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.

Footnotes

  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.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

22 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods.

For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it:

11 Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.

12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.

13 If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn.

14 And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.

15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.

16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry;

24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

26 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:

27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.

Bible Gateway Sponsors