the Lord that the neighbor did not lay hands on the other person’s property. The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required. 12 But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, restitution(Q) must be made to the owner. 13 If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the neighbor shall bring in the remains as evidence and shall not be required to pay for the torn animal.(R)

14 “If anyone borrows an animal from their neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution.(S) 15 But if the owner is with the animal, the borrower will not have to pay. If the animal was hired, the money paid for the hire covers the loss.(T)

Social Responsibility

16 “If a man seduces a virgin(U) who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price,(V) and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

18 “Do not allow a sorceress(W) to live.

19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal(X) is to be put to death.

20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god(Y) other than the Lord must be destroyed.[e](Z)

21 “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner,(AA) for you were foreigners(AB) in Egypt.

22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.(AC) 23 If you do and they cry out(AD) to me, I will certainly hear their cry.(AE) 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.(AF)

25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.(AG) 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge,(AH) return it by sunset, 27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in?(AI) When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.(AJ)

28 “Do not blaspheme God[f](AK) or curse(AL) the ruler of your people.(AM)

29 “Do not hold back offerings(AN) from your granaries or your vats.[g]

“You must give me the firstborn of your sons.(AO) 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep.(AP) Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.(AQ)

31 “You are to be my holy people.(AR) So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts;(AS) throw it to the dogs.


  1. Exodus 22:1 In Hebrew texts 22:1 is numbered 21:37, and 22:2-31 is numbered 22:1-30.
  2. Exodus 22:8 Or before God, and he will
  3. Exodus 22:9 Or before God
  4. Exodus 22:9 Or whom God declares
  5. Exodus 22:20 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  6. Exodus 22:28 Or Do not revile the judges
  7. Exodus 22:29 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.

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